Connect with classmates and bring aid and comfort to peoples internationally and nationally by adding the element of a charity to your upcoming reunion.
When reunions are successful and there are funds remaining after all bills are paid and remaining projects are completed, committees often keep any leftover funds to produce a memento photo booklet of the reunion, make donation to a high school fund or scholarship, or keep funds for upcoming deposits for the next reunion. However, how about adding an element of charity to your reunion plan?
A deserving charity could be an incentive and perhaps a reason many alumni or guests may consider making donations to the reunion fund in addition to or instead of attending the reunion.
For example, we recently learned about Stacy Horowitz of San Francisco who started “Shopping for a Change,” a 501c3 nonprofit organization which follows a fair trade policy. The company buys the merchandise from developing countries’ artisans such as Napal, Nairobi, Ethopia and Rwanda who create one- of-a-kind incentive gifts. Horowitz sells them on her website, www.shoppingforachange.org. The proceeds are then split with various non-profits in the U.S.
Your reunion committee can incorporate such a giving opportunity in any mailings or displayed on the reunion website. Or, use funds remaining from the last reunion to purchase items from the website and add a silent auction list at your event. Then announce the winner/s at the event so they can pay for the item and take it with them after the reunion. The donated funds could be in memory of former classmates who have died or just a good reason for your former classmates, family members or for those you served with in the military to help many impoverished people around the world. Any proceeds from the auction could be distributed to charities your reunion committee selects.
The holiday season is a good time for the committee to purchase the products and set them aside for reunion time. Custom products are available and this would give the artisans lead time to make the branded items.
One Example: Rwanda Genocide: 250,000 Women raped and left with HIV/Aids. They are given the wherewithal to support themselves and families. The UN estimates more than 250,000 women were raped and infected with HIV/AIDS during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The majority of these women living with HIV/AIDS are destitute. To rebuild their lives and communities these women need the opportunity to earn an income and provide for their families. Same Sky is a trade-not-aid initiative in Rwanda and Zambia, providing employment opportunities to women struggling to lift themselves out of poverty.