Showing posts with label team ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label team ideas. Show all posts

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fundraising With Noah's Art Workshop

This morning someone posted on Facebook that there were only 59 days left until Christmas.

WHOA!

I haven't even started THINKING about Christmas yet- even though Hobby Lobby is tempting me to with the Christmas section already up (ok, maybe I have thought about Christmas a little....)

And that got me thinking.  People are going to spend money at Christmas buying gifts.  Why not offer them gifts that ALSO support our cause of Relay For Life?  We want them to spend that money with us instead of a mass retailer, how can we do that?

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to Noah's Ark Workshop!  It's like Build A Bear, but BETTER.  I'll tell you why in just a minute.




But first- let me tell you where this idea came from, because this genius fundraiser wasn't my idea!  My sister Relay For Life team, Orange Power, has two really smart ladies who already work in direct sales.  Those two ladies are Traci Wile, and Bonny Moulton.  They are the guru's of direct sales- and guess what?  They follow the tried and true Relay advice of doing what you know.  One day, Traci came across this fantastic website, and these two geniuses decided to turn it into a fundraiser.

They called me SO excited with the idea, and I was hooked right away.  I was so interested, in fact, that I called Dina Amico from Noah's Art Workshop to tell her how the girls wanted to make this small idea into a BIG Relay fundraiser.  Turns out, Dina was amazing, and full of amazing ideas herself.  She offered to make a special program JUST for Relay For Life fundraisers- and I was SOLD on sharing the idea with all of you (with Bonny and Traci's permission, of course!)

Here are the details of the program:


As a Relay For Life Team or Individual, we would like to offer the following Fundraising Membership:

·       *  Registration as a Fundraising Member is FREE

·       *  35/40/45% OFF of retail prices on plush animals, outfit and accessories

·       *  40% OFF of promotional priced animals

·       * Free Noah’s Ark replicated website with an e-commerce shopping cart paying 35% commission on 
            all sales

·       * Product catalogs at wholesale prices

·       * Access to our Graphics Art Department for assistance in creating custom fundraising flyers, Facebook Banners and promotional materials

·       * Option for customized teddy t-shirts with your organization logo or fundraising message

·       * Workshop and product training and support

·       *  Free Membership do not come with a Membership Kits   * Fundraising Memberships are eligible to earn additional fundraising dollars through our traditional direct sales downline commission payout.  Simply sponsor a Fundraising Member into Noah’s Ark, and earn additional funds for your organization based on everything your downline team purchases.



GETTING STARTED
Simply call Dina at 1-866-484-6624 to register as a Fundraising Team or Member (**PLEASE SIGN UP UNDER BONNY MOULTON SO YOU ARE IN A RELAY FOR LIFE DOWNLINE**).  You will have immediate access to your membership benefits with immediate website creation. 

Now- why is this better than Build A Bear?
1- Relay For Life gets the profit.
2- It's cheaper.
3- You bring the party TO your donors.
4- You have a website donors can order from so people can stuff them at home.
5- You can earn commission on people who sign up under you.
6- IT'S FREE to sign up!

Here are a few ways to make this fundraiser work for you.
Team Orange Power did something really neat with the special edition pink bears.  The decided to pre stuff the bears, and sold them ready to go at our Pink Out games, online, and in local stores.  Here's my favorite part.  They also offered people the option of buying a bear to have delivered to a breast cancer patient.  Great right?  A tangible gift they could love on that also helps fund research for their disease!

Well, I was all over that!  I had just got an email from a friend who had been diagnosed.  I knew EXACTLY what I could send her to make her smile.  So, we called Bonny up and ordered her a bear.  When it arrived, my son, Wes, took extra care with it, hugged it EXTRA hard, and said a little prayer to it to give Deb strength.  It worked.  I cried and cried when she got it in the mail, because it brought her so much HOPE.



·   

You could also host a local party (think of places you could have it that are free- local churches, homes, or town halls!) have people RSVP and pay ahead of time, and order what you need!  Imagine the fun little ones would have stuffing a special friend and taking it home THAT day!  Or for Christmas- making them for a friend or sibling! 

