Friday, July 6, 2012

Like Water for Chocolate Fundraiser Ends Well

In early 2010, I participated in a charity: water fundraiser called "All's Well That Ends Well" to raise $5,000 USD to bring clean drinking water for those living in developing countries. Get it? All's well... As in water well? I thought it was pretty smart...

Collecting water in India during my "All's Well That Ends Well" fundraiser

As part of my efforts to increase donations, I created an incentive for donors. I called it "Like Water For Chocolate."  If someone donated $30 USD or more to my fundraiser, which was "like water," (as their contribution would go towards building a water well for an entire community) I would bake them a chocolate treat as a personal thank-you for helping me reach my goal. Like water for chocolate. Brilliant idea, right?

"All's Well That Ends Well" was a challenging fundraiser for me as I was actually traveling in Burma and India at the time. I wasn't able to connect with as many people as I could due to the intermittent access I had to the internet, and of course, the bonus of a baked chocolate treat was a promise for the next time that I would see each individual donor and not an immediate, tangible reward.

Chocolate truffle brownies as incentive for "All's Well That Ends Well"

Still, the donations came in. A friend gave up alcohol for the duration of my fundraiser and donated the money he saved to the cause. Another hosted dinner and movie nights in his apartment to raise awareness and proceeds. It was truly thrilling for me to check my progress every week or so while I was traveling and see how much was raised.

After the three months of fundraising, I collected a total of $1,405 USD. Incredible! Although I didn't meet my goal of $5,000 USD, the money I did collect was combined with other fundraisers to complete a water well project.

Photo of the actual water well my fundraiser helped build in Mai Hutsa, Ethiopia

It wasn't until recently that charity: water contacted me to provide a full breakdown of how they were using the money I had raised to help the village of Mai Hutsa in Ethiopia build a water well. In addition to now having access to clean drinking water, the entire community of 225 men, women, and children have been taught safe hygiene practices and water well maintenance.


Chocolate trifle was just one of the chocolate treats I made for donors

The news of the water well progress comes at a perfect time as I'm currently back in the States for the summer and ready to bake up some chocolate treats! I hope all the donors are ready for their chocolate sweets after they've done something so sweet for the people in Mai Hutsa Village, Ethiopia!

I am extremely proud of this fundraising project, but I certainly didn't do it alone. An immense THANK YOU is due to the ones who donated to All's Well That Ends Well: Matteo Casola, Neil Medel, Pim Savetmalanond, Leigh Cambre, Nicholas Polytaridis, Aleks Ozerov, Duane Pena, Sean Quinn, Milania Dela Cruz, Nelson Chen, Parker Whiteway, Jonathan Yu, Nitin Khapre, Kale Gaddy, Christopher Choi, Hannah Wilner, Stanley Lei, Carrie Helfman, Victor Wong, Cheryl Magdaraog, Jacquelyn Vo, Melanie Montoya, Ivana Williams, and "Anonymous."  


For more information on the global water crisis and how you can start your own fundraiser, watch charity: water's informative video below.

© Connie Hum 2012

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