You’re Never Too Young

A lie we often tell ourselves is that we are too young to make a difference in the world.

At 25 years old, you might expect that I have grown out of the lie, but I still catch myself believing it.

The lie allows us to abdicate our responsibility. We shrug off making a difference, because we are “powerless” to do anything; We “have no influence” on the course of human history. Believing the lie allows us to stand idle, waiting for someone else to put in motion the solutions to the world’s problems.

Unfortunately, it’s not true. No one is too young to make a difference.

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In December, I had the privilege of meeting the students of Carseland School, and encouraging them as they fund-raised in support of World Vision’s Gift Catalogue. As I stood in the school gym, waiting for the students to come in, I started talking with Mrs. Wade, the teacher that invited me to the school. She told me the origin of the fundraiser and how it all started with her young son, Oliver.

The previous year, Mrs. Wade and Oliver were sitting at a table in their local coffee shop, when Oliver noticed a World Vision gift catalogue sitting on their table. As Oliver flipped through the glossy pages and looked at the pictures of chickens, goats, and cows that could go towards helping people around the world, he was filled with a desire to make a difference. Mrs. Wade told me, “He knew bottles made money, so he started a bottle drive, encouraging all of his friends to help with the project.” That year, Oliver was able to raise enough money to reach his goal of purchasing a goat and a chicken for a family affected by extreme poverty.

This year, Mrs. Wade returned to work at Carseland School. Hoping to teach her students to be global citizens, she remembered Oliver’s successful Gift Catalogue campaign, and decided to hold a fundraiser for her students. So far this year, their Change for Change project has raised over 400$. Oliver held another bottle drive and was able to contribute 140$.

No one told Oliver he was too young to make a difference. The students at Carseland School didn’t believe the lie that they were too young to affect change. As a result, families around the world will benefit from their generous gifts through the World Vision Gift Catalogue.

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I want to tell you one more story. 45 years ago, in 1971, a 17-year-old named Ruth Roberts in Calgary was overcome with compassion for African children suffering from famine. Along with a group of 14 friends, Ruth Roberts organized a “starve-in” in the basement of their church to raise money and bring awareness to the famine. The group raised 600$ towards famine relief.

In the following years, the “starve-in” became an annual, international fundraiser known as the 30 Hour Famine. Every year, young people in 15 different countries who have rejected the lie that they can’t make a difference forego food to empathize and support those around the world that lack food security.

You are never to young too young to make an impact in the world. Stop waiting for someone to tell you it’s your turn to make a difference. The time is now to help.

30 Hour Famine Fundraising Superstar

Become a 30 Hour Famine Fundraising Superstar

If you’ve decided to participate on the 30 Hour Famine, you’ve just joined the fight against one of the greatest challenges of our generation.

Hunger and malnutrition still plague our planet. In fact, each day 18,000 children die from preventable causes. This needs to stop. Your fundraising efforts in the 30 Hour Famine are a critical part of changing the tide on this.

We’ve compiled a list of the very best tips for maximizing your fundraising efforts. With a commitment to follow through and a bit of creativity, your leveled up fundraising skills can literally change lives.

  1. Make sure you’ve registered online at http://famine.ca – Many supporters have found they can raise more than twice as much online over offline.
    – The 30 Hour Famine is always a better experience with others, so many sure you’ve registered online under the right team, or if you don’t have one, create a team and invite your friends.
  2. Commit to an audacious but achievable fundraising goal – If you’ve done the famine in the past, you’re a pro, aim for higher impact this year.
    – Try to think through the number of people who will need to donate in order for you to reach your goal.  For example, raising $500 is not as hard as it may seem.  When you break it down it can be as simple as asking 25 people to donate $20 each.  Here’s the impact some smaller fundraising amounts actually make. Share this with your supporters!
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    On top of that, this year with our partnership with the World Food Programme your funds will multiple 3x in value. Imagine the impact you can have together!
  3. Customize your fundraising page – Share briefly what you’re giving up and why this matters to you.
    – Upload a powerful video or images such as a shot of you when you visited a developing country, or an impact video with statistics you came across, or even a silly image of what you’ll be giving up for 30 hours.
    – Create your own 15-second video and join our #WhyImFasting challenge.
  4. Create fundraising momentum – It starts with you – don’t share a page with $0 raised, put some skin in the game and donate to your famine fundraiser first, or ask a family member to be the first to pitch in.
    – Email or text the link to your closest 10-15 people. These should be people who will be highly likely to chip in because of your connection to them. Tell them why their support matters to you, and that their donations will begin a fundraising trend.
    – Direct message your next 10 – 50 people. Wait a day or two, and bring your next inner circle of people on board. You may want to enlist family members or mentors to also help share your link and fundraise for you at this stage.
    – Social Media. As you’ve got some momentum get the word out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, make sure to include your direct fundraising link. Don’t be afraid to directly tag people and ask for support. People can’t do anything about what they don’t know about.
  5. Share updates and add fuel to your efforts – Share with people your total amount raised regularly and how much more you need to reach your goal.
    – Give people who’ve donated shout outs on social media. For those who aren’t on social media be sure to still find a way to thank them.
    Purchase or create your own famine t-shirt, change your social media profile image, let people everywhere know that this is serious to you.
    – Don’t be afraid to get creative with rewards to drive larger donations – it could be anything from extra chores, to sharing a special talent that you have, to head shavings!
    – Share any images or videos you find as you’re learning about hunger with your supporters while sharing your fundraising link – be a persistent voice of why ending hunger matters.
  6. Engage people on the day of your Famine – Let people know this is your big day.
    – Ask people to sponsor each of your 30 Hours. Give them a mention on social media as you dedicate each hour to them.
    – Do a final push for donations from those who may have forgotten and didn’t think you were going to follow through 🙂
    – Share a video or an image of yourself when you complete your 30th hour – you did it!
  7. Wrap up – Collect any cash donations that may have also been committed. *Document it in your fundraising page by going to Fundraising –> Enter Cash / Pay Online section of your page so that people can receive tax reciepts. You may need an adult with a credit card in order to process it online.
    – Mail in any cheques that are written out to World Vision Canada. You can find our address here: http://yourmovement.ca/act/30-hour-famine/faq/
    – Thank your supporters for their tremendous help in changing the lives of children around the world.

If you manage to commit to these 7 steps, you are now officially a #FamineSuperstar!