This summer I planned a fundraiser for a company called Doc Wayne Youth Services. This non-profit organization works with children and teens of all genders who have suffered from trauma which has caused them to have mental health issues. Doc Wayne uses sport-based therapy to help treat mental health and break the stigma on getting help for mental illnesses. Many children don’t get the help they need to treat mental illnesses. Mental health is important to me and I like playing sports, specifically tennis. Doc Wayne combines the two and helps change children’s lives.
Helen and I (from Teen JUST-Us) were paired up to design a sports-based fundraiser. We decided our event would be a soccer match. We decided on soccer because soccer is a popular sport and everyone can play. I had never planned a fundraiser or big event before but was excited to do so. We first had to decide where the fundraiser was going to take place and decided it should be in Brookline at a big field that has access to bathrooms. Then we decided we didn’t want this to be any ordinary soccer match. We had to come up with ideas so that more people were interested in attending our event, so we decided to not only have a regular soccer match but also a shoot out drill. Along with a raffle-like activity, we had to determine a prize for the winner.
Next, we had to find people who would help donate so our event could come to life. I learned a lot about how donations from different businesses work. I had to call and apply to banks and local businesses to ask for donations. This was difficult because some of the business did not call me back to confirm or deny getting a donation. Although eventually we received a fifty dollar gift card to Nike which would be the prize for the winner of our raffle activity. We were really glad we got the gift card!
We built a website for people to sign up and donate. I wrote the backstory about Doc Wayne’s mission to give donors and website visitors more insight. While building our website, we were still waiting for businesses to respond to our donation requests. I was getting a little frustrated waiting to hear back since our event was coming up in a couple of weeks. I learned how things take time in the business world and not everyone can make a decision right away.
After finishing this program, I feel like I have much more experience making phone calls, writing emails and just communicating with people. Working on this event was so rewarding from planning this event and knowing we made a change to help children to get the help they need.