Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yesterday's Fundraiser!!!

Wow! Yesterday was exhausting, but very successful. The work began on Friday night. We picked up the uhaul truck and loaded it up between my mom's house, and ours. Last minute, we had some people call who wanted to donate a few things, so we ran around and picked them up. We didn't get to bed until 1:30am. We were up at 5:45 on Saturday morning to get ourselves and Jack ready and out the door by 6:45 placing us at the fire station at 7am. There were tents to set up, tables to set up, and a truck to unload. Adam came down to help us set up, which was great, those tables were heavy! My Aunt Carole, Kristin, and Maria Teresa showed up early to help us, as well as my mom's friend Tricia and her daughter Serena. My father-in-law picked up Archie's nephews, Jasper and Jan, and they met us there too. We started getting set up and were mobbed by early birds! No joke. It was a mob. We were lucky for a Joni and Renee (two of my coworkers) who showed up to check out the yard sale after having worked all night, and they stayed for a bit to help us get set up and organized. Things were still in boxes, some things weren't even on tables yet. We had all these plans of having certain things together, being very organized and they sort of went out the window until things calmed down a little bit.

Jana and Scott arrived a little later, and we had enough people to start the car wash. Stacy and Spencer came and helped us as well. Stacy took over the silent auction table, Spencer helped with the car wash as well as my father-in-law, Jack, Jasper, Jan, and Archie. Scott took over selling drinks and raffle tickets, and Jana put on a cute skirt and her bikini top and went out to the corner to hold up a car wash sign and point people in our direction. Everyone who came out to help us worked almost nonstop. You guys were awesome, and we couldn't have done it without all of you helping. Thank you so much!

Let me just elaborate a little bit more about the people who helped us. One person is Kristin. We went to middle school together, and ended up going to different high schools. We lost touch, met up again Facebook, and when we announced that we needed help with our fundraiser, she dropped everything, asked her sister to watch her little boy, and said she'd be there to help us with whatever. Ms. Tricia went to school with my mom and they got back in touch with each other a few years ago. She volunteered to come out and help us, and brought a van full of items to sell as well. Adam is one of my friends from the fire station, and had worked all night the night before, and came down to help us in the morning to make sure we got everything that we needed and were able to get ready. He also helped Archie and the boys get things organized for the car wash. Maria Teresa and Aunt Carole are both family members who were more than willing and wanted to help. Stacy is my cousin, and her husband is Spencer. They live in Frederick and drove all the way out to help us with this big day. Both of them were very willing to help, and they have also had quite a bit going on in their lives, so when they volunteered to help us, we were so grateful.

Joni and Renee as I mentioned earlier, are my coworkers, and surprised us by showing up at all, and we thought they were just stopping by to see how it was going. This is after working 12 hours Friday night, and let me tell you as a full-time night shift nurse, you're exhausted after taking care of sick babies for 12 hours straight. Not to mention, both of these women were working Saturday and Sunday night as well, but still stayed to help us when things looked very hairy with the mob and we had not finished setting up. They didn't think twice about it, just hopped in and helped where they saw we needed it. And Joni lives in Frederick, so she didn't have a short trip home after all of that either. I almost cried, it just surprised me, and really meant a lot to us. Jana and I have been friends since our freshman year of college, and she and her husband Scott came from Annapolis to help out, while they are planning a big move to St. Mary's County next month.

Jasper and Jan are teenagers, and could have said they didn't want to help us, but wanted to hang out with their friends, or play video games, or whatever else, but they came to help us out. My father-in-law (Papalo) picked up the boys, and came down expecting to be fully responsible for Jack while we did what we needed to, but ended up helping us set up, wash cars, and keep an eye out for Jack. Okay, keeping an eye out for Jack ended up being something everyone was doing because very unexpectedly, Jack did very well and didn't complain until the very end when he was exhausted too. He helped wash cars, rode his bike around, and played SuperJack by putting a chamois used for drying cars on as a cape, riding his bike and washing cars (sometimes over again after we'd already rinsed and dried it). Friday night loading things up at my mom's house, he grabbed the two car wash buckets, and was so cute walking up the ramp to the uhaul to put them in there. Then he stood there and tried to put the buckets where he thought they should go. He was working to bring home a little brother or sister! He was such a trooper and seemed to have so much fun.

And last but not least was my mom. She's been supportive from the start with the whole adoption journey, and at first wasn't keen on the idea of fundraising to help with the costs, but after researching it more online and seeing that it was relatively common for families to do this (who usually has $20K sitting around to spend) to help with the expenses, she was totally on board. She took over making the flyers, putting together silent auction packages, helping us do whatever was needed. She's been our biggest supporter, cheerleader, and sounding board since we started this journey. And even though she swears she's going on vacation if we plan another yard sale like yesterday's, we know she'll continue to support us with all of this. It was certainly a lot of work, no doubt exhausting in the sun, heat, and some frustrations, but it was so very worth it. We appreciate the help that each and everyone of you gave, we truly could not have done it without every last person who helped us yesterday.

Lots of people came out to shop and check out us out and we really appreciated that. There were people we didn't know of course, but others we did. We had some parents from Jack's preschool come out to check out the auctions and shop, some of my mom's friends, coworkers, and old friend's (Kristin's dad and sister). It was great to see so much support for us and what we're doing. And we heard from more than one customer that they really support what we're doing, and we really appreciate that.

So, now for the information you probably were interested in seeing. How did we do? How much did we raise? Well, the car wash alone raised $217. We sold $30 in the 50/50 raffle tickets. Speaking of the raffle, the numbers on the thermometer may not look correct now, but that is because I realized that I had added the money we had sold for the raffle into that total fundraising goal amount, and only half of the money for the raffle will be ours. So there is a new thermometer just for the raffle, and the other thermometer does not include raffle money at this point. Our proceeds from our half of the raffle money will go into that after the drawing on July 31st. And a little note about the yard sale/silent auction proceeds. It will have to be updated again later, there are a few people who won the silent auction items and could not pick up their items yesterday, and therefore, we did not count the money raised from that yet. So the total you will see today is only including the funds actually collected thus far. That said, the funds raised between sales and silent auction items yesterday is $1547. That is for a grand total so far of $1764!!!!

We prayed for good weather, and a successful fundraiser with a lot of support. We got that and more. We had really hoped we would make $1000, but when we sat down and looked at what we raised yesterday, we were floored!!! We are so grateful. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us yesterday whether you got your car washed, bought or bid on items, the businesses who contributed to our silent auction, the kind comments yesterday, and everyone who came out to help us. You have no idea how much we appreciate it.

We took some pictures during the day yesterday and would like to share them with you. Some are of how we had it set up, some are of our volunteers helping us, and at the end is a picture of my sunburned feet and Jack's tiger striped feet (he was wearing sandals and already had the start of a tiger tan, but it was really pronounced after yesterday).

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