Dina also shared a brilliant idea.  You can purchase little plush stars to put inside the bears.  Use the stars as a fundraiser!  First, choose an animal to stuff for a special person- perhaps a local cancer patient, a survivor, or a child in a local children's hospital.  Sell each star for $5, and have the person buying it say a prayer over the star (or a wish for you non religious types), and have them sign a card.  Then stuff the animal with all of those happy thoughts and prayers, and deliver it to the recipient.  Genius, right?

Hold an online virtual party and promote it on Facebook!  Donors buy from your website!

I know what you are thinking- OHHHHHH!  We should have a Relay bear!  Guess what?  If there is enough interest, Dina can make that happen!  Imagine a cute purple bear with a RFL logo on the foot!? EEK!  I want one!

The opportunities here are virtually endless.  If you have one, please comment below!  It doesn't get better than this ladies and gentleman.  Take a look at Noah's Art Workshop online, and you will be hooked to!  I'm already building my Christmas shopping list! I know I will get a warm fuzzy by buying a gift that also helps my favorite cause :)

With HOPE-
Cassi

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March Facebook Relay For Life Challenge!

After a lot of requests, here is a March Relay For Life Facebook challenge for you all!  Use #marchrelaychallenge with your posts so others can see them to!  You can see February's edition here: http://cassiselby.blogspot.com/2014/01/february-facebook-relay-for-life.html

Share your love and passion about Relay by participating in Cancer Man's March Facebook Relay For Life challenge!  A Facebook challenge is a great way to get your Relay participants actively posting about your event on a daily basis.  I wrote this challenge to feature the best parts of Relay- when the posters friends see it, they should feel like they are missing out if they don't sign up (and hey, let's be honest- they are!)

Need a copy of the challenge to share or post on your Facebook wall?  Just Right click and save the image below!  Good luck!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Relay For Life Passive Fundraising

I know, I know- I am the guru of posting out of the box and creative fundraising ideas, but did you know my 10K team doesn't get to our goal each year by only hosting BIG fundraisers?  That's right- I like to stagger BIG fundraisers with passive ones, so that my team doesn't get burned out, and we can spend more time concentrating on our big yearly events.  This really helps if you want to start fundraising all year, but you are not sure where to start!

So, what is a passive fundraiser?  Well, put simply, it is a fundraiser where you don't have to do a whole heck of a lot, but you still make money for Relay!  Who doesn't love the idea of that?  These ideas are all a great way to get your feet wet if you are a new team as well.

Here are a few of my favorites, but remember, use the connections that you have to make something happen!

Direct Sales Parties-
You know what I am talking about- that friend you have who is always giving you catalogs and asking you to have a party?  But you really don't want to, because that would mean cleaning the whole house, feeding people, and being a hostess?  Well, call the friend up- because having an ONLINE party is the perfect way to host a passive fundraiser!  With modern technology you can invite everyone, no one has to leave the house, and people can buy something they want!  Here's the catch- ask your friend if they would be willing to donate more to you than the normal hostess commission since you aren't doing this for profit (and of course, you will forgo the normal freebies you get from having a party so you can get more Relay funds!) Let them know that they can write the check directly to American Cancer Society, so they will get the tax write off that comes with the donation!  Distributors (or Consultants depending on the company) have always been really happy to help us out.  Think: Origami Owl, Scentsy, Avon, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Tupperware, and Pampered Chef just to name a few.  Did a light bulb just go off?  I know you know someone who sells one of those things!

Before Christmas my team did one of these fundraisers with Origami Owl, partly because I was planning on buying some O2 for Christmas gifts anyway!  I figured, if I was going to buy some, other people were probably going to order to!  Jennifer (my friend who is the rep for them) took care of all of the hard work for us- she created a Facebook page, posted pictures, and answered everyone's questions.  I literally just shared what she posted with my Facebook friends!  When it was all said and done, I had Christmas done for hard to shop for people on my list, and we raised $237.05 for Relay.  Seriously- do you know how many cookies you have to bake to make that much at a bake sale?  Too many!  The furthest I had to go for this fundraiser was my mailbox when my order came in!  If you need an Origami Owl Rep, leave me a note below and I will send you Jenn's email address- she will take good care of you!



