Last year, Kristin from Portland Maine, a self-professed fundraising newbie, saw images of children separated from their parents at the southern border of the United States and decided to take a stand. She also knew she wanted to do something unique:
“I am a mom, and the flood of news stories from last summer about children being taken from their parents was too heart wrenching for me to turn away from,” says Kristin. “I realized that there were a lot of people like me – people who didn’t have a lot to give, but had a little, and wanted to do more than just click a few buttons on Facebook and donate to another cause. I thought that if I could give all those people an opportunity to gather for a good cause, as well as convert their spending money into donations, on top of any money they earmarked for donation, we could raise something substantial together.”
They did, in fact, accomplish something substantial. Kristin and her fellow supporters hosted a yard sale that raised more than $15,000 for RAICES in 2018. Kristin maximized her impact by tying her fundraiser to an annual event and incorporating a plea for donations to reunite families of immigrants.
Kristin is quick to credit her family and friends for the success of her Portland Yard Sale. “Friends and family have jumped to support me in my efforts,” she explains. “Helping to spread the word about the event, as well as traveling from far and wide to volunteer and help me execute the event.”
This year, Kristin is inviting her community to participate in another yard sale, and this time around she’s set herself an even bigger goal: $30,000. She’s also expanding the scope of the event by adding more family-friendly activities.
“The thing I am most excited about for this year’s Portland Yard Sale is the Every Penny Counts Jar,” says Kristin. “On top of the marked portion of the sale and the silent auction this year we’ll also have an Every Penny Counts Jar, which is a kid-led donation station where children can drop change they’ve gathered with their families or that they’ve saved in their piggy banks. It’s a great way for families to participate in giving together, as well as have conversations at home about the cause and the importance of getting involved. It’s also a really awesome opportunity for us to activate and empower the next generation of fundraisers and community leaders. I am working to find donors who will match what the kids raise so we can really show young participants that when we join together, we can make a bigger impact.”
According to Kristin, last year’s yard sale was the first of her philanthropic ventures. “I am just…following my instincts and doing my absolute best to pull off something that makes a big impact.”
To find out more about Kristin’s fundraiser, please view her fundraising page. Learn more about Portland Yard Sale or to attend the event you can visit the Portland Yard Sale Facebook page.