Let’s Party!

By Heather Bauer

Everyone loves a good party. And, if you are reading this blog, you probably love advocating on behalf of orphans. So why not combine the two? The countdown is on to raise $100,000 in 100 days by December 31, 2012. While that number may seem daunting, we are well on our way with $41,105 already donated. So, let’s party plan, people!

Have you ever hosted a fundraiser? My husband and I had never hosted one prior to December 2010 when we held our first Christmas Cocktail party to benefit Hope in Ethiopia. We felt pretty intimidated and also somewhat awkward asking people for donations. BUT, we were blown away and humbled by the generous response from neighbors, co-workers, and friends who shared their evening with us and let us share our hearts for orphan care with them. The first year $1,000 was raised. Last year nearly $5,000 was donated!

More than the dollar amount raised, it has been an awesome opportunity for us to share orphan care within our neighborhood, workplace and with an expanded circle of friends. Our date is already set for this December and we are excited to see how God might use this evening to grow awareness and support for orphans in Ethiopia.

What can you do? Set a date! Create a guest list and keep it simple using Evite or Pingg for communication. Appetizers, especially finger foods will keep guests mingling and help you avoid having to stock utensils! Christmas makes decorating for a party easy since you likely will already have your halls decked out. If you are hosting an evening event, dim the lights, and light every candle you own to create a festive evening. Display a slide show with photos of the children in Zeway on a television or laptop throughout the evening.

Don’t go it alone! One couple set up a great table display that helped give guests visuals on how far their resources can go in helping orphans in Ethiopia. For example a $4 large latte equals malaria medication for a sick child or a $6 magazine equals a Bible in a child’s native language. We also asked a couple friends to help with food and borrowed glassware and serving dishes.

After guests arrive, take a moment, welcome your guests and share a couple stories of transformation from the widows and orphans being supported in Zeway. Lastly, share the need for financial support. Offer marketing materials so guests have something to take home, pray and consider supporting these children. Have a laptop or iPad set up and linked to the donation page for guests to donate at the party if they wish.

We have much to be thankful for and celebrate this Christmas season! We have a great opportunity to use our time, talents and treasures that God has entrusted to us, to be part of transforming both our community at home and the community in Zeway, Ethiopia!

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