I arranged a Family Fun Day Fundraiser…. It feels like a blur – but it happened and it was a success. What was my motivation for doing this, you may ask?
In 2006 my Father died- suddenly and very unexpectedly from a massive heart attack ,at only 53. Whilst devastating and life changing for all of us, my mother was never able to recover. In 2012 she succumbed to her mental illness and sadly passed away, aged 56. This lit a fire in my belly, as peoples opinions on her illness varied and some were less than understanding!
Initially I wanted to support charities that not only support mental illness, and the various forms it comes in, but those charities that raise awareness and get people talking. My hunt for the perfect charity began and I just could not find one that really screamed out to me. That is until I attended a fundraising high Tea for Baby Give Back. I had heard of the charity, told my friends about it, shared it and looked around at home for items that I could donate but I had never considered it as the charity I would fundraise for. I had met the founder and one of the directors through my gym and we trained together, drank together, laughed together and when they popped up tickets for their fundraiser I jumped online to purchase immediately. I mean its great what they do, and you should always support your mates – so that’s what I did. I was not prepared for the tears that welled up and threatened to flow from my eyes as the speeches began and stories from women Baby Give Back had helped, were told. I realised how much of an impact poverty, and the inability to provide for one’s child, could really affect a woman’s mental health! I mean pregnancy is hard enough as it is – imagine not knowing if you will have a roof over your head, or warm clothes for your baby. Where will baby sleep? How will I pay for nappies? What if I can’t breastfeed? How will I afford formula? This charity was here, it was in need and it was SCREAMING my name loud and clear! Whilst not directly a mental health service or charity it certainly aligned with what I wanted to support.
I contacted Julie McBride (BGB director) the week after the fundraiser and let her know that I was going to begin planning a fundraiser, and that I had chosen Baby Give Back as my charity.
I began the months of planning, sending emails and reaching out to local businesses for help. This was the hardest part for me – I am always open to recognising my flaws and one of them is that I am a CONTROL FREAK. I have lived on my own since I was 15 years old and became a mum at 17, so I’m used to doing things my own way and not asking for help. It was so hard to contact businesses to see if they would like to contribute on the day, either by donating for the raffle, or attending with a service on the day. My stomach churned with it and I had constant butterflies awaiting replies. A lot of my emails weren’t returned, many messages were read and not answered, I was hitting walls with locations – and my confidence in my ability to do this was plummeting. But then miraculous things began to happen – businesses were replying and not HESITATING to contribute, in fact they were thrilled to be a part of it and were super supportive of the event. Then I started getting contacted by businesses who were ASKING if they could join in with their business on the day. The event was taking shape and gaining exposure thanks to the our amazing community sharing on their social media and putting posters up in their local schools and kindy’s. I found a need for a separate page, dedicated purely to making a difference in the world and assisting local and National charities with fundraising events. This is when M.A.D Make a difference was born, and is now a separate page for events, discussions and images of events.
I woke up the morning of the Family Fun day feeling really relaxed and calm. The coffee van arrived, the ponies had turned up, our sweet treats baker was here, our soft play area was being set up, Peppa Pig was waiting in the wings, face painters ready, our hair braider good to go, craft station set, bubbles blowing in the wind and our jumping castle inflated and awaiting the little people! No one had pulled out last minute, everything was looking fantastic and the cars started pulling in. The event was 3 hours long and there was not a person I met who was not smiling and enjoying themselves. This made me happy, but not as happy as seeing the donation box overflowing with nappies, wipes and more ,the raffle ticket jars full of entrant’s tickets – all of this was for BGB and THIS, over anything else made my heart happy.
Some shots from the day – for more head to @m.a.d_make_a_difference__
We had an amazing turnout of around 400 guests at the first Family Fun Day Fundraiser, we gave away over $3000 in raffle prizes and were able to donate $1344 and a boxful of items to the Baby Give Back Team. But there’s something the event raised that is priceless, in my opinion. It raised awareness in our local community about who BGB are, what they do and which support agencies they work with and why it is SO important we continue to support their not for profit charity.
The day would not have been possible without our sponsors, who either donated a service or a product. Please take a second to acknowledge them all and share some love.
I could go on and on all day about the BGB directors and volunteers, the gold coast community, the businesses and my family – so I’ll leave it here with a link to the Baby Give Back website. Here you can read about how it all began and how you can help.
Body is tired, but heart is full – until the next one- Thank you to all who attended<3
Our amazing sponsors