Monday, October 15, 2012

Providing Meaningful Work: Helping Us Make It Happen

I want to say thank you to so many of you who are reading and encouraging me as I work to get the Blessed Zelie Martin Initiative up and running. It is a blessing that keeps me moving forward. It is hard to find the motivation to think through big projects when you feel all alone. I am grateful that I do not.

Many of you are as excited and interested in this project as I am. And while I do not have many friends who can finance the operation single-handed, we have a lot of passionate supporters who are willing to do something to help out. So I am posting some ideas here of ways you may be able to help us make this outreach happen by organizing a group event or fundraiser to contribute to the start up costs for this project.

Obvious choices for groups are things like women's prayer groups or bible studies in your church or parish, youth groups or entire parishes who may organize a fundraiser for the initiative. But other groups could be your exercise class at the gym or your running group, a group colleagues from work, your child's school class, sport team or scout group, your homeschooling cooperative or even an internet list or group with which you are involved.

Fundraising ideas can be as simple as asking the group to each contribute what they can or to promote the initiative to others and ask them to contribute. Or the group could set their sights on an item on our Wish List to purchase together.

If the group is interested in hosting an event to raise money for the project, here are some ideas:

  • Bake Sales: Old news but they never fail to bring in a decent return for the investment.
  • Spaghetti Dinner or Pancake Breakfast: Again, these old standards are that for a reason, they're effective. Many Knights of Columbus groups will provide a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for a group looking to raise funds for a worth while cause. Why not ask yours?
  • Host a Mudlove or Give Jewelry bracelet sale and help two worth while causes at once
  • Host a Walk A Mile In Their Shoes event -- a one mile walk where we will provide you statistics and images to post along the way about the women we will be serving and your participants find sponsors to sponsor their walk. You can even encourage participants to walk in the rubber rain boots that are the common foot wear of indigenous women and then leave them to donate at the end of the event
  • Create a book club and read one of these inspiring reads together. During your the length of time that you study the books, have group members save and contribute their spare change to the Blessed Zelie Martin Initiative. (I have chosen these books based on the effect they had on me as a reader. These are not all Catholic publications. Feel free to e-mail and ask about specific suggestions before making a choice for your group.)
  2. Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom
  3. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
  4. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
  5. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
  6. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  7. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
  8. Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do
  9. Shirt of Flame: A Year with Saint Therese of Lisieux
  10. Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith
(If you purchase from Amazon using the links posted here or in the sidebars, I will receive a small amount of credit which will go toward purchasing other items on the Wish List, so if you do start a book club, please encourage everyone to order using the link here! Thanks.)
  • Host a Fast From Freedom event with a  group a group of friends or families. Choose something you will fast from for a month in prayer and solidarity with the poor and oppressed around the world -- fast food, eating out, coffee purchases, or certain grocery store indulgences and contribute the saved money to the initiative.
  • Spread the Word: Have dinner and a movie with a group of friends. Have everyone bring something to share. Gather and watch the Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide film and discuss it afterwards. Show the group the the Blessed Zelie Martin Initiative page and plans. See what the Lord might do. Remember, building support doesn ot always have to be about raising a ton of money. When we create awareness and passion within the Church, the funds inevitably come.
  • Pray: Don't stop praying our prayer to end human trafficking. And keep praying for the success of our efforts here and for others who are working on our behalf in their home communities. Prayer will get us where we need to be when we need to be there.

If you think you might want to help in one of the ways listed above or you have your own idea about a way to help us get going, please let me know in the comments or via e-mail and we can talk more! Thank you again for walking with me and ensuring that I do not feel alone.

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