Are you prepared to be amazed and even inspired? Boy, do I have a story for you!
So last fall, I met with a spunky 9 year old girl on a mission to raise money for Bert’s Big Adventure. For those who aren’t familiar, Bert’s Big Adventure is an organization that sends children with chronic illness, and their families, to Disney World for a trip of a lifetime. So how can you not love that mission, right?!? Savanna (that spunky kid mentioned above) had tons of ideas about how to raise money. She radiated with enthusiasm. After narrowing down her choices, Savanna decided to host two events to raise money… a raffle/silent auction at her cheerleading festival and a dance party for her friends. She set a $500 goal for herself and was ready to change the world!
When it was time to prepare for the raffle, Savanna spent hours upon hours going in and out of local businesses to seek donations and support. Stop and just think about that for a moment. Can you imagine, even as a grown adult, having enough courage to walk into a store or restaurant and ask the manager for a donation? It’s crazy hard. But this kid found the courage to do just that. I remember getting a call from Savanna one evening and hearing her excitement and pride that she received hundreds of dollars in donated items. It was in this moment that I realized yet another perk of Kids Boost. This program allows kids to build courage and learn to communicate (face to-face… yep, not through text… who knew?). As her coach, I worked with Savanna (along with a few lovely volunteers) to help assemble the most amazing baskets. Savanna hosted the raffle and silent auction and had wonderful success. She raised a little under $1000.
But no… she didn’t stop there. Savanna also planned and hosted one heck of a dance party. Action Tumble (a local gym) was generous enough to donate the space and staff to make the event happen. She used some of her start-up money to buy decorations and a few snacks. She had pizzas donated. She even had another raffle for those who donated at least $10. Savanna did a great job with details – she had the best music, dance contests, prizes and a photo booth. The kids had a blast and at the end of the night, Savanna made the big announcement that she raised another $1000 for Bert’s Big Adventure!
Savanna raised a total of $2090. She turned her $100 into $2090 for an amazing cause! Here’s the cool part… not only did she raise money for Bert’s Big Adventure but she also helped 4 more kids get started on a Kids Boost project. 80% of her total went to BBA and the other 20% goes back to Kids Boost to keep the cycle of giving going. So her passion and hard work will continue to impact the world.
So what did Savanna get out of this? Unlike most fundraisers for kids, I can tell you that she didn’t receive cheap prizes for each goal she hit. Savanna wanted to do something great in the world. She wanted to make a difference. It wasn’t about the plastic water bottle prize or the chance to win an I-pad. Just raising the money was enough for this generous girl! And that my friends, is what Kids Boost is all about.
They don’t get crappy prizes. But they get other things. More important things. Kids Boost kids will learn invaluable life lessons in areas like money management, philanthropy, communication and civil engagement. They will inevitably get a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem. And hopefully… they will get a feel of the “giving bug.” You know that feeling you get when you give back or make someone smile?!?
I’m ridiculously proud of Savanna and her hard work. Check out the pictures of Savanna presenting her giant check to Bert’s Big Adventure and The Bert Show. Amazing, right?!? I am confident that she inspired other kids to do something big too. And ready for the best part? Savanna is already planning her next big fundraiser for Bert’s Big Adventure!