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Craig Avila

            Non-profit organizations rely on donations and fundraisers as sources of money to provide for the need of others and our communities. My grandfather and I founded our own non-profit organization known as Veterans Without A Base, VWAB. We rely heavily on fundraisers and our annual “Raffle Ticket Roundup” never disappoints. Raffle tickets fundraisers have been the biggest success for our organization, prompting us to turn it into an annual event.

            At one of our monthly board meeting we were negotiating ideas for a fundraiser; due to the low cost of raffle tickets we decided a raffle fundraiser would be the most successful option for our organization. Once we went to our local office supply store and purchased tickets we began drafting a letter asking stores in our community for donations. There was an overwhelming amount of responses of stores that were interested in our fundraiser. Many stores even provided helpful tips and stories on previous success they have had with raffle fundraisers. The benefit of this is that the only money out sourced for our fundraiser was the low cost of the raffle tickets. Once the prizes were received we arranged them into various baskets and began selling tickets to our friends, families, and in front of the grocery store to customers. After 2 weeks of selling tickets the fundraiser had come to a close and it was time to distribute prizes and count our earnings. We distributed the prizes to the winners quickly due to the ease of identifying them through the information on their ticket. Once we arrived back to the office we decided to count the money we received through the ticket sales. The raffle tickets allowed us to bring in over $2500 for our organization, ultimately allowing us to supply over 1500 homeless veterans with new shirts and belts in our community.

            These items are distributed annually at a local event known as the “Stand Down”. Thousands of veterans show up in hopes of getting new clothes, a shower, hot meals, dental checkups, and a chance to clear any legal troubles. My organization serves as one of the primary clothing providers for the event and without the raffle ticket fundraiser none of this would have been possible. I make it a priority to attend the event and hand out the clothing to see our hard work in action. This experience allowed me insight on a whole new world apart from my own. We were able to provide a better chance at life for thousands of people. This experience motivated me to make a bigger difference in the community and because of the huge success with our raffle ticket fundraiser we turned it into an annual event providing us with the necessary funds to support these veterans. We have done this fundraiser for three consecutive years now and achieve successful results each year. These raffle tickets helped homeless veterans become stable again in their life and overall this whole experience has allowed me to be more appreciative.