Every Dollar Counts

December 14, 2017
by Cindy Changyit Levin

As 2017 draws to a close, our global group in St Louis prepared to gather for the last RESULTS webinar of the year. My co-leader Sarah Borgstede and I wanted to find ways to celebrate what we have accomplished in 2017, both as a group and as individuals. We came up with two activities – little did we know they would result in our funniest fundraiser of the year.

Sarah created a bingo game online. Partners could stamp milestones and achievements that they personally accomplished in 2017. Categories ranged from “got an op-ed published” to “donated to RESULTS” to “yelled something at a senator during a parade.” Everything on the card was something that someone in the group had done. We didn’t know who – if anyone – would win.

I made a poster showing our group achievements last year, our 2017 goals, and what we actually achieved in 2017. Going through each one, we let the group take guesses on the actual 2017 numbers. We revealed them by removing a post-it note over each numbers.

Fun fact about the St. Louis group: We have almost an equal number of active members who are kids in middle-school and high-school as we have adults. This can make our group games pretty festive, and even more competitive.

One of our students won bingo by checking off things like “attended a meeting with Congressman Bost,” “published a letter to the editor”, and “made a video for RESULTS.” Really cool! But when we revealed that our group had raised $3,994 for the year with our jazz concert event and online fundraisers (well over our goal to raise $3000, by the way!), he suddenly asked if he could mark off “Donated to RESULTS” on his bingo card if he donated some money right then? Of course! Our local outreach staffer Mandy Beals, slyly noted that if he donated $6, we could claim an even $4000.

Now he was running up and down the stairs of his house, looking in various places for $6 in change as we held up the meeting. Watching him enthusiastically zoom around on his hunt was a highlight of the meeting. When he returned, he held out a handful of change and proclaimed he’d found $5 we could have for RESULTS. Well, the group was not about to let it stand that we would be short of $4000 by such a small number.

Everybody started reaching for purses and wallets. One of our middle-schoolers yelled “I’ve got it!” while waving a $1 bill from her pocket. We all cheered. We felt very proud of them for completing this last fundraising scavenger hunt to reach a stretch goal. We saw how every dollar counts and how every person’s effort helps us get to a greater goal together.

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