Party Of Gold
So speaking of "parties" have you ever been to one where you got PAID instead of spending money?  Yeah.  You and your guests will walk away with a check in your hands, and not just a check for Relay.  How?  Party Of Gold.  You have a rep come to you, and you bring your old, broken, x boyfriend, and out of style gold.  They weigh it, and make you an offer on the spot.  If you accept (which you will, because they have the most competitive rates) the rep writes you a check ON THE SPOT!  How is this a fundraiser?  The rep will write your event a check for 15% of their total profit from the event.  No, 15% doesn't sound like much, but when everyone you know comes to the party to make money, it adds up extremely fast.  Even better?  if someone can't make it the day of, they can fill out a form to leave with you, and they will get a call the day of the party with an offer.  Bonus points if you can find a local business to let you have it at their location- then you can invite your entire Relay and community out!  Here's another neat little bonus, for every party booked through you that does $500 in sales or more, the rep will give you an additional $50 donation.  So, uh, shameless promotion, if you live in Oklahoma, talk to my rep, Shelley, at (405) 371-8784 and tell her Cheryl Smith and Cassi Selby sent ya!  Our next gold party is Saturday, I will let you know how much we raise!


Work with a company or business to earn a percentage

One of my team mates, Jacy, made this sweet little deal happen.  She found a local distributor who was selling breast cancer awareness sports socks.  She originally contacted him to see if we could get some at wholesale to resell for profit, but the owner had an even better idea.  For every pair of socks sold in our town, he is donating $2 of his profit to us!  The socks were already all set up to sell at a really popular local boutique called It's All About Moi!, so all we had to do was tell people they were there!


The event chair for Relay For Life of Washita County told me about something they do that is similar to this when we had lunch today.  They have a local gas station that gives them a percentage of every fountain drink they sell!  Sarah has a nifty little Relay blog to, if you want to check it out, you can find it here. 

But don't think this concept stops at products! Small business owners are your BFF when it comes to passive fundraising.

Cancer Man has a partnership with Jessica Ma'ilo who is a travel agent that specializes in Disney trips and cruises.  If someone mentions Cancer Man when booking, she gives a percentage of her commission to him!  How easy is that? 

If you are a Disney freak like me (guilty as charged!), you might also enjoy her blog- Magic, Memories, Mayhem



He also has a partnership with Crystal Klear Images.  Crystal is an amazing photographer (she shot our wedding!), and she generously offered to come to our town for a day of mini sessions, and is donating 50% to Wesley's fundraising! 


Recycling
Have a printer?  Know someone who does?  Of course you do!  Did you know you can recycle your empty printer cartridges for cash?  My team uses Empties 4 Cash for this service, and it couldn't be easier.  They will send you a pre paid shipping label, you fill up a box with empties, and send it in.  In a few weeks, you get a check!  You can ask local businesses to donate their old cartridges to you to- it is a super easy way for them to help you out without spending any money!



There you have it!  The easiest fundraisers out there!  Try one out today, and see how easy passive fundraising can be!

As always, thank you for joining the mission to finish the fight against cancer!

Cassi

Friday, September 20, 2013

Relay For Life team captains- the business of Relay



Ahhh- September is here and that means dedicated Relay For Life team captains are registering online, hitting up Pinterest, dreaming up fundraisers, and making sure everything is in order to make 2014 the best year yet!  As we start jumping into meetings and kick offs, I want to share my “business approach” to Relay For Life.

Now, if this is your first time viewing my blog, let me give you a little background.  I am a successful small business owner, run a small team that raised a little over $7,000 last year, and most importantly, I am Cancer Man’s mom.   If you don’t know who Cancer Man is, you are in for a treat- just check out my little guy here. 

I know what you are thinking- Relay is not a business!  And you are right.  But, like anything worthwhile, you put in a lot of hours, you manage people, you advertise, and you are in charge of large projects.  Sure, you don’t get paid- but to tell you the truth, helping people through Relay is worth more to me than any job could pay me.  If you approach this year’s Relay like a small business owner approaches business, you are going to have a more profitable, successful and organized team this year.  And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that!?

