Eat So They Can Blog
Guest Post: Hadae Kim
Are you considering hosting an ESTC event but unsure where to start? Take some time to read about Hadae's event here! Hadae is an International Intern located in Auckland, New Zealand and has generously shared her experiences in organising her first ESTC event and recommendations to other ESTC hosts.Hello! As an international intern for Eat So They Can, I hope I continue to develop and improve upon my role and deepen my commitment towards being part of a movement aiming to end global hunger and extreme poverty. It is always a pleasure to bring the community together and my first party for Eat So They Can was a mixture of friends, friends of friends, as well as sponsorship from local businesses here in Auckland. I hope my experience will aid others in creating their epic events.
First of all, I realized preparation was the key. Obviously, you need to start with a venue first. After investigating my options, I decided on a YMCA recreational center near my house and hired a room for the party. It is a good idea to have two or three friends to help you to set the place. I had my friends help me move furniture, decorate and cater food.
Secondly, I made goodie packs for each guest, with a printed-out letter thanking them for their attendance and instructing them step-by-step how they can donate online. I made sure to sweeten the deal by adding discount vouchers I received from Yoghurt Story and The Gateau House. The catering was kindly provided by The Gateau House.
These sponsor relationships are something I am proud to have established. I have been working part-time at The Gateau House for the past two years and a half – so obviously I have developed good rapport with the boss. However it is still a difficult task to ask for sponsorship from anybody. Remind yourself there is no harm in asking, and you would be surprised at how much people are willing to help you. If the manager or boss has agreed to offer sponsorship, then negotiate! Don’t be afraid to feel like you are asking for too much and remember this is all for a great cause. Since they have already shown commitment from there it is a matter of agreeing on the scale of sponsorship, the bigger the better!
My second sponsor, Yoghurt Story came through by writing a letter using an Eat So They Can template. I was able to get the number of the owner of Yoghurt Story after handing in the prepared letter and it was up to me to take the initiative to gain their support. I called the next day and by the afternoon I had 100 discount vouchers in my hand. What I learned through the experience is a letter is a great place to start, but direct communication and speaking in person (with enthusiasm!) can make a huge difference. When I was following up by calling I realized I had to make my communication simple, sharp and to the point. Think about the main points you want to put across and practice the pitch beforehand. It helped when I mentioned the amazing things we do here at ESTC and what’s in it for the business – promoting corporate responsibility and social justice! It is a win-win situation.
My last piece of advice would be to make the most of the resources on the ESTC website. The quiz was a success and I recommend others to include it in their events! Try to think of any other forms of entertainment the guests can enjoy.
Next up I am holding a cocktail party at an inner-city bar. I am very excited and I look forward to venturing out for more local businesses to come onboard and bringing individuals together towards my fundraising efforts for ESTC feeding projects.
~ Hadae Kim, International Intern based in New Zealand.
Eco-Solar cooking 101!
If you receive our monthly newsletter, you may have already read about this project in our October issue but we thought we would blog about it anyways!ESTC is excited to announce that we have partnered with an Eco-Solar cooking workshop in Uganda and we are seeing some great results!
This workshop has been developed by Grassroots Uganda, a women’s empowerment organisation in Uganda, in collaboration with Jinja Empowerment Organisation (JEO). Grassroots Uganda saw a need for alternative cooking options when addressing the problems associated with traditional cooking methods such as high costs, issues with open fires and environmental impacts.
The two day workshop was lead by two trainers from JEO and a counselor who worked alongside the local women in attendance. The women were then offered training on how to use various eco-solar cooking methods including a solar reflector cooker, insulated cooking bags and efficient charcoal stoves.
|Learning how to use insulated cooking bags|
|How to use eco-solar cooking methods|
An enormous feast made up of food items such as meat, plantains, beans or lentils, peanuts and even cakes was created to demonstrate the efficiency of eco-solar cooking and to provide delicious snacks for attendees!
|Efficient charcoal stove|
Cooking devices were then made available to local Ugandan women at an accessible price and as a result of this workshop, the women no longer have to use expensive cooking methods consuming charcoal and firewood and they have more time to spend on other activities. Long term environmental impacts include reduced rates of deforestation and lower carbon emissions.
We are excited about the potential this partnership has and hope that it encourages positive change within the communities impacted by the eco-solar cooking project.
For more information on Grassroots Uganda and how they are empowering African women, please check out their official website: http://ugandagrassroots.org/.
~The Eat So They Can Team
Guest Post: Sarah Orr
Our International Interns are on fire this year! Sarah Orr is new to our Eat So They Can Internship program but has been supporting us and hosting events for the last 7 years. Sarah was also the winner of our Grand Prize Draw last year and won a spot on our 2013 Distribution Trip to Uganda.ESTC 2013. Amazing! I was so privileged to have actually been in Uganda this year as the winner of the 2012 ESTC Distribution trip. As such I simply had to introduce my guests to Ugandan food. The challenge is to always consider luring my guests back next year, so the meal was of course a fair bit more fancy than a villager's regular diet. But there were some traditional things. Such as G Nut sauce, and I did of course make the famous Rolex – from scratch, chapatti and all.
All the food was a huge hit! I had some fantastic and generous contributions to the raffle again and am constantly amazed with what comes in each year!
