Recent Fundraising Events
The What If? Foundation continues to be the grateful beneficiary of so many incredible fund-raising efforts. Young people at schools, churches and in their own neighborhoods have held bake sales, change drives, and walk-a-thons. Musicians have held benefit concerts. Stores have held raffles and dedicated percentages of sales to benefit the foundation. Congregations have dedicated offerings. The list goes on and on.
We love receiving stories, photos, videos, drawings and whatever else you want to share about your fundraisers. And thank you, to each and every on you, for stepping up to help us make a difference.
Students at Vermont Academy, a school in Saxtons River, VT, organized a “hunger banquet” to help raise awareness about world hunger, and to raise money for the food program in Haiti. Everyone appreciated the chance to discuss how people are working to alleviate hunger in different communities around the world, and the money that members of the school community saved by eating more simply than usual was sent to What If.
A BAKE SALE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Kara Gore and 4 of her classmates at the University of Kentucky in Lexington were so inspired by reading Margaret’s book in class on global poverty. They were so touched by Margaret’s story and the work of WIF, that they got together and held a bake sale to raise money for What If.
Each summer, proceeds of all sales at the Dean York Self-Service Farm Stand in St. Helena, CA, are generously donated to What If. Each day, Helen Walka Dake puts fresh produce and flowers out for sale, with signs letting people know that proceeds from all sales go to support the programs the What If. Thank you Helen!
SUNDAY SCHOOL CHILDREN GATHER LOOSE CHANGE FOR HAITI
Twelve children (ages 4 to 10) who attend Sunday School at the Zwingli UCC in Paoli, WI, collected loose change for What If? over the course of 18 months. Their goal: to raise $2,500 for the children in Haiti – $1 for ever mile that separates Paoli, WI, from Haiti. They not only reached their goal; they exceeded it by hundreds of dollars!
GATHERING DONATIONS THROUGH AN EXERCISE PROGRAM
Christina Kessler is a parent who helped raise money for What If through bake sales at Kensington Elementary, and wanted to do more. She and a couple of other mothers decided to meet once a week to do an exercise program together. Since they did not have to pay fees to a gym, they decided to instead offer donations to What If each time they gather.
A CONCERT TO BENEFIT WHAT IF
Bryan Sirchio donated the proceeds from a concert he did at a Haiti Human Rights Week in Northfield, MN, to What If.
STUDENTS GATHER PLEDGES FOR 24-HOUR FAST
Each spring, members of the Interact Club at Saint Helena High School, in St. Helena, CA, gather pledges in support of club members participating in a 24-hour fast, and donate funds raised to What If. What a gift!
Gail Reid kindly donates money she receives for her chicken’s eggs to the What If? Foundation.
SOUP SUPPERS RAISE FUNDS FOR WHAT IF
First Congregational Church UCC in Canandaigua, NY hosted Thursday Soup Suppers during Lent, which featured homemade soups made by church committee members. Everyone was invited to put small donations in sugar bowls on the tables for What If, “an organization that is making a difference in our world.”
Six year old Celeste Loser decided to make and sell bookmarks to raise money for the children in Haiti. With the help of her mother and a friend, she made more than 400 bookmarks that featured her drawings along with simple phrases and quotes. On some she wrote the Haitian proverb “Piti Piti Na Rive”. On another she wrote: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Celeste sold her bookmarks at a craft fair, at her church and school, and to friends and relatives, raising hundreds of dollars for What If.
A WALKATHON IN AUSTRALIA
Students at Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne, Australia participated in a Walkathon to raise money for the What If? Foundation.
Alison Macdaniel, an artist with a passion for Haiti, is making silver earrings and pendants with the What If’s butterfly logo on them and sending proceeds from their sale to the Foundation. Please contact the What If? Foundation office if you would like more information about Alison’s jewelry.
