Cookie dough, discount cards, and overpriced magazine subscriptions have been laced with every sales pitch in the book to raise money for little leagues, mission trips, and a host of other nonprofit organizations and events. These fundraisers have often served their purposes, earning their rightful places on the list of “Top 10 Most Common Fundraisers.” Quite frankly, however, discount cards can be boring to sell and overpriced magazines can be found anywhere. World Orphans established Rescue Teams as an alternative to typical fundraising.
Rescue Teams are like the relationships that spark over a love for the same blend of coffee, a good book, or a funny movie. Rescue Teams begin with at least two people who want to see the 153,000,000 orphans of the world find homes. They focus on funding projects that will benefit orphans through our Church-to-Church (C2C) Partnership program. Inspired by love and motivated by passion, they are limited only by the imaginations of their team members.
When Chris and Lauren Turpaud committed to raising money for World Orphans in May, they never imagined the generous and talented team that would surround and assist them in not only raising funds, but also in spreading the story of World Orphans. The Turpauds both work at their local recreational center, where they have been able to use their talents and gifts to serve their community. The center frequently rents its facilities to local individuals for pool parties, and for Lauren, a pool party fundraiser seemed like a natural fit.
As she began planning the event, co-workers offered donations of time to staff the event, and Lauren’s supervisor provided the facility rent-free, while other friends volunteered to provide games, food, and other help. The day of the pool party was gloomy, with storm clouds looming overhead, but 30 minutes before the event, the clouds seemed to melt away as the sun came out, bringing more than 70 people from throughout the community with it. The event raised over $1,100 and showed Lauren that she was surrounded by people who were able and willing to be generous in a variety of ways – some with money, some with time, and others with resources.
Like the Turpauds, World Orphans Communications Specialist Darci Irwin is also taking a unique approach to fundraising. After 13 years of marriage and 9 years of infertility, Darci and her husband are expecting their first child, a little girl who should make her grand entrance into the world in September. The Irwins’ long journey through infertility brought them into community with a group of people who selflessly prayed, grieved, and finally celebrated with them. This 100-women-strong community also takes celebrations quite seriously and will be throwing not one, but five showers for the expecting couple.
As Darci has progressed in her pregnancy, carefully planning for the needs and desires of a tiny bundle of joy, she has come to understand God’s boundless love for the orphan in a much deeper way than ever before. With that understanding, Darci has requested that each person planning to bring a gift for her baby choose to spend less and donate that extra amount to World Orphans. All donations will go directly to Ebenezer Bible Church, a World Orphans partner in Temba, South Africa, assisting in the care for and education of 22 orphaned children in its community. Darci hopes to raise $1,000 toward this project.
Rescue Teams are not limited to fundraiser baby showers and pool parties. Other people have established Rescue Teams to start 5K races, hold yard sales, or give up their birthday gifts. World Orphans hopes to see 250 US Rescue Teams established by 2015. Teams will have the opportunity to select the project they wish to fund, whether Ebenezer Bible Church in South Africa, Fountain of Hope in Kenya, orphan prevention programs in Cambodia, or another. World Orphans wants to see people fundraising for the places and causes that the Holy Spirit has given them a burden for, knowing that passion and love for orphan care go a long way. To learn more about starting a Rescue Team, please visit www.worldorphans.org/rescueteams.