Kelly and I started 2020 optimistic with our fundraising goals. We had a great plan in place to try new fundraising adventures, mixed in with our tried a true fundraising events. Then suddenly, the world closed, COVID hit and like everyone else we were uncertain what things would be like. We kept optimistic, one month turned to two months, two months turned to three and then we realized COVID was not going anywhere. We started to lose our monthly donors and were struck with the reality that our fundraising goals would not be met. At this point we were not sure if Light Up Hope (LUH) would have enough funds through the end of the year.
Like most other non-profits we had to think of fundraising events we could hold that were COVID friendly. But as we tried to come up with ideas the rules kept changing. So, we brainstormed ideas that could take place outdoors and thought we would try a virtual fun run. This was something we had never done before, since usually races can cost a lot of money, but with COVID and everything being virtual the cost was considerably less.
When we started to market the event to take place in December, I was not sure how much we would raise if anything at all. It seemed every other organization was doing virtual events and more people were being laid off from work. Much to my pleasant surprise we had 31 people across the country sign up to participate in our 12 Days of Christmas Virtual Fun/Run walk. Each day had a theme and for every day the participants posted on our event page they got a point. We had prizes for first, second and third place winners. It was fun seeing everyone’s pictures for the 12 days. We asked everyone to share with their family and friends why they were participating in the run and try and secure donations for LUH. We also had a matching gift up to $5,000.
We were able to raise $7,083 during that 12 days and we got the matching gift of $5,000. Let me do that math for you, that is a total of $12,083!!!!! Now, does that cover our fundraising budget we had for 2020, no. BUT it makes a pretty good dent in it and allows us to go into 2021 more optimistic than we were back in March. My heart overflows with gratitude towards those 31 people who, despite of a pandemic and their own struggles, helped us raise money to continue helping those in need in Kenya.
I would also like to humbly thank those of you who give every month to LUH. Kelly and I both realize that every month you sacrifice and without you, our dependable donor base, LUH would not be where we are today. Thanks to ALL OF YOU who donated to LUH this year. Even through a pandemic HOPE still shines because of you.
Today is the last day of 2020, and it is not too late to get that end of year giving in. Please consider giving to Light Up Hope at lightuphope.org/donate and help us spread HOPE.
Happy New Years from Kelly, Diana and our LUH staff in Kenya!