Post # 1
I’m not sure where I am supposed to post this as it really isn’t wedding related and I didn’t really think that a category in the non-wedding related boards fit. So, I will just go ahead and do it here!
One of my bridesmaids recently found out she has breast cancer. She is only 29 and has 2 small kids – 3 and 7 months. I was shocked. She is scheduled for a double mastectomy next Monday and will follow with chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy. She has NO insurance, which makes this even more difficult.
I’m not sure if she is going to be able to be in my wedding with all she has going on, but that’s not where I am looking to raise money. We are trying to figure out if we can help with dress, travel, etc. expenses. I am trying to help her with the financial expenses of the medical bills, food, and whatever else. I have done fundraising for groups/charities at work, but I’ve never raised money for an individual. Has anyone done this before?
Does anyone have any ideas for fundraising? I thought about trying to do an online silent auction…or even selling kissing balls on here in pink. But, I just don’t know if any businesses would donate for individuals. Also, people suggested restaurant fundraising – has anyone done that?
Thanks for the help!
Post # 3
you could have a large (multi family) garage sale, with all proceeds going towards her. I have heard of restaurant fundraising, which I think is pretty easy. So much of what it sold on a particular day will go to her. You just have to get the word out!
I know a few months back when we were raising money for a fellow bee that passed, on of the bees had a website people could donate directly to. I could try and find the link if you want?
Post # 4
Thanks – that would be great!
I know one restaurant around here does fundraising, but you have to find a whole group of people to come work as servers. I may be able to convince some friends and future in-laws to do that (all my family lives 9 hours away).
Post # 5
I’m so sorry to hear about your bridesmaid. What a horrific experience she has to endure. You are a wonderful, caring friend to want to fundraise for her!! I did this about eight years ago for my Dad (non-Hodgkins lymphoma) and I learned a few things.
One, donations that are given to an individual and not a registered charity are not tax deductible. It is best to let people know upfront that their donation is going to an individual and therefore there is no tax benefit for them. I only note this because while people that know your Bridesmaid or Best Man will undoubtedly give regardless of tax benefits because they love her, others that don’t know her might be unwilling/reticent to give to a cause that’s not affiliated with a registered non-profit.
If possible, partner with a non-profit organization so you get the maximum outreach for your BM! You can set up a website for donations and use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter (and WeddingBee!) to get the word out.
There is one website in particular I know of, but I have never used it myself:
Best of luck to your Bridesmaid or Best Man. I wish her well and hope for nothing but the best!
Post # 6
You could go around to trusted stores and ask to put a jar describing her situation.
Also Create a website, Put up signs with a picture of your friend and a short synopsis of what’s wrong then the website underneath. On the site, Have a way people could make donations to her fund via paypal type setup.
You could put on your wedding website, you would like guests to consider donating to your bridesmaid.
Host an event in her honor, like at a park (free place), invite the community, give a speech about her and her troubles. Maybe hold a raffle like a 50/50 or buy a kindle and raffle that off. Alot of times if you do the 50/50 if the person who wins supports your cause, they will just give you all the money.
If you reach out to your community, people will respond. 🙂
Post # 7
A kids’ theatre group I once directed was able to raise a few thousand dollars doing a dinner. A few of the parents cooked the food, and most of the food was donated. We used my church’s fellowship hall that has a full kitchen. We also had a collection jar up front that people put cash into. You could do something as basic as a spaghetti dinner and charge $25/plate. If your friend feels strong enough to be there too and to gree people, I guarantee that collection jar would fill.
Post # 8
Thank you to everyone who has offered some suggestions.
I have set up a fundraising site on the website suggested. If you’d like to learn a little about Jess, http://www.giveforward.com/jessfightsback. I am still in the process of trying to have a PayPal link attached as suggested.
Once our wedding website goes live, I will definitely put the link on the page. I set the fundraiser to end after our save-the-dates are sent out, so hopefully guests will view our website and make a small donation.
The spaghetti dinner sounds like a great idea. I am going to talk to some people and see if we can organize one in the near future at a local church.
I really hope you are right, Crigger5, that the community will respond! I really hope people I know respond. I put the link on my facebook and I am just worried that no one will offer any sort of support.
Post # 9
Great ideas, just please make sure the bridesmaid is on board with all of these suggestions that you implement! You don’t want to find out after the fact she doesn’t want her face & story on a tip jar.
ETA: Just have a thick skin and be prepared for rejection. This is much more common story than you might expect (e.g. happened to my FI’s mother, with 3 kids, albeit older at the time, and two of her sisters). You’ll likely have better success with something such as an event where people have a good time, than just a flat out donation.
Post # 10
I’m sorry for both you and your friend. She’s lucky to have a friend who is willing to do this for her.
I think the hardest part of fundraising is that it requires you to ask people for their hard-earned money. If that makes you uncomfortable (it does most people), then organizing a fundraiser will be no fun. My best advice is to focus on your goal, and do whatever it takes to get there.
A great place to start is to consider the resources you already have. If you know anyone who works in a local business, try to get them on board. Same goes for knowing someone with a “trade” skill, like cutting hair, teaching yoga, cooking/baking, etc. They might be willing to donate their services to help you raise money. Maybe even ask businesses if they could donate items to her children, such as diapers, formula, etc. You’d be surprised at what people are willing to donate if you just ask.
Definitely make use of social media, and tell your friend’s story. People are more likely to volunteer their time or money to something that they can relate to. Ask your mutual friends for help so that you don’t have to do all of this alone. Hope this helps!
Post # 11
A coworker of my Fiance had a son who was severely brain damaged in a diving accident. My Fiance was close to the boy and decided to get a big group of his guy friends together and had a date auction. They approached a local bar in Baltimore and they allowed them to use the place for free. They advertised and women came in to bid on dates with the guys. It was pretty successful and a lot of fun and they raised a little over $3,000 for the family’s medical bills.
Could be a fun thing to look in to!
Post # 12
That’s so tragic, I hope the best for your friend. If I were you I would try organizing a 5k run/walk. Try rallying the community she lives in to participate.