Sunday, January 20, 2013

Raising Little Heroes: Red Cross Potluck

When word officially got out around town about Raising Little Heroes, the upcoming project at that time was slated to be a bake sale to benefit the Red Cross/Hurricane Sandy relief.  Since so many people were joining the group all at once, I suddenly became a million times more motivated to make these events happen and so began calling around town, trying to find a place to actually have the bake sale.  I felt really hopeful at first but it quickly became clear that it would be nearly impossible to find a location.  We live in a city, so any location that gets the amount of traffic we would be hoping to get is owned by either the city, university or a company.  I explored as many avenues as I could think of and ran into dead ends, red tape and really high fees at every turn.  I started to feel really defeated when the idea came to me to have a fundraiser dinner instead.  I thought it would be a great way to get all of us together, since so many of us have never met and I knew that although it too would be very challenging to pull off, it was more realistic than the bake sale (such a surprising realization!).  Initially, I wanted to find a way to have food donated so that I could just invite all of these wonderfully enthusiastic members (most of whom I've never met) to a party and welcome them to this new group without having to ask them to bring anything other than themselves and a donation for the Red Cross with them.  It took a few weeks for reality to set in though, and at that point I realized that although we'd probably get a smaller crowd it made much more sense to make the party a potluck.

I am fond of potlucks myself, as I think it brings out the folks who are REALLY interested in being a part of the community.  I was also picturing having the kids work on a craft/activity related to the work we are doing so in general I was excited about the idea of getting us all together for an evening.  At the same time though, I felt disappointed that I'd not only be asking people to bring food but also extra money to donate to the Red Cross.   Despite that doubt, I plowed ahead with plans along with the help, encouragement and support of a few other RLH members whom I'd roped into heading up committees (Hayley Kooiman, Annie Woodward, Jessica Jacobson, Kelly Russack and Emily Conkey) and the VP of Community Programming at the YMCA, Shaun Barnes.  We were able to secure a space at Wesley Fellowship Hall here in Boulder and I had starting having some great conversations about the vision of our group with a representative from the Red Cross, James Knowles.  James works in Denver but he came our way once for our leadership team meeting and again for the actual potluck.  He was really supportive throughout the whole process and I'm so glad we were able to contact him for this event.

When all was said and done, we ended up with a really lovely evening.  The craft committee set up a really fun, welcoming area for the kids to work on letters/cards/pictures that we sent along with James at the end of the night.  James promised that he'd have the kids artwork delivered to families on the East Coast who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy so it was so nice to feel like we'd made a personal connection in some way.  The door prize committee spoiled us with the AMAZING prizes they were able to score (honestly, I think every family in attendance got a prize) and the food was really yummy.  We even had Megan Prentice from Project C.U.R.E. come to talk with us about our February project, Kits for Kids.  Everyone there seemed to have a really nice time and so by the end of the night I felt pretty satisfied.  We ended up collecting enough donations ($205.58) to provide food and shelter for a family of 4 for 1 night in a shelter.  The service includes preparation of breakfast, lunch and dinner, the costs to mobilize and distribute a cot, two blankets and a comfort kit as well as the costs of Red Cross workers to provide the service.  Pretty great!

The following local organizations and individuals were kind enough to donate door prizes for our event.  I really can't thank them all enough so I hope you'll help me in supporting them as often as you can:

Hannah Gaitten from doTERRA Essential Oils 
**Hannah Gaitten, doTERRA independent Product Consultant, is offering a free consultation to anyone interested in learning more about Essential Oils and how you can benefit from them physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally**
You can contact Hannah at the email address or phone number below and be sure to check out her website.  When you contact her for your free consultation, please mention that you heard about her through Raising Little Heroes.

 Amber Selzer

Cyndi Gittes

Shaun Barnes from the YMCA of Boulder Valley


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