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Learn Fundraising Tips from a Real Sleep Out Saturday STAR!

October 28, 2011

Brittney Wells was only eight years old the first time she participated in Sleep Out Saturday last year. Her mom and dad – Karen and Rundy – had learned about Sleep Out Saturday when her mom spoke at a Bridge Communities luncheon. The family decided to participate in the sleep out to help raise funds and awareness to help homeless families in DuPage County.

“Having a goal really motivated me,” Brittney recalls. “And after I found out that the average age of a homeless person is eight years old, and that’s how old I was, I wanted to help out.”

The determined fourth grader went door to door, asking neighbors for donations. When Brittney surpassed her original $500 goal, she quickly adjusted her aim toward $800…and then $1,000. In all, Brittney raised $1,076 to help Bridge Communities’ Transitional Housing Program!

“At first it was kind of shocking to hear that the average age of a homeless child in DuPage County,” Brittney shared. “It really motivated me to help and go around and collect money.

“Last year, [sleeping out] really helped me to understand how families facing homelessness felt when they had no place to stay and it’s cold out. It felt kind of life changing. It made me look at homelessness from a whole new perspective.

“I really enjoy it and wanted to donate money to help the homeless. I really like to help people,” Brittney says with a smile.

Beaming mom Karen Wells couldn’t be more proud.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience, to say the least,” she grinned.

With confidence from last year’s fundraising efforts, Brittney has set her sights on an even loftier goal for 2012: $2,000; her family’s total goal is $5,000.

“Donating money and helping out, that is a way of life for us,” says Brittney’s dad, Rundy. “We need our children to understand that and to help out. We will continue to volunteer for great causes like that of the Bridge Communities. We need to expose our kids, especially because we are so blessed.”

You’re probably wondering how an active, nine year old, full-time student hopes to raise $2,000. Brittney’s got a plan well under way.

“Last year I went around my neighborhood knocking on doors, asking people to donate,” Brittney explains. “This year, I had a yard sale, a bake sale, and a movie night…and I was able to raise over $500 [so far].” She started fundraising in the summer, and with a few weeks left to go before Sleep Out Saturday on November 5th, Brittney’s confident she will reach – and maybe even surpass – her goal.

If nine year old Brittney can do it, so can you! Get creative with your Sleep Out Saturday fundraising. Or follow her lead – clean out your closets and hold a garage sale, get a few friends together and host a bake sale, charge admission for a special family fun night. If you’re creative, make and sell crafts. Create pledge challenges among friends to generate a competitive giving spirit. If you are already part of a registered Group, you can create your own fundraising page within that group. If you haven’t already registered, you can register as an individual Sleep Out Star.

The opportunities are endless, and the need is real. Through Sleep Out Saturday, you can MAKE A CHANGE in the lives of homeless families in DuPage County. Please DO.

Register. Donate. Make a Change. http://www.sleepoutsaturday.org/

Questions? Contact Jennie Gates at (630) 545-0610 ext. 19 or jennie.gates@bridgecommunities.org.

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