About six months ago, when we were collectively counting down the clock to welcome 2010, I wouldn’t have know that I would live out my dream to volunteer overseas. A month ago, I would not have pictured myself spending my hard-earned weekends walking up and down my city streets asking local businesses for charitable donations. And I’m sure that a couple months from now, I will not believe my eyes when I wake up in the home of my host family in Tanzania before starting my day working with youth to understand the importance of sexual health awareness and improve their outlook on life.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been soliciting the help of my family, friends, long lost friends and complete strangers to lend a hand—be it a monetary donation, perhaps a fringe-benefit from work or just their personal time to contribute. But this has not been easy. And I never expected that it would be simple because very few things in life come by easy. In all honesty, fundraising can feel like a greater challenge than putting in hours at any regular job. There is no guaranteed salary or earnings here, but the end result is above any satisfaction than the paycheque you bring home. Really, in the area of fundraising, only by your hard work and efforts will you see the fruits of your labour.
I had the idea that a charity fundraising event would be a great way to spread the message to contribute and generate donations. All the marketing, planning and licensing costs are beyond what I was prepared for, but I’m lucky enough to have great friends by my side who’ve given me more support than I could ask for—by spreading the word, to helping me promote my bake sales, to even paying for my rental fees for the venue.
So good work does not go unacknowledged. This is a lesson learned now and one that I will not forget when I arrive in Morogoro and Vanuatu.
My event happens just two weeks from now and I have a lot of work before me still. There are performers to be booked, bills to be posted and a competent volunteer bar staff to arrange. But I don’t forget the ideals and good will that have placed me exactly where I am and want to be at this time I’m my life. This is all for a great cause and despite all the challenges before me I’m committed to a success.
So if you happen to be in Vancouver on July 23, have a few dollars to spare, and want to contribute to something so extremely meaningful, please stop by the Cambrian Hall and laugh, drink, enjoy the show and contribute to helping youth develop the skills and awareness that are so important to building a greater future for all everyone:
Location: Cambrian Hall
Date: Friday, July 23, 2010
Time: Doors at 6:30 to late
Cost: Entrance by donation with 100% of all profits going towards YCI programs
Featured: Local art, door prizes, performances and GOOD KARMA!
-Jessica Yip, Preparing YCI Volunteer. Jessica is ambitiously fundraising to participate in two back-to-back YCI projects. She will be volunteering for five weeks in Tanzania, starting in September, followed by a 10-week project in Vanuatu starting in December.