Throughout my summer internship with the Teen JUST-US program, I had the amazing assignment to work with Doc Wayne Youth Services. Doc Wayne focuses on helping children of many ages with mental health issues through sport-based therapy. I was also assigned to an amazing mentor from Positive Tracks, who helped organize the sporting event details. The company’s mission is to “equip young adults with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to change the world through the power of physical activity.” Positive Tracks was there every step of the way to guide and assign tasks to organize the fundraiser up to the very day of the event.
As my partner Sarah and I were starting to design our fundraiser, we began brainstorming what activity we both enjoyed doing and what would attract a large amount of people. We made the decision to create a soccer fundraiser. While we began designing this fundraiser, we really wanted to make this an event that everyone could participate in. Additionally, we wanted to have different soccer activities so people could experiment and try new things.
One of our first tasks for designing this fundraiser was to pick a proper time and location for the fundraiser. While Sarah and I were on Zoom together, we made the decision to hold the event at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park in Brookline, since this is a beautiful field that is great for soccer and has water fountains, parking and restrooms.
After securing our location and time for the event with the town of Brookline, we started on our marketing efforts. This included creating a website and flyers for the soccer fundraiser. I spent a lot of my time designing images to go on the website, Instagram posts, and writing emails to family and friends to get donations for the Doc Wayne program, as well as getting people to attend the event.
While we were starting progress with our fundraiser, there were also a lot of key details our event needed to run smoothly, such as obtaining a permit to run an event on The Fisher Hill Reservoir from the town of Brookline. One thing that I learned while applying for a permit at the park was that communication is such an important part of business. It can be frustrating when you send out an important email to someone and they take a while to respond back. Figuring out where to get the goals, soccer balls, gift certificates all take time and coordination.
I truly learned a lot about what it is like to create and hold a fundraiser. Some of my key takeaways are to outline the entire event and all of the activities that will need to take place to make it a success, stay organized, and communicate with your co-workers and mentors when you need support. This experience also taught me how to lead and support a social justice program and raise funds including business management, all the details to putting together an event, permits, emails, and Zoom calls with my partner.
All in all, it was a great experience, making new friendships and creating something with a team member so that we could make a difference for the Doc Wayne community.