Recruiting your team
When looking for new team members (or captains for you committee members); think of the hiring process a small business owner would use to look for staff.  Would you want someone unreliable?  Would you want someone you had to beg to come to work?  Or would you want someone self-motivated, passionate, and willing to contribute?  If my bread and butter were on the line, I would pick the latter!  We all know that there is nothing worse than having to beg team members to participate.  You want someone on your team that feels the same fire YOU feel about making a difference, and ending cancer!  I personally prefer a team on 10 people who are going to work hard over a team of 20 where I have to pull all of the weight.

Profits and Profitability
To run a successful business, you have to be aware of your profits at all times.  Is your product or service worth the amount of time you are putting in?  The same thing goes with Relay.  The more profit you make during a fundraiser, the more you have going towards your goal!  There is nothing better than a fundraiser that makes 100% profit.  So, write letters, post on Facebook, and get as many businesses to donate to you as you can.  If you are running a fundraiser that is not 100% profit, make sure you are getting the best possible deal on the item you are selling.  For example, if you are getting T-shirts printed, check around to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.  If Relay was your business, saving a dollar shirt would mean an extra $100 in your pocket if you sold 100 shirts in your store.   An extra $100 towards you Relay goal is a HUGE deal, so be sure you are price conscious.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price.  Explain that you are fundraising for Relay for Life, and WHY Relay is so important to you.  After all, it is likely that the person you are dealing with has known or knows someone with cancer, and will support your cause.  This works online as well.  I was pleasantly surprised last year to save $40 on a pop up tent for my team to use just by emailing the company and explaining that I was purchasing it for a Relay For Life event. 

Social Media
Any small business owner will tell you that social media is a life saver.  Why?  You can connect to thousands of people instantly for FREE.  So, whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram- take advantage of those platforms, and encourage your team to use them as well.  You never know where your next donation will come from.  Be sure any time you post to one of these sites about Relay that you link to your fundraising page.  Working on a Relay project?  Snap a picture and put it on Instagram!  Have an awesome fundraising idea?  Post it on Pinterest!  Do you have a team member performing in a Relay talent show?  Take a video, and post it on YouTube (side note- YouTube is one of Wes’ favorite platforms- his Honey Boo Boo Relay impersonation has over 8,000 hits!) Did you hit a fundraising milestone?   Celebrate with a Facebook post!  

Connect with others that have a common goal.
Speaking of social media- take the opportunity to connect and like Facebook pages for your event, and division.  Small business owners frequently support each other, and help each other with ideas.  The same thing goes with Relay!  Some of the best ideas I have seen (and used!) have come from reading Facebook posts from other Relayers.  It is also wonderful to be able to reach out to others that can relate to you for advice and support when you hit a rough patch (hey, we have all been there.)  When I hit a road block with my business, or need a fresh idea, the first thing I do is Facebook one of my friends who also owns a small business (you know who you are!).   Sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective. 

Another new and exciting way to connect with other Relayers is Relay Nation!  If you haven’t used it yet, you are missing out.  Relay Nation is essentially an online chat board that connects Relay For Lifers from all over the US.  Relay Nation is my go to place when I need input on a new fundraising idea, or a new idea all together!   Want to throw an adult prom, but worry about the kinks?  Relay Nation, my friends.  More than likely, you will be able to connect with someone who has done one before, and can offer advice. 

Learn from your mistakes, and use them to grow.
Mistakes happen.  Successful business owners know that mistakes are inevitable, and use them as a learning tool.  One time, I had this GENIUS idea to make up a ton of baby shower gift baskets to sell.  I rushed out and ordered a ton of supplies, made them all up, and eagerly posted them online.  Six months later I had sold ZERO.  What I learned from that process was that people wanted to custom choose sizes, colors, and products instead of buying a prepackaged deal.  Sure, my pride was hurt.  But learning that lesson was a valuable asset to me!  The same thing goes with fundraisers.  They are not all going to be smash hits.   Take what you learn from those mishaps, and apply those lessons to future fundraisers or events. 

