People Want to Help and They Do Care by Julia Kyser

People Want to Help and They Do Care by Julia Kyser


A friend and I desperately needed to attend a beauty course in order to have an edge on the competition when looking for employment. However, the cost of attendance for this course was extremely high. We decided that the only way that we would be able to attend would be to fundraise.

This brought about the idea to do a “booze barrel” raffle. We would collect donations from local liquor stores, as well as beer distributors in the surrounding area. They would be able to donate a bottle, case, or unique product of their choice in exchange for advertisement. This advertisement would be located on the raffle ticket itself, on the donation, and on signage located at the time of the raffle drawing. We would then locate a wheel barrel that a home improvement store was willing to donate from our community as well. After collecting donations, we needed a plan. My friend and I knew that we needed a certain number of raffle ticket purchases in order to cover the cost of attending the beauty course. Also, we wanted to make sure that we were not providing alcohol to minors and decided to card every raffle ticket purchaser. We finalized this plan and began advertising the contest. It was a hit!

Many loved the idea because the wheel barrel contained a variety of liquor and had something for everyone. If the wife loved a bottle of wine that the barrel contained, the husband loved the wheel barrel itself and vice versa. It was by coincidence that we happened to time the contest around the holidays, so any remaining alcohol could be gifted as presents. A wonderful supporter of our contest mentioned this idea to us, which aided in ticket sales. After the raffle ticket purchase deadline, we drew a winner and advertised it over the radio, through word of mouth and through the internet. We were able to not only raise enough to afford to attend the beauty course, but also had a remaining balance that deducted from the cost of travel! My friend and I could not be more excited and were so thankful to be able to reach our goals.

The experience taught me to be self-sufficient and to generate ideas in order to achieve my hopes and aspirations. Instead of sitting back and being upset that I could not afford to attend the beauty show, I took charge and found a way around an obstacle. It also taught me to become more outgoing. I needed to be more confident and forward, which was learned by asking for donations and selling raffle tickets. People were generally interested in why we were fundraising. It forced a conversation which, in the past, I would have shied away from. I had no choice to learn to be friendly, conversational, and personable if I hoped to accomplish what I set out for.

The most important thing that the raffle ticket “booze barrel” contest taught me was that my surrounding community is a really great one. People want to help and they do care. If everyone came together to help each other reach goals, we would all succeed.

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Contributed by Julia Kyser

December 29, 2015

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