When families network with local organizations, children thrive.
That same power-of-community concept applies to ChildFund supporters. Individual sponsors and donors already make a tremendous difference in children’s lives. Yet, when they come together as a group, the potential to assist children greatly expands.
In Richmond, Va., the first Friends of ChildFund group has formed to generate more public awareness of ChildFund’s mission and to increase child sponsorships and contributions through fundraising events.
Nancy Jordan chairs the group, which has grown to more than 20 members in a few months. Ivy Caravati serves as secretary. An early project, a spring car wash organized as a community service project with a local school, raised several hundred dollars for ChildFund.
Friends of ChildFund Richmond is currently planning a series of awareness and fundraising events for the coming year. “We like the idea of children helping children,” says Jordan. “So we’re exploring opportunities to work with local schools to develop fundraising projects, either through special events like car washes or involving students in ChildFund’s Gifts of Love and Hope catalog that delivers tangible items like baby chicks, school supplies and mosquito nets to children around the world.”
A spring 2011 fundraiser also is being planned with a popular Richmond crafts and gifts show, which offers sneak-peek admission in exchange for a charitable donation. Myriad other ideas are percolating among group members.
Kelly Armstrong, who sponsors three children in Africa and India near the ages of her own two sons and daughter, sees the Friends of ChildFund group as a way to spread the word about both the importance and the rewards of sponsorship.
“My husband and I began sponsoring these children around Thanksgiving four years ago because we wanted our children to be thankful for all that they have and open their eyes up to the world around them,” she says. “We wanted to show them that not everyone is as economically fortunate. It’s a way for our family to teach our children the core values we believe in — within the society we live in.”
Although Kelly helped with the letter writing early on, the Armstrong children, ages 6, 7 and 9, are now writing on their own and getting letters back. Her oldest son dreams of one day traveling to Africa and meeting his friend. “They are learning the similarities and differences in each other’s worlds,” she notes.
Through the Friends of ChildFund group, Kelly says she is looking forward to sharing her sponsorship experiences with others and inviting them to join the ChildFund community.
An online tool kit is available to support Friends of ChildFund groups. The tools, which include fact sheets, photos, FAQs and a ready-made presentation, make it easy to share ChildFund’s story and educate others.
In addition, the tool kit offers links to ChildFund videos and introductions to social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Other components provide fundraising ideas and suggestions for how members can support ongoing projects at ChildFund.