Schedule and Organize
Have you ever been at a fundraising event that is a hot mess?  No one knows what they are supposed to be doing, what time they are needed, what to bring, or how to help.  A small business owner would never schedule the biggest sale of the year without some careful planning and scheduling!  So, delegate tasks (I know this is a hard one!  But, you can’t do it all on your own!), and let people know when they are needed.   It seems like a no brainer, but just asking everyone to show up and winging it is like asking for a disaster.   Remember, your team members want to enjoy the experience of making a difference.  They are more likely to volunteer to come help at fundraisers when they know they can count on you to make everything to run smoothly.

Treat each donor like a valued customer
Have you ever noticed the difference between the customer service you get at a small business vs. a big box store?  The difference is small business owners KNOW, without a doubt, that their customers are their bread and butter.  If you get treated like crap at a store, are you going to go back there and shop again?  Heck no!  Donors who don’t feel appreciated or acknowledge won’t donate to again when the time comes around.  Spend the time it takes to send thank you notes to donors, and let them know how much you appreciate them.   After all, if you are reading this, you are probably what my son and I call a Relay for Lifer (someone who makes Relay a part of their life year after year).  Those yearly donations and connections can make a huge difference in your success. 

I hope this post has helped you look at your team in a new way!  Remember- entrepreneurs and successful team captains also have another very important thing in common.  They FEEL passion about what they are doing deep in their hearts.    I am so glad you are in this fight with me- together, we can do more than any of us can do alone!

For the cause! <3
Cassi

What are your top Relay tips?  Share them in a comment below!  If this post helped you, be sure to subscribe.  Or hey, you can always show your appreciation with a donation at my Relay page


Friday, March 22, 2013

How to FUNd-raise like a BOSS!

If you are here reading this blog, it is probably because you are looking for awesome and fun fund raising ideas for kids!  But, when you have an awesome kid that is working hard and kicking butt, it means YOU have to step up your game to!  Today I am going to share my tips and ideas on how to fund raise like a BOSS, so that you can RELAY BIG! After all, we are setting an example for some pretty amazing kids!

Now, first things first.  The fund raising game changes a little bit when you have a child (or spouse!) fundraising to.  Wes and I have an unwritten rule that he gets to ask for the donations from our friends and family, so I have to think outside of the box when it comes to my efforts.  Luckily, that is something I am pretty good at, since my job requires me to think outside of the box on a daily basis!

USE YOUR SKILLS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Whether you realize it or not, we all have unique and amazing talents!  Are you a great cook?  A painter?  Do you make the cutest hair bows for your daughter?  Do you play an instrument?  Find that special talent, and use it to your advantage with fundraising.

I have two unique skills that I use to raise money for RFL.  One thing I do year round is donate a large portion of my sales from my Cancer Awareness Tie Dye to my Relay For Life goal.  The thing I really love about this is that I get to communicate with people all over the world who are fighting the same fight I am.  Now, if you have a talent, but don't run a business doing that talent, you can still sell your items!  Use Facebook to your advantage- it's a free advertising tool!  Post pictures of your creations, and ask your friends to buy them, or share the pictures :)





Something else I love to do is paint.  This year, my Relay hosted a silent auction, so I painted up two jewelry boxes and filled them with bracelets to auction off.  This was a really easy project, I just sat them on the coffee table and worked on them each night as I watched TV!





Now, I can't talk about talents and skills without mentioning my friend Krisha (who is also a fundraising power house!).  Krisha and her team are off the charts good bakers.  During the fall, they sell pumpkin rolls that are TO DIE FOR, and during Valentines Day, they sell Valentines cookies!  What Krisha does is post about what she is baking on facebook, and takes orders, so she knows how much to make.  THIS FUNDRAISER WORKS like a charm, and is way less stress than a traditional bake sale, because you know what you need to make ahead of time!  So far this year, they have raised over $800 by doing this!





