"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." - Buddha

Just two girls wanting to help out
Check out my fellow collaborator Alexa: http://alexapgps20time.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's Time To Reflect

So this past school year, Alexa and I tried to take on the challenge of hosting a first year St. Jude fundraiser at our high school. When we first chose to do this, the end of the school year seemed very far away. We believed we had plenty of time. We were way too laid back and didn't realize how much behind the scenes paperwork had to be done for this event. Though I am disappointed in the fact that Alexa and I were mostly on our own for this event. We had really no help for most of the year and I think that really hurt us. We had no idea how much paperwork and forms had to be created/approved and no one was there to tell us what had to get done. If I had known of all the paperwork that had to get done that would have been my first priority. Not organizing prizes and games for the event. Though I still regret not being more on top of this event and making sure all the details were checked off. We didn't realize how much had to be done until a few weeks until our event and that's when everything came tumbling down on us. Not only did our date fall through but this is when all the adults finally stepped in and said "okay so you don't have this, this, and this done. Where is it?" My only response is that I didn't know "this, this and this" had to be done so I don't have it! It was very frustrating and stressful to say the least but I wish I had communicated better with my teachers so they could have known that we needed help. That way all of the commotion at the end of this project wouldn't have happened and we would be holding our event this school year instead of next.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Getting Closer

Our event is about a month away! It is so exciting for it to be getting a lot closer and I can't wait for it to finally happen. So far we have our schedule for the night, which includes a ton of eating, doing fun activities to win prizes, and doing activities that sponsor St. Jude. Basically the kids will show up a little bit before 11 p.m and we will check everyone in. During that time we will also be getting people pumped up with St. Jude promo videos, music and icebreakers. Then our next event will be doing a service project for St. Jude, either writing letters to the kids at St. Jude, making room decorations for them, and/or creating a lip-dub for them to make them happy. Then throughout the rest of the night we will do fun bonding activities to win prizes. Our prizes include a Windows tablet, Tigers tickets, concert tickets to concert of choice at the Palace, an autographed item from Taylor Swift, a SoccerGrlProbs basket, and several more we are working on getting. We will also have breaks throughout the night, like late night dinner and a movie. Of course the movie will have a lot of action so no one will be able to sleep. Hopefully this week we are officially launching our event though it's hard at my school because I have to get permission from the administrators just to be able to set a table up in the hallway. It's frustrating how many hoops I have to jump through for me to do a charity event but in the end, it's all worth it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Get To Work

Now that our event is actually an official thing now, we actually have to start working super hard. Like really hard. Our biggest project right now is getting businesses to sponsor us. It sounds like a pretty easy thing to do but its harder than it seems. Some businesses are totally for it while others are hesitant or just totally against it. It frustrates us a little bit when we are rejected because we don't understand how a business wouldn't want to sponsor our event. It's helping children live! Anyways after totaling up most of what we will have to spend on the event, we will need at least eleven sponsors to make this event 100% for St. Jude. Again, it sounds easier than it is. Luckily I live in a town where there are many independently owned businesses that I believe would love to sponsor us. After we get the money from our sponsors, that is when we can actually start hiring people and activities. We are hoping to have a magician, henna tattoo artist, caricature artist and a hypnotist at our event at different points in the night. As for activities we are hoping for laser tag, mechanical bull, obstacle course, Velcro wall, photo booths, etc. All of these activities are really fun to look at and think about having, but unfortanely, the price tag makes it less fun when you have to come up with the money on your own. This is going to test us to see if we can actually take it and I'm ready for it!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Save The Date

The event is in full swing! We have the building reserved for May 15, which is the second Friday in May so save the date! We finally put together our committee so we can get some extra help for this project. So far we have had a couple meetings together and it's super nice to have extra hands who have connections with people that we would never be able to contact. When we put together our committee we made sure to get all grades included so nobody would feel unaccounted for. I picked out the people in the other grades who weren't sophomores and it's really nice because I get to spend more time with people that I don't get to see a lot. Plus I get their input on what they think their grade would enjoy. I had another call with the St. Jude representative, just as like an update call, and he said it sounds like we got everything taken care of. We are right on track with what we need to do, which includes creating certain documents, contacting businesses for sponsorship and getting in contact with people for activities to do during the night. Every business we have talked to about hiring them for activities have given us really good reduced prices, all because it's a St. Jude fundraiser. It makes me feel happy that people are still out there who will do that kind of stuff. Like this is their business and they're taking around $500 off of the price. It amazes me. Anyway the event is going to happen, like it's official. They are in the process of making the website so people are able to donate money online and create accounts so they can see how much they collect. It's all very exciting.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lazar Tag, Karaoke, and Bull Rides Oh My

