This blog was written by guest-blogger, Erin Mackey.
Knock… knock… knock. I stood anxiously waiting for my neighbors, Mr. Al and Ms. Lisa, to open their front door. As the doorknob turned I could feel my face turning a deep shade of scarlet and my palms becoming moist. The door opened and Mr. Al stood before me. In that moment it took every ounce of my 8-year-old self to mutter the words: “Would you like to buy some wrapping paper?”
While my grandparent-like neighbors were very gracious and bought more wrapping paper than they most-likely needed, those early days of fundraising not only gave me a lesson in self-confidence but also an introduction in hard work and persistence. Yes, Mr. Al and Ms. Lisa bought my wrapping paper, but not all of my neighbors were as willing. Following that initial introduction of selling wrapping paper as part of St. Ann’s fundraiser, fundraising soon became an inevitable part of my years in Catholic school. Want to participate in the Walk-A-Thon? Fundraise. Interested in going on a service trip? Fundraise. I soon got over my fears and was able to participate in countless events over the course of my schooling thanks to the various fundraisers that I carried out. Now, as an adult, I reflect back on that time and think about all the great opportunities I was privileged to experience. I must admit, I loved school! As a kid I would pull out my uniform from its summer hibernation, happy to see my forgotten plaid. And, yes, I was also the one who loved shopping for back to school supplies. When I think about my overall experience attending Catholic school and participating in countless events, I also think about those who were unable to share in similar childhood experiences. While I was out selling wrapping paper or chocolate there were children around the world yearning to go to school. But, I am happy to say there is a way to change this! This year, as part of your Helping Hands Fall Essentials Kit, I encourage you to take your fundraising to a new level by choosing fair trade! CRS partners Equal Exchange and Serrv, offer two great options for fundraising.
What makes these fundraisers unique from others? Global impact. When you fundraise with CRS partners for your Helping Hands event, you are making a difference in the lives of people around the world. By holding a fair trade fundraiser, you support artisans and farmers who skillfully make the products you sell. Fair trade brings dignity to the workplace, provides opportunities for children to attend school and makes communities stronger. Start fundraising for your next Helping Hands event today. Fundraise the fair trade way! Know someone who loves coffee or has a sweet tooth? Equal Exchange offers an amazing fundraising opportunity for those interested in selling treats. Choose from delicious chocolate and coffee and earn 40% profit. Everything you need to get started can be found HERE! Do you like gathering your community for fun events or hosting friends? Serrv offers a fun way to share fair trade with your community. Through CRS Community Orders choose from hundreds of handmade fair trade gifts from around the world and earn 20% profit. Everything you need to get started can be found HERE.
I wonder what my fundraising days would have looked like if these had been around when I was a kid. If I had known more about the people who made the products would I have been more inclined to share the story and the impact? I think so! Thankfully, times have changed. So, I hope these fundraising options offer you and your community a fun new opportunity. Make a difference through your purchases and fundraise the fair trade way today!
Erin Mackey works on the CRS Fair Trade team and is passionate about living her faith as an ethical consumer.