Take it to the next level
Let's face it- I can only sell so many tie dye t-shirts at an event.  So this year, I thought further out of the box- I wanted to figure out how to get a bigger variety of items to auction off or sell, without having to buy them all outright.  Then it hit me- what if I asked other Relayers all over the country to trade their crafty items for tie dye?  Surely they had the same dilemma I did!  I went straight to Etsy (which is like the worlds biggest craft show online), and searched "Relay For Life".  When I found an item that I thought would work great for what I was doing, I simply shot that seller an email and asked if they would consider trading me for tie dye!  I figured, the worst I was going to hear was no!  Guess what happened?  Most people said yes!  It created a win win situation for both of us.

TinkerDotDesigns, for example, sent me this amazing mounted print, and magnets, and I made tie dye for her and her daughters to wear at Relay!  I'll admit I am going to have a hard time selling this one off, it's beautiful!

Other Ideas that work!
So, you're not the crafty type, you can't boil water, and your last project ended up an epic Pinterest fail.   Don't worry, all is not lost!  Here are my two favorite fundraisers that don;t require much creativity!

Relay For Life T-SHIRTS with a message sell!  Go to your local T-shirt printer, and find out how much they would charge to print shirts for you.  Many print shops also have a designer who can sit down with you and your ideas, and come up with the perfect design for your shirts!  Have them make you an order form, and take pre-orders for T-shirts.  Use that money to purchase the shirts, and put the rest towards your Relay goal!  Last year, I noticed that no one in our area had shirts made for the event that represented our schools- The Weatherford Eagles.  So, I drew up a design with that in mind, and it has been a hit!

Here are some more of my favorites!  If you would like to purchase any of these, you can find them over at https://www.facebook.com/RelayForLifeOfCusterCounty



Who doesn't love wearing Relay gear all year anyway!?  I love buying all of the t-shirts everyone makes, because it gives me the opportunity to talk about RFL everyone someone compliments what I am wearing!

MUDLOVE BRACELETS
I absolutely love MUD LOVE bracelets.  They are handmade in the USA, waterproof, made of clay, adjustable, and come in tons of colors and sayings.  As if that isn't enough, 20% of all sales go to creating clean drinking water in Africa.  I love using the bracelets to raise money for Relay, because it is something different, and they go fast!  Mud Love offers bulk ordering straight from their website with minimums as low as 50 bracelets.



USE YOUR CONNECTIONS
Make a list of everyone you know that you have a connection with.  You know what I mean, your friend who manages a restaurant in town,  your sister who works for a big corporation, your best friends hubby who works for a big box retailer.  Talk to those folks, and see if they can do anything to help you out, even if it is not monetary help!

I made the most wonderful connection this year with Jodie Kyle, the owner of Simplistic Style  an awesome boutique in our town that sells my line of Boho Couture.  Not only did I learn that Jodie is a Cervical Cancer survivor, she also decided to join our team!  Jodie let me put all of the items I had been selling for Relay at the front and center of the store, and even added her own items to fund raise!  So every time someone goes into her store, they see our items!  It has been a great success.



That's it for now!  Stay tuned for more ideas, and if you want to hear about team fund raisers, let me know by leaving a comment below!

Remember, we are all in this fight together- the more we share, the better we can fundraise and end the fight!

XO
Cass

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to help your little one make a BIG difference! Part 2!

In my last post, I shared ways that kids can make a big difference by fundraising- but I had so much to share that I am having to split it up over a few posts :) So let's continue!

The key for kids is to make fundraising fun and easy for them- and make it something they can do with what resources they have.  Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having kids participate in traditional fundraisers where you purchase something and then sell it- but it is important for me to show Wes that you don't have to have a lot of money to fund raise and make a difference.  Do you hear that grown ups?  Because it applies to you to!  The reason it is important to me to teach him to do this with what he has, is that I want him to look back on this experience, and feel proud, because he knows that HE did it on his own.  That is not going to work if he feels like mom did everything for him and he is just taking the credit for it. 