For the past week I have been on mid-winter break and I've been constantly thinking about our event. I've had a bunch of free time so I've been working really hard on getting things set up. I've contacted several different event companies who own inflatables, games and different activities along those lines. What I've been focusing on is if they have activities that I think would draw high school students to the event. I've been looking at rentable lazar tag equipment, mechanical bull rides, sumo wrestling suits, giant hamster balls, etc. Just fun activities like that people would enjoy and participate in throughout the night. As I start thinking of having to entertain teenagers for twelve straight hours, I start to wonder if I have enough activities. I'm thinking of borrowing peoples ping pong tables, air hockey tables, and foosball tables so people can stay entertained. I'm also trying to get something along the lines of a someone who does caricatures or henna tattoos to come for some of the night. I've already decided we will show a movie but of course, that movie is undecided. Also part of the night is dedicated to making items for the kids at St. Jude. It will be whatever they need, blankets, care packages or even just cards of encouragement. I'm also looking into getting some source of music, whether that be a DJ or a band of a sort. I've tried to contact a few small artists, hoping they will be willing to make an appearance during the night because that would be a big draw for kids. Of course there will also be an abundance of food, mostly pizza, drinks, snack foods, and desserts. Just the perfect recipe for teenagers. This might seem super overwhelming but I'm not worried. But Alexa, well let's just say she gets freaked out easily.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let's Get This Show on the Road

For at least the past month Alexa and I have been communicating with the Michigan representatives over emails and phone calls. Though this Tuesday we are finally meeting them face to face. Since we got the okay from our principal to host this event the St. Jude representatives said they would love to come meet our principal, Alexa and I to further discuss the details of the event. Alexa and I are very excited to have this meeting with them and know what we have to start doing to really get this show on the road. We both know that before we start raising money for St. Jude, we have to offer an event that is interesting and exciting to students to make them want to come. We've been looking at different activites teenagers would like to do that we would be able to set up in our school. We looked at lazar tag equipment and we found a guy who has an inflatable lazar tag course that we could use. We are currently waiting on an email back from him on whether or not he would be okay with donating the course. I've also been looking at photo booths and other things like that. The hardest part is getting the person to donate their item because these items all cost money. Though we are hoping that they will agree to donate to help cure cancer. We are also starting to look at businesses that we think would match the total amount of money we collect. That way whatever money we make, the company can basically double it! Alexa and I are both very excited to be putting on this event and we can't wait until we have a clear path ahead of what we need to do.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Event is Going To Happen!

Wow this past week has been super exciting! I have been in contact with a St. Jude Michigan representative and we have been exchanging emails all week. I presented the idea of my high school hosting the Up Till Dawn event, which was shot down because it's a college event. Though after he considered it, he decided why not! They are trying to get more high school students involved with St. Jude and he thought this would be a great step in that direction. In one of his emails he suggested that we have a phone call to talk about the event and the direction we want it to go in. Alexa and I picked out a time when we were both free and scheduled a talk with him after school. Before the call, Alexa and I gathered our thoughts on what we wanted this event to be and wrote them down. We felt fully prepared to share our ideas and convince him that we are very passionate about doing this event. We talked with the representative for at least a half hour about the event and it was very exciting. Alexa and I couldn't stop smiling! He kept applauding us on our efforts and he said that he could tell that we are very passionate about this event. At the end of the talk we agreed on writing up a proposal on the essentials of the event to present to our school. He also brought up the idea that we could form a St. Jude club at our school, which would essentially be a tiny committee that would help us plan the event. This club could then go on for several years, even after Alexa and I graduate. It could be a lasting legacy at our high school. So look out South, St. Jude is coming your way!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Things Are Getting Exciting

Lately things have been heating up. Over our nice long Christmas break, I was determined to get a lot of work done on our project. I was hoping to meet with Alexa over break but whenever I was free, she was busy and vice versa. So we resorted to texting and writing down our own expectations and ideas for our project. We are both mainly on the same page for ways to raise money and get our whole community involved, which is super exciting. The only let down was receiving an email from St. Jude saying that we can not do an Up Till Dawn event at our school because it is for a college setting. They presented us with other events we could do at our school but Alexa and I had no interest in them. We have our minds set on the Up Till Dawn event. We decided to pitch the idea to them to let us host an Up Till Dawn except have it be high schoolers called Up Till Dawn Jr. St. Jude allows you to present ideas to them for fundraising events so we are hoping that they will let us go through with it. Expecting St. Jude to go along with our event, we started coming up with ways to raise money. One way we know would make money would be a raffle at our school. We would sell tickets for a dollar during lunch and you could place your ticket in the bin of the item you wanted. Alexa and I started brainstorming and coming up with businesses that would donate items to be raffled off. One business we are hoping to connect with is Microsoft. Alexa's aunt works for Microsoft and the last fundraiser Alexa did, her aunt got Microsoft to donate a Xbox One to raffled off. That just made me super excited because I know that item will get people excited about raising money. We quickly texted her aunt about the Xbox and her aunt texted back saying she will see what she can get us. We also started thinking about businesses that would match what we would raise. Also we are working on a special side event that could hopefully raise money for St. Jude but it's a secret so I can't tell you yet! Just know that it's incredibly awesome. So as of right now, I'm super excited about our project. I can't wait until we have the set date for the event and we can get this party started!