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How High Will Emily Go?

June 2, 2016

Emily is easily the nicest person you’ll meet this year. 

She’s a surfer. A tri-athlete. A former competitive snowboarder. A dental hygienist. A world traveller. A proud mama of three. And a rock climber. Sheesh, Emily! Watching Emily climb is like watching the Mona Lisa in motion. We caught up with her to find out how she used her obsession with talent for climbing to raise $2300 for refugees.  

Hi Emily! Tell us what made you decide to do a fundraiser?

My friend Nanette and I came up with the idea together. We wanted our kids to be part of raising money for something important. We decided to fundraise for The International Rescue Committee to help aid the refugee crisis in Syria. The IRC focuses on the protection, education and health care of vulnerable women and children, and we thought that would resonate with our friends and community.

Tell us about your fundraiser idea.

We called our fundraiser “Chores for Charity.” We wanted to get kids involved because so many of the refugees are children. My kids made a few posters that said “Chores for Charity” and did a one-minute presentation to their school class about doing chores at home or for neighbors/grandparents and donating the money to kids in Syria who need our help. The family that raised the most money won 4 passes donated by our local climbing gym that included instruction from me. The family who raised the second highest amount won a commissioned painting by a friend of mine. At the end of the two weeks, I hosted a donut party for all local participants. It was so fun to have the kids and their friends get involved.

How did you get people involved?

We “released” our campaign in a series of Instagram posts, raising awareness for the magnitude of the crisis. Then for two weeks we advertised on Facebook and Instagram, with reminders about raising money.

How did participants contribute?

We had book clubs donate. Someone hosted a makeup party and donated her 25% commission. Someone else commissioned three paintings and donated all of the money she earned. Someone hosted a bake sale. But most of our money came from families donating small amounts each. Kids brought pockets full of change they earned from raking leaves for neighbors. Just a few dollars from a lot of people added up.

What part of the experience did you find most meaningful?

It was interesting to see my kids reaction to our explanation of the refugee crisis in Syria. The idea that kids were sleeping outside with not enough food or blankets really stood out to them. Many of our friends expressed appreciation for the opportunity to get kids involved and talk about the refugee crisis. The fundraiser opened good lines of communication at home.

Tell us about your party!

I am not a party planner or able to host beautiful events. But I know kids like donuts and will do almost anything to get one. So after a full day of carpool, school drops and errands, I literally just moved the pile of laundry waiting to be folded off of my kitchen table and covered the table with boxes of donuts donated by local bakeries. (They were excited to support our small fundraiser.) It was a quick one-hour party on a Friday afternoon. Kids were just flying in and out of the door to grab a donut and get back to the neighborhood game of tag going on outside. It was very little set up/clean up…exactly the kind of party I was interested in having!

Thank you, Emily! Any other rock climbers out there? Donut lovers? How do you unwind or energize? Choose a cause you care about and turn your favorite activity into a fundraiser today.  

Support a Cause You Care About → MORE INSPIRATION
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