Michael O’Connor essay



I am a sophomore in college in western New York and I volunteer at the Buffalo City Mission. The Buffalo City Mission is a charity organization that makes up the larger non-profit organization called City Mission Society Inc. This organization provides the homeless of Buffalo with food, clothing, and shelter. They also provide homeless with the acquired skills necessary to become marketable in the job-place. They do so by providing a GED program, college courses, and house and home courses. I work on the receiving dock at the Buffalo City Mission, which is where the community donates all sorts of things, ranging from clothes to food to toys and much more. This gives me a front row seat to see the generous people of Buffalo living out the mantra “Buffalo, the city of good neighbors.” I live in a small city less than a half an hour from downtown Buffalo, so I hear a lot about the Buffalo City Mission through sponsorships and the many food drives they put on throughout the year.

Why Not a Raffle?

Most of the City Mission’s donors are cyclical donors, meaning the group of donors does not grow very fast at all. In working with the donations first hand, it made me wonder how the City Mission could increase the amount of donations, or possibly seek to increase the size of the donating community. I began to think of different advertising or sponsorship opportunities, but this will most likely reach the same audience that has already been donating their goods and services. This drew me to the idea of hosting an event for the citizens of Buffalo and the Greater Buffalo Area to attend. The event could bring awareness to the need for donations at the Buffalo City Mission. Although a call to help the homeless should be enough to bring the good neighbors of buffalo to donate, I don’t know if all “Buffalonians” would have the enthusiasm to donate. After seeing this scholarship and spending some time reflecting, I believe a raffle would be the perfect tool to draw the people of Buffalo to donate. Most people do not attend raffles that have no cause, but also most people don’t simply give money towards a cause without a reason. This creates a perfect opportunity to raise funds for the good cause of helping the homeless around your community. This way, it may appeal to those who would simply go for the prizes as well as those who want to help the homeless but don’t know how. In a way the prizes are an excuse to gather people from the Buffalo area and show them the prevalence of homelessness in Buffalo.

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