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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone! I'm helping plan a fundraising event for a dear family friend who was recently paralyzed, and whose husband is recovering from a hip replacement, and also has dementia. She's being released from rehab next week, and they're having to remodel parts of their duplex to make it wheelchair accessible. They've also had to hire home health care for the both of them, so they're facing so many expenses right now.

The date for the benefit is the week before Halloween, and part of the fundraiser will include a silent auction and raffle. So, my mom and I were thinking of including some Halloween items. The crowd will mostly respond to Texas and country style stuff, so more rustic and country styles would be appropriate.

If anyone knows of who I could ask for item donations, or if any of you are interested in donating anything, please let me know! You can learn more about our friend Tammy and her husband Calvin, and the event on our website: http://helptammyjam.wordpress.com/.

Any suggestions are welcome - TIA!
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I'd pick a couple of local strip malls near her & start at one end & go to the other. Hit all the stores & ask if they'd like to donate. Some will, some won't, don't take it personally. Try anything they frequent, like her hair/nail salon or their favourite restaurant or grocery store, etc. Places where they may know her or recognize them both may be more likely to donate.

Make sure you have all the info about your cause, whether it's Tammy or anything else, because they'll ask. The worst that will happen is they'll say no. Then you can move on to the next one.

I've only done this for our fire dept. so any donation was tax deductible. Donors got a donation amount form so they could take it off their taxes. Not sure if that's the case with your friends but if it is make sure to mention it & have plenty of whatever form you need to give them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, RCIAG! We have a great team of people working on the event, and we've already asked quite a few local businesses and a few larger chains for donations so far. We specifically talked about Halloween and Christmas items since the event is at the end of October, so I instantly thought of the group here!

I'm experienced in cold calling and asking for donations, so I'm very persistent, and don't take "no"s personally. :)

Are you a fireman, or do you work for your city?
 

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In the distant past, doing somthing similar, I have literally grabbed the phone book and called every number in it. When I was a telemarketer (before the no-call list) that was how we cold-called.
As a recipient rather than a maker of cold calls, I usually disconnect if I don't hear a name and ID first thing. If they say "Can I talk to John?" I immediately hang up. If I hear "This is Suzie with VinylGrain Windows. May I speak t John?" it keeps me on the phone longer, and I may even make an appointment. But I sure won't do it if someone won't ID herself.
I suggest you ID yourself first, Tell them you're looking for donations of skills, service, or product for a fundraiser, then tell them what it's about. If it was on the news, tell them to go to the news website. Then go into the details. Don't forget you can have coupons or gift certificates of some mighty odd stuff
Ttarot card readings
A local garage band may volunteer a night of music,
Cake decorator - certificate to decorate 1 dozen cupcakes (rather than the cupcakes themselves. With this, it can be graduation colors, or baby shower colors, whatever)
Dog walker donates a week of walking
Christmas light people may donate a front decoration (I have no idea what these people are called. They decorate your house with lights and take them down when the holiday is over. Costs a bundle, so this would be a good prize)
Tailoring -- I am short and if I won a free hemming for my skirts or pants, I would be happy.
Cooking lessons -- ask your local Thai restaurant if they will teach a class in the winner's house on how to cook two or three dishes.
Farmer's Market -- go ask everyone at Farmer's Market who makes stuff: local beer, goat soap, jelly, honey , beef jerky, certificates for locally-grown lamb ... get one jar of each, one bar of soap and make mixed baskets (full credit to all vendors).
Ask your local hospitals. People don't think about hospitals, but they have meeting rooms. Maybe a certificate for a room rental with light catering (beverages only)?
Oil changes -- get twelve places to donate a single oil change and you have a year of oil changes, and the winner gets to decide who he likes best.
Lawn mowing or aeration
Pet food -- if your friends have pets who eat Purina products or use Tidy Pets litter, contact the companies and tell them the story. See if they will donate a gift basket of products.

That said, don't ask for monetary donations. Direct them to a bank or some neutral third party where they can verify info. Two weeks ago I got a Jury Duty scam call where the caller asked for me by name and address, told me there were warrants out for my arrest for failing to appear in front of a judge due to missed jury duty, and he would walk me through the process of paying my fines. When I said I didn't have a cell phone, and asked someone in the room to call the courthouse to verify, the caller hung up. I called the local sheriff, and the courthouses for my county and the county next door to alert them. So people may be distrustful. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all of the ideas! I've been working with mostly people we know and friends of friends so far (we know a lot of people,) but we'll soon branch out to other businesses we aren't directly affiliated with. I've been trying to come up with "experience" ideas (meeting with a local celebrity, bungee jumping, etc.) I'm trying to get a donation fund set up with the family's bank (another friend used a site, but most of us organizing the benefit feel the site isn't right for our cause.) So, it looks like we're on the right track. I've definitely made my share of cold calls, so I have no problem with explaining who I am, or with rejection, which is helpful.
Also, I'm so glad you alerted the police in your area about the scam call you received - so many people don't think to do that.
 
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