Talk Talk Talk ASK ASK ASK
One thing is for sure, people are not going to help you out if they don't know you are fundraising.  The same thing applies with our kids!  Encourage your child to tell people what they are doing, and why.  I don't just mean friends and family either!  When we go into a local business, you can bet Wes is going to talk to everyone and tell his story.  This opens up the conversation for their business to become a corporate sponsor for him.  Now, corporate sponsor sounds all scary and expensive, but the truth is, it isn't!  In Custer County, our sponsorships start at just $150 (and they are a tax deduction for the business!).  I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how willing businesses are to help, even if it is not in a financial way.  You might find a new place to sell hugs (or have a bake sale, etc) or they may be able to donate a small item for you to use in a silent auction/basket auction.

When I talk to people about asking businesses face to face for help or donations, they always seem reluctant.  Here is what I tell them-  the worst thing you are going to hear is no.  Even if you hear NO- think about it in a positive way.  You have just shared information about an amazing local event that fights back against cancer, and your excitement may have just created the next team, or participant!  They may decide to come see what the event is all about for the first time, or- they may know someone who is battling cancer who could use help from The American Cancer Society.  After all, we are all fighting for the same cause, so the word NO doesn't mean you aren't making a difference. 

Helping Hands
A great way for kids to raise money is by offering to help friends, family, and neighbors in exchange for fundraising money.  Your child could help neighbors by taking out trash, or pulling trash cans to the curb for busy neighbors on trash day.  It sounds easy and simple, right?  Well it is- let me do the math for you...  You have four neighbors that will pay your kiddo $5 a week to take trash to the curb on trash day.  If you start 8 weeks before your event, that is $160!

If your child is older, another great option is lawn mowing.  I will be totally truthful here and say I would WAAAAY rather pay someone else to mow my lawn.  Just ask my neighbor, Chuckie- who doubles as my lawn boy!

Give adults a run for their money!
Is your event having a Talent Show, or a Mr. Relay event?  Break the mold and ask your kiddo if they would like to participate!  By far, this is Wesley's favorite thing to do.  After seeing a Mr. Relay competition in 2011, he asked me why there weren't any kids participating (for those of you that don't know, Mr. Relay is when men dress up as women, perform a talent, and raise money!) When he asked, I realized he was right.  In fact, I had never even asked him if he WANTED to do it.  Welp, turns out he did.  He had his eye on beating the long-running winner of Mr. Relay, a local celebrity named John Liddle.  This created a really fun, friendly competition between the two of them.  After a VERY close race, Wes was crowned Mr. Relay 2012.  He raised a little over $500 in thirty minutes!

 Wes and John (below) these boys are class acts!

This year, our event hosted a talent show where the top three participants would go on to perform on Relay night.  The top three got voted in by donations- the great thing about this, is it gives him a chance to raise money not once, but twice! Now, I am not going to say this was an EASY fundraiser for us, because it has taken hours and hours of planning and practice- but if you ask me, it has been totally worth it so far!  Wes decided to take two big pop culture things (Honey Boo Boo and Gundam Style), and "smash them together and add some relay stuff" for his act.  Last night was the first talent show, and of course- I have pictures and video to share!  I don't know his total yet, but I know I saw at least one $100 bill in his jar last night :)

You know what I really loved about this as a parent?  The amount of encouragement and support Wes has gotten from everyone around him!  Last night we had friends, survivors, and even teachers come out to watch him in the prelims!  He has truly become a part of our Relay community, and loves to spend time talking with the "grown ups" about Relay and about making a big difference! 

Set realistic goals- then raise them!
Everyone loves to achieve and reach the goals they set for themselves!  This goes for kids to!  Set a realistic goal with them, and work towards it.  When you reach that first goal, celebrate- but don't stop!  Challenge your kiddo to set a new goal when you hit the first one.  As Wes told Cheryl last night, "Now that I am at $1,000 I am going to go by halves, or 5's- $1,500, $2,000- all the way until I reach a MILLION dollars!  And after that, I will go to infinity"  Now that, my friends- is a heart warming statement for anyone who has ever been touched by cancer.  Wes is in your corner fighting for a cure- to infinity! 

Stay tuned!  In my next post, I will share my favorite fundraisers for the rest of us- GROWN UPS!  After all, we have some amazing kids to keep up with! 

For The Cause! 
Cassi