19 Aug Hoops, Hairs, & Bears – Oh My!
Raising money can be challenging, especially for something half-way around the globe. Raising funds to build new homes for the kids at Amazing Grace Children’s Home in Uganda presented this same age-old problem. These young Sudanese refugees had lost their homes and desperately needed a permanent, safe place to live. But how do you encourage people to connect with a project they will never see? A unique collection of advocates decided the best way was to give people something they could connect with and see — themselves. They used everyday gifts and talents that don’t necessarily shout “Advocacy” or “Fund Raiser.” But that is what makes the following examples so exciting — everyday people doing everyday things to forward His kingdom!
HOOPS FOR HOMES / Beavercreek, OH
For years his family had sponsored Sebur, a child at Amazing Grace. So when Daniel Main heard that the kids there needed a new home, he wanted to help. But how does a 9-year-old boy fund a building project? For inspiration, he only had to look as far as the basketball hoop across the street. Daniel asked friends to donate as little as five cents (they could also donate more than five cents, of course) for every basket he made in 30 minutes. Then he set a date and got the word out through friends, family, and his local school and media. After an action-packed half hour, Daniel made 293 hoops and raised over $5,500 for his friends in East Africa!
BEARS FOR BRICKS / Naples, Italy
“I’m crafty, I’m creative, I love to knit, I love children, and everyone likes teddy bears.” How does all that fit together? Bears for Bricks. That was how 12-year-old Charis Jacobson described her idea to raise money for Amazing Grace Children’s Home. Charis began knitting her bears — a five- to six-day process — and ended up making and selling over 40. With the support of her friends and family, she turned a favorite hobby into a way to serve God and His children across the world! “It was really fun to be able to help the kids by doing something I love!” said Charis of the project.
HAIR FOR HOMES / Portland, OR
Lahash media director Casey Schilperoort simply used his head — and a lot of time — 18 years’ worth of time, in fact. Casey used the physical act of cutting his trademark mane to raise money for Amazing Grace. In all, Casey raised over $10,000 — what some may call a “hair-raising amount.” Okay, so no one actually called it that, but the point is, Casey was able to take what many would consider a banal part of every day existence — growing hair — and turn it into a lighthearted way for others to connect with the cause.
Each of these projects is unique, but not entirely all that different from each other. Daniel, Charis, and Casey
showed that God has given us all the innate creativity, resourcefulness, excitement, and ability to serve His kingdom. When we express our passion and concern in creative ways it becomes easy for others to rally around us and participate as well.
Your friends and family may not be passionate about the same things you are. And that is okay. Sometimes the key to successful advocacy is remembering that there is one love they all share in common. You. When they see you get excited, they get excited. When they see you giving of yourself to love the vulnerable, they want to do the same. When they see your spark, they want to help you shine that light even brighter.