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Activist Faith

[From Dan King, co-founder of ActivistFaith.org. Great idea for this Christmas (especially if you live somewhere warm).]

Our family is pretty pumped about this year’s Christmas project!

The needs of people in Haiti have been a special focus for us this
year, and my son Samuel (the cute, red-headed one) really wanted to do
something special for the kids down there. When I told him about a way
that we could help build a playground, he just knew that was what he
wanted to give to some Haitian orphans for Christmas.

So we’ve partnered with H.E.L.P. (Help End Local Poverty) and their Garage Sale for Orphans initiative to do a little fundraising for a playground in Haiti project.

We even got HELP’s founder Chris Marlow to write a guest post about this project. You should’ve seen Samuel’s face when he saw the pictures that Chris sent of the kids who’ll be getting this playground.

Picking the project was the easy part. But I also wanted to share a
few things that we’ve been doing that I believe will help make this
successful.

1. Use the resources that HELP has made available.

We’ve already gotten a few online donations, because people can
contribute to the cause without even coming to our actual yard sale.
That means our efforts aren’t limited by geography. They also have a
great sample press release that can be used to inform the local media of
your charitable efforts. Hopefully they’ll like the positive news
story.

2. Use social media to the max!

Don’t just throw out one little Facebook status and forget it. Talk
about it regularly, and invite people to join you. We created a Facebook event
for the sale, invited people to attend it, and shared the link on our
walls. It’s really cool to see other people sharing the link with their
friends too… that’s how things go viral.

3. Provide multiple options for how people can contribute.

I already mentioned that people can go to the project site
and make an online donation, but you’ll want to provide local
alternatives too. We’ve asked people to not only come shop, but let us
know if they have items that they’d like to donate to the cause. People
who may not be able to help financially may be willing to provide some
nice items to be sold.

4. Advertise through multiple channels.

We’ve learned this just from doing several successful garage sales.
Don’t rely on just one method of informing people that you’re having the
sale. I’ve already mentioned creating a Facebook event, but also
consider a classified ad in the newspaper, and listing it on craigslist.org. The press release might help a little bit too if the media outlets decide to share the story early.

5. Pray.

Don’t ever forget that God is at the center of a project like this!
Pray regularly that God would bring the people and money in to meet your
goals, and be sure that you give Him the glory when He does. It’s also a
great opportunity to pray for the kids that will benefit from your
efforts.

I’m thankful for lots of things during this holiday season, but I’m
most appreciative that I have a family that has a heart to do this
stuff. And I’m thankful for supportive friends who want to help see this
thing succeed. But that’s what Christian community is all about…

It’s about people coming together to impact our world for the better in the name of Jesus Christ.

For more about Garage Sale for Orphans, click here.

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DILLON
BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October 2011). Discover more at
DillonBurroughs.org.

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