Monthly Archives: September 2012

Earth Energies Evening

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My first (proper) fundraiser event!

Jan Cassells from Earth Energies, giving her talk on the benefits of fruit and veg

I was invited by Jan from Earth Energies (www.earth-energies.co.uk) to attend her talk in Broughton (a nearby village) on her business and its ethos. She spoke about the multitude of benefits from eating fruit and veg, and about so many of the ill-effects from other foods that I think I may never eat anything but apples again. The one that sticks in my mind is the plastic coating that develops from margarine if you leave it long enough. :S

But on a happier note, I gave a quick speech at the end about the work I would be doing and appealed for donations. Even though there were only a handful of people there I managed to raise a fantastic £20.88. I never cease to be amazed by how generous people are.

This has been highlighted again by two of my friends donating to me online almost as soon as I created an event for my sponsored bungee jump. I never would have thought people would be so willing to help me get to India. My running fundraising total so far is £235.49. Keep it coming!

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Mad Ideas

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After last week’s success in the fundraising stakes, things have gone less well this week. The Rotary Club have no monies left for me, and my cakes that I left in the work canteen got thrown away by the kitchen staff. Damn them and their food hygiene! Having also sent off my dubious application to the local council, and having just received a pay cheque substantially lower than what I expected (:O), I decided it was time for to take drastic fundraising action.

Initially I was contemplating a sponsored skydive, but the cheapest I could find cost over £200. £200 for 30 seconds of free-fall!? Next was bungee jumping, but I really hate the idea so just put it to one side. I then found an online offer to take a fire-walking course – amazing! – but it was all the way down in Taunton. It was looking possible, and I was about to use my tesco vouchers for the 5 and a half hour train journey there, when I clicked the button ‘activity days: adrenalin’ and found that I could bungee jump for absolutely nothing (well, in fake tesco money).

So I’ve now ended up doing the one thing I least wanted to do, and actually feel quite terrified about it. I love free-fall rides at theme parks, but I’ve been on those bouncing things too where they strap you in a harness, and I hated the feeling of being pulled back up again. :S The only thing that will make me jump off the edge of that platform is knowing people will have sponsored me. Might have to get a helpful shove on the day. I’ve set the date for December 1st, what a way to start Christmas! 😀

Ideas for Fundraising

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I need some ideas for an activity to raise more money. It has to be something that I can do individually, and bear in mind that I can’t do anything too physical (ie. marathons) due to being heavily asthmatic/arthritic/generally decrepit. Please vote, and put forward your ideas – however out there – in the poll or in the comments below!

Fundraising Target

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So I got a letter in the post on Friday from the village parish council, saying that they wanted to sponsor me with £50! I’m so happy! That equates to nearly 6 months of anti-malarials, or 1/6 of my visa. I didn’t expect such a quick response, having only sent a request to them the week before. Following on from this success I’ve now just finished another application to my regional council, which would make a massive difference to my fundraising target if I got it as their standard amount to give to individuals is £500.

This also made me think perhaps I should let more people know what the money is actually going towards, and the sort of target I’m aiming for. Obviously I’m hoping to fund as much as possible from my own pocket, but unfortunately minimum wage waitressing/betting assistant/mystery shopper/avon sales rep/busker just doesn’t cut it in the savings stakes. So here, for you perusal, is my budget for the year:

Item Total cost
Return flight London-Bangalore £500
Employment visa (working unpaid with a charity) £310
Anti-malarials (12 months) £120
Travel insurance (12 months) £450
Accommodation (12 months) £2000
Living costs (est. £30/week) £1560
10% contingency £494
Total project cost £5434

…about £5400, which is cheaper than you can live on in the UK for a year.

Gift of a poem

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I’ve been gifted a poem by my talented friend Mr. Roy Canty in honour of the India trip, so here it is for your personal enjoyment. I shall have to find it a place of honour in my fundraising materials…maybe a book of collective work from different sources perhaps? There’s an idea!

 

Hero for India

 

We send no more Imperial cannons

And play no more games of little boy soldiers

Just one woman who cuts through the tea fields

With a vivacious and relentless heart

And how she shimmers and how she glimmers

As she cuts the first path through the tea fields

 

Saving the world one country at a time

And without a gun caressing her side

She will smash the windows and break down the doors

To free us from ignorance, hate and pain

Where a man raises his fist for nothing

She will smash the windows and break down the doors

 

And with all the gods held inside her hands

She will take down the bastards and demons

And she will rise above the rest of us

Above the Taj Mahal and kings and queens

While mad men stumble around in power

She will rise above us to the challenge 

The Ball is Rolling

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Wow! Things are really starting to pick up now. My day-by-day to-do list has extended into a two week deadline sheet, and I have so many people to contact and liase with I am in danger of needing to make an excel spreadsheet.

I also had my first online donation today, at a fantastic £20! This was however after I realised that the first site I had been using worked in US dollars, and thus came out at around twelve pounds. My tech-savvy brother then pointed me towards another blog site where you can manipulate the html code, allowing me to post my very own paypal buttons onto the page!!! I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but at the moment it makes me feel very accomplished and professional. The “sponsor me” link from this blog remains the same. Here’s the site: donatetoabigail.blogspot.co.uk.

I implemented my cake plan at work too, and by the time I left at lunch there was already £3 exactly in the little collection tin I cobbled together. Pictures will ensue soon. For now, here is one of the collection bucket I made for my cake sale yesterday.

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Making money

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So the last few days have been VERY productive. I managed to get a member of the local Town Council on board with my cause and she’s already set me up with loads of events. Today I made £34.55 at a wedding fair with a stall selling my own (fine) efforts at cake-baking and with a massive orange bucket which I nicked off my Dad. People were far more willing to donate than I ever would have expected, which makes me think I could do more, though I must admit not many people wanted to buy the cakes. Obviously they just weren’t very hungry, and it had nothing to do with the butter cream melting everywhere.

I also gained another offer for sponsorship in voucher form from one of the other stall-holders, and we banded about plenty of new ideas, including face painting children and then holding them to ransom (joke). I’m planning to do a car boot selling cakes, and it’s looking likely, with the rising offers of vouchers, that a raffle may be possible. Maybe also a guess-how-many-sweets-in-the-jar…yum.

Further, I’ve been given the idea to leave cakes in the canteen at work with an honesty box for donations, as a good regular income source, and to try and find a sky-diving voucher on groupon. I’ve been racking my brain for a while over what sort of activity I might be able to do to generate individual sponsorship, and sky-diving was definitely one of them. With a voucher to reduce the cost, it would definitely be worth doing.

I did actually consider selling my eggs – they go for £750 in London! – but apparently nobody wants babies with asthma, so that’s my quick cash fix out the window. Back to the cake-baking 🙂

Hold your breath for the next batch of fundraising news, when I’ll try and remember to take loads of pictures!

Sponsorship

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So I got my first proper sponsor this week from a local business, who gave me a £25 voucher and invited me to come and take donations at a talk they have set up in September – fantastic! I just wish more  businesses would respond so positively. I’m planning to use that voucher as a raffle prize…just need to set up an event where I can sell it. All ideas welcome!

I’ve also been trying to set up links with some primary/secondary schools in the area to do talks with the pupils. I was thinking around the subject of human rights, but to be honest, at the moment, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. It would be better to raise awareness when I return, but some interest is better than no interest.

Having now started working (properly) I’m also permanently tired and mentally frazzled, so printing off a pristine to-do list has been about the only step forward for the coming week. I’m going to be tough on myself, despite working every day over the next 7 days, and force myself to achieve certain tasks. First stop, the local parish council!