Alondra Vasquez essay

Just before summer 2017, almost two years living away from  home, I came across an old friend. He had left his home as I had, to pursue his degree in the same university I was in. While conversing, my friend mentioned he would be moving back home for the summer. I found this decision strange because he had a steady job he would probably loose once he left. Little did I know, his family was about to face one of the hardest years of their lives. Soon after his departure I got in contact with him, and discovered his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Afterwards, I began to put the pieces together and realized his true purpose for returning home. The moment I had knowledge of this news I did not know what to do, but I knew I needed to help. He was a very close friend of mine when we were in high school, and was acquainted with his close family and he was acquainted with mine as well. My parents were aware and grateful with him, for aiding me in my transition from home to college. The thought of helping his mom was automatic, she may not have been my mother but she was his mother.

The same day I found out I spoke with my parents about it and they were on board to do anything we could to help. I was trying to figure out ways that would aid her the most, and after some research I finally came up with a gift basket raffle. One of my aunts had also gone through the same situation with one of her close friends, and she gave me advice on how she was able to raise more money for her friend. She told me about what she learned in the fundraisers she would host to help me plan the gift basket raffle. I was doing this gift basket on my own and she recommended I ask businesses to donate anything they could to include in the basket. This was new to me, since I had never done a raffle or a gift basket. I did not know where to start, but I knew I had to start somewhere.

I first went to a fast food restaurant in our hometown that was known for helping people in the community, especially fundraisers for people with illnesses. I contacted their representative but was not able to get in touch with them. However, that did not stop me, I kept calling and emailing, and after a month with no response I knew they were not going to help. Luckily one of my aunt works for a car dealership and they were able to provide me with a couple of gifts to place in the gift basket. My parents were also able to donate a gifts to place in the gift basket from their own small business. The donations I received gave me motivation to keep pushing. During this whole time I had not mention anything to my friend or his mother, but once I knew the gift basket was possible I discussed it with them.

I decided to talk to my friend first because I wanted to ensure he approved of my plan and he was on board. Then I spoke with his mother and she was excited about my idea. She said she could give me gifts for the gift basket that other people had donated to her. She explained to me that people gave her gifts so that she could raffle them or start a bingo, but she did not feel comfortable doing that. She preferred helping whoever volunteered helping her, that way people did not misinterpret the fundraiser and think she would misuse the money. I was happy that she wanted to help me and once she did the fundraiser moved to the next step. After collecting all the gifts that were donated I put together the basket and luckily had gifts left over. Once I had completed the basket I began to work on tickets. We decided to print one hundred tickets instead of fifty because I felt if we sold sixty or seventy it was better than fifty. Then we decided to use a number drawing T.V. show as our source for choosing the winner. The show would draw out three numbers and the last two would be the winners. After all the decisions were made I was able to execute the rest of my plan and finish the tickets, print them, and start cutting all one hundred tickets.

Thankfully everything went according to plan and we agreed to sell half and half. This is when the hard part starts, selling the tickets. People were not too convinced and did not want to buy tickets. Thankfully my family and friends helped me in reaching my goal of selling all my tickets. Unfortunately, due to time constrains I was forced to host the gift basket raffle in a month because I had to leave to continue school in another city. Then the day finally came and the gift basket raffle was over. I know my help may not have been the biggest, but I am happy I was able to help my friend’s mother in any possible way that I could. After this experience I learned what it takes to plan a raffle. The idea comes easy but the process is complicated. There were times when I doubted myself, I thought I could not possibly do this on my own. I figured I could find smaller ways to help but I pushed through and persisted. This experience took me out of my comfort zone, I learned about decision making and planning. I am grateful for everything I learned and the people who helped me through this project. Learning about fundraisers was an exceptional experience because I acquired knowledge I did not possess before while working with family and friends.

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