TUX AT A TEA
When members of First Congregational UCC in Canandaigua, NY decided to host “an old-fashioned formal coffee hour” one Sunday, a member said he would come to the tea in a tux if others would offer him donations for What If? Foundation. He dressed in a tux and raised $338 at that coffee hour!
A CAR WASH IN HAWAII
After talking with Margaret Trost in a “Meet the Author” event via Skype, members of the Peace Club at the University of Hawaii in Maui had a car wash to raise funds for the Foundation. They raised hundreds of dollars and it looks like they had fun doing it!
PENNY DRIVE AT MIWOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Some children decided to start a penny drive, and found many students and their families were excited to help!
MARDI ROOTS FUNDRAISERS ON FAT TUESDAY
Each year on “Fat Tuesday” Zwingli UCC, a church in Mount Vernon, WI, hosts a Mardi Roots fundraiser to benefit What If. It’s a community celebration of local food and local farms that features an incredible, locally-sourced midwinter community meal that is not to be missed.
NEW YEAR’S YOGA CLASS BENEFITS WHAT IF
For the past few years, yoga instructor Iris Mickey has invited those who come to her yoga class on New Year’s Day to make donations to What If in lieu of paying her a class fee.
“CHRISTMAS WITH A CONSCIENCE”
Volunteers in Berea, KY, create an Alternative Giving Christmas Market each year to encourage people to gifts to selected nonprofit organizations as a form of alternative Christmas giving, and What If was grateful to be one of the nonprofits selected to receive donations in December 2010.
A BOOK EXCHANGE
Debra Alldredge hosted a book exchange at her house and then took leftover books to Half Price Books and sent a donation in to the What If? Foundation.
SELLING PEACE DAY T-SHIRTS AND MORE IN GEORGIA
After Margaret was invited to be the UN International Peace Day speaker at Mount De Sales Academy in Macon, GA, in September, the school’s students, teachers and staff raised $1,700 for the What If? Foundation by selling Peace Day T-shirts. And their Global Action Club held bake sales and raffled off a special lunch to raise hundreds more.
A PARTYLITE CANDLE PARTY
At left is a photo of guests at a PartyLite candle party Leslie Barstow hosted in Seattle, WA, as a fundraiser for the What If? Foundation. She tells us that if you contact PartyLite to organize a fundraising party, the company will donate 50% of party profits to the nonprofit of your choice! This was one of two PartyLite fundraisers organized in the Seattle area. Check out the company’s website for more information at www.partylite.com.
“HELP FOR HAITI”: ONE CHILD STEPS UP TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHILDREN IN HAITI
In May, Gage Weber, who goes to First Congregational Church in Council Bluffs, IA, told his congregation that he wanted to raise money for children in Haiti who were affected by the January earthquake. Gage headed up a collection at his church and at Bloomer Elementary and at the end of the summer, as a result of his dedication and hard work, we received a check for $1,220 to help the children. Thank you Gage!
STUDENTS HOST A BAKE SALE
Students at Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley organized a bake sale to raise money to raise money for What If, and raised over $1,700!
Tim Jenkins, an active member of St. John’s UCC Church in Richmond, VA, gathered recipes for Haitian food and enrolled a friend who is a chef and others to help him create a Haitian dinner to benefit What If. He then went on to encourage other churches in the Richmond area to host fundraising dinners for What If. He has also been inviting people to read and discuss Margaret Trost’s book. We appreciate all he is doing to support the Foundation’s work in Haiti!
DONATIONS FROM A BAR MITZVAH
13 year-old Daniel Fine-Salan raised $300 for the children in Haiti by asking guests at his Bar Mitzvah to consider a donation to the What If? Foundation in lieu of gifts. Thank you Daniel!
“ART FOR HAITI”
A group in Saxtons River, VT, has been raising money for the foundation by selling pies, Haitian tin art cut from steel drums, and cookies. Each year, they purchase Haitian art to sell at their town’s 4th of July celebration and donate all profits to What If. The person who supplies them with the artwork, Kurk Lyons, travels to Haiti to buy the art in an effort to support and promote local Haitian artists.
A CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
When Grace Mazzotta turned 6 she asked that people consider donating to the What If? Foundation instead of giving her gifts. How incredible is that?!? Thank you Grace!
“LEMONADE FOR HAITI”
Eight-year-old Antonio Augustine decided to have a lemonade stand to raise money for What If and his younger sister Natasha, aged 7, decided to help him. Their parents got permission for the whole family to set up a lemonade stand at a local farmers’ market and they raised enough money to feed a lot of children in Haiti.
They had so much fun doing it together in July that they did it again in August!
A BOOK CLUB GATHERING
Marty Steinberger suggested that the women in her book club in Coral Gables, FL, read Margaret Trost’s book, On That Day Everybody Ate: One Woman’s Story of Hope and Possibility in Haiti. Then she invited them to make contributions to What If. Thank you Marty, Jan, Melinda, Sybil and Barbara.
PROCEEDS DONATED FROM SALE OF SINGING ROOSTER COFFEE
JustFaith Project Haiti, a grassroots effort based in Madison, WI, donated part of the proceeds from their sales of Singing Rooster Hatian Mountain Blue Coffee to What If.
“FAMILY NIGHT FOR HAITI”
Danceversity, a non-profit multicultural dance education program in Berkeley, CA, presented an evening of cultural performances by dancers of all ages as a benefit to the What If? Foundation. Thank you to Hannah Romanowsky for creating this amazing event.
“TIPS FOR HAITI”
St. Martin’s Table is a vegetarian restaurant with a fair trade gift and book store in Minneapolis, MN, that is dedicated to peace-making, non-violence, and social justice. It is the practice of the restaurant’s volunteer servers to donate the tips they earn to a different organization working to alleviate hunger each month. In June 2010 they donated over $2300 to the What If? Foundation.
KENSINGTON ELEMENTARY MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE
In the spring of 2010, students at Kensington Elementary in Kensington, CA, with the support of teachers, staff and parents, raised thousands of dollars for the What If? Foundation. The students initiated bake sales and a walk-a-thon, collected loose change, sold t-shirts, and even gathered proceeds from a play.
Thank you to the whole Kensington Elementary community!
A GARAGE SALE
Ellen Lee wanted to help, so she raised money by organizing a garage sale. The next year she organized another one, with a group of friends.
SALE OF SCULPTURE
When someone asked Ray Downs, a sculptor in Cumberland, MD, if they could pay him for a piece they wanted to buy from him, Ray asked them to send the money they would pay for the piece to the What If? Foundation. Thank you Ray!
“FISH BANKS FOR HAITI”
Eight members of a confirmation class at Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Picket, WI, were inspired to engage their congregation in a fund raising project after reading Margaret’s book. Each member of their congregation was given a cardboard “fish bank” to keep at home for one month. Each day of that month, people were invited to place a “gratitude donation” to What If in the bank if they were moved to. The members of the confirmation class wanted to help others to see that even a small group can make a big difference, and they did.
A QUILT RAFFLE
Karen Grady made this beautiful quilt, put it on display in the Sonoma State library and raffled it off to raise funds for the What If? Foundation. One of the librarians won the raffle!
“DOWNEAST HEARTS HELPING HAITI”
Whole Life Natural Market in Machias, ME, raised hundreds of dollars for the foundation by hosting a raffle for a large gift basket of natural food.
“FRIENDS OF HAITI” PLEDGE TO SUPPORT WHAT IF
A small group of people in the village of Saxtons River, Vermont, wondered if their small donations to the What If? Foundation could possibly make a dent in the problems Haitians are facing. They decided to invite others to join them by making a pledge to the What If? Foundation each month though the foundation’s Monthly Giving Circle. They welcome others to join them. They write: “You don’t need to say how much you will contribute, just that you will. If you write “Friends of Haiti” on your check, or in the information box when you contribute online, the What If? Foundation will know you are joining our group. Thank you!”
The Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield, MN, with representatives from St. Olaf College, Carleton College, the First United Church of Christ and the local community, hosted a fundraiser at the Grand Event Center in Northfield. The Brothers Frantzich along with bands from St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges and singers from Northfield High School performed. Carleton College and local businesses helped cover expenses so that all ticket proceeds went directly to the What If? Foundation and two other organizations working in Haiti.
“FAT TUESDAY TALENT SHOW AND DINNER”
A Youth Group at Lake Edge United Church of Christ (UCC) raised funds by organizing and selling tickets to a talent show and dinner. We appreciate the continued support of the church’s generous congregation.
“CAL-FAST FOR HAITI”
Hundreds of students at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, raised over $1500 in one day by asking St. Olaf to donate the money that would have been used to provide the college students with lunch that day to the What If? Foundation.
“NOU LA TOUJOU” BENEFIT CONCERT FOR HAITI
The First Unitarian Church of Oakland created a fundraiser called Nou La Toujou, which included performances by the Oakland Youth Chorus and other area musicians. Margaret Trost spoke at the event.
“BRACELETS FOR HAITI”
Students at Monova Grove High School in Cottage Grove, WI, made beautiful bracelets to sell to raise money for Haiti, and to send to children in Haiti. When they sent us the funds they raised through sales, they also sent us “190 bracelets for 190 wrists.” On their April trip to Haiti, Margaret and Caitlin had the pleasure of seeing the delight on the children’s faces when they received their new bracelets.Thank you to the Environmental Club at Monrovia Grove High School!
“HOPE FROM HERE TO THERE“ CHANGE DRIVE
Tiponi Tipton, a 4th grader at Suwannee Intermediate School in Live Oak, FL, was inspired to organize a two-week fundraiser at her school to raise money for the food program in Haiti. She collected change in each classroom, created a video asking students to help, and helped count the change that was collected. What an inspiration she is to us all!
YOGA CLASSES FOR HAITI
Yoga teachers Saraswathi Devi (Berkeley, CA), Jayla Klein (Santa Cruz, CA), and Claudia Berman (Newberg, OR) donated earnings from yoga classes they taught.
“SILENT AUCTION FOR HAITI”
Teens at The First Church in Salem, in Salem, MA, held a silent auction to earn money to support What If?’s programs in Haiti. They thanked us for helping them understand that “every act of love makes a difference.” We thank them for reminding us of the same.
The “HANDS FOR HOPE CAMPAIGN” flyer reads:
“Hello, we would like to help the children of Haiti. We think we should help them get money to save their lives. Ordinary kids like you and me don’t really feel the pain that the kids of Haiti are feeling so we’re starting a fundraiser to help feed the poor people of Haiti.
“We would like to ask you to donate $1 or more!!! to the What If? Foundation that helps feed people in Haiti. Our idea is to draw your hand on a piece of paper, write HANDS OF HOPE, sign your name on it and then attach your dollar (or more) and send it to our moms! Thank you so much for helping us to help them! Makenzie, Kyle, Alex and Mateo
“THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST” THEATRE BENEFIT
In early March Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma, CA, presented its annual very Irish drama production as a benefit for the What If? Foundation, and to set the mood for St. Patrick’s Day in Sonoma. A good time was had by all, including Margaret Trost, who had the good fortune to spend one night having dinner at the pub and seeing the show.
“HELPING HANDS FOR HAITI” COIN DRIVE
The Taylor Prairie Elementary School raised a lot of money for What If? by collecting spare change in their community. (See photo at right) Thank you!
“RAISE THE ROOF FOR HAITI” DANCE PARTY
A big dance party was held at the Center for Conscious Living in Madison, WI, to raise money for the What If? Foundation and the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.
“LOVE FOR HAITI” DANCE WORKSHOP
The San Francisco dance company Funkbrella created a dance workshop called “Love for Haiti”. Please check out the video below.