Whilst in Uganda I purchased things like aprons and paper beads made by the women’s groups that we visited. They really sold well with my guests. I’m really so blessed to have such wonderful and generous friends and neighbours!! Thanks again for another successful year!
CheersSarah Orr (International Intern based in Canada).
For those of you interested in learning more about our Distribution Trips and the opportunities they offer to connect with our projects, keep checking the GVN Facebook page, our newsletter and the GVN Foundation website for updates. We would love to have the chance to meet you all and introduce you to the children and communities benefiting from your support.
Thanks everyone and a round of applause for Sarah Orr!
Guest Post: Shannon Henry
We have just received word from one of our International Interns, Shannon Henry, about her recent and very successful Eat So They Can event and would love to share it with you!This September 6th was the second annual Beyond The Crystal Ball at the DoubleTree Fallsview Resort and Spa by Hilton. It was a lovely evening and we raised $2000 for ESTC. The evening consists of a presentation by a local intuitive, and then one on one sessions with mediums or psychics. We also run a silent auction, offer light refreshments and this year added a cash bar. We also had a reiki practitioner offering mini sessions this year!
This event was much easier to plan the second time around for many reasons - one being a fellow intern - Janine Viret joined me in hosting this year and another huge reason is that the venue was set! The DoubleTree has been incredibly supportive donating the room, set up, take down, linens, tables, chairs, tea, coffee, water, etc. We also have our date for next year too! September 5th here we come!!! Additionally, almost all the volunteers from last year returned and new ones signed on! We had 12 readers this year and our presenter signed up months in advance which made it much easier to start selling tickets. (As a ticket guarantees you two readings we have to make sure our volunteer intuitive numbers match up as they can each do 6 readings that evening). Moreover, almost all of the silent auction companies that donated last year did so again and we even added a few new companies. Building up a network of support definitely made planning this event a lot easier!
Last year was my first as an intern and this was my first event and I learned a lot! One lesson was in ticket sales; last year the prices were the same at the door as ahead of time and everyone bought at the door so I had no idea if anyone would show up! This year we made the tickets at the door $10 more ($50 vs $40 ahead of time) and we also added the option to buy online. Without any serious advertising we sold out before the event! What a relief!
Next year we are going to work on timing, when to announce silent auction winners, make transitions smoother between readings, etc. We are also expanding the event to include a holistic therapies section as our one reiki practitioners had a line up all night! So a ticket will now grant you two readings and one healing therapy session. I think it will round out the evening and give people who have finished their readings or who are waiting for their second something else to do. I love this event because last year it ran on a $0 budget and this year we came very close as well. Next year it is also our goal to run on a $0 budget so all the funds go directly to the charity. It's a great evening, full of giving and generous volunteers without whom none of this would be possible!
I'm looking forward to the third annual Beyond The Crystal Ball!
~ Shannon Henry, International Intern for Eat So They Can based in Canada
Guest Post: Gladys Omopariwa and Naija Eat So They Can
Our Eat So They Can team in Nigeria has hosted their first event and written up a review that we would like to share with you!
TEA PARTY ADVOCACY FOR EAT SO THEY CAN
The Naija Team supporting the Eat So They Can project through GVN Foundation organized their maiden ESTC event - A Tea Party on Saturday the 24th of August 2013. It was so exciting, especially seeing how young people appreciated the essence of the cause and gave their support.
The weather that day was wet and cold and it couldn't have been much fun to hold a Tea Party, as everyone needed a cup of the variety of hot teas available...and yes with a light snack to go with it.
Beside sipping our hot tea and munching on the donuts and fish rolls, we took the liberty of running a slide presentation about the Eat So They Can events and the Global Volunteer Network Foundation.
The most exciting thing of all is that it's a first-time opportunity in Nigeria and the participants are new friends and ambassadors to the ESTC cause.
If you would like to follow the work of Naija Eat So They Can, you can support them through their Facebook page and blog:
Keep an eye out for more exciting news!
~Naija Eat So They Can
Guest Post: Alison Kreft
A bit of a blog from Alison Kreft, a GVN Foundation Team Member, and her work towards our 2013 Charity Ball!
Hi! I’m Alison and I’m proudly working as the Outreach Coordinator for the 2013 Eat So They Can campaign. This year, I’m responsible for organizing the annual Charity Ball. It will be taking place on the official Eat So They Can weekend, the 19thof October. It will be a black-tie event, with lots of prizes to be won on the night, live entertainment and art auctions. It will be held in our national museum here in Wellington, New Zealand, with an expected guest list of around 150 people. So far, planning the ball has been a huge success. The main aim of this event is to be the “launch” for the official weekend, to raise awareness about malnutrition and hunger and to raise funds for established feeding projects. We have received an incredible amount of support from local businesses wanting to donate their products and services for the night, and lots of enthusiasm from people wanting to be involved. I have never organized an event of this scale and for every donation I have received so far, I get more and more excited! My fundraising target is (US) $5000. I feel incredibly honored to be working for such a worthy cause. My background is in Anthropology and Development Studies and I’ve always known that I wanted to be involved in community development and aid in some way. When I got the opportunity to be a part of GVN Foundation's Eat So They Can campaign, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to pursue my own personal interests and use some of the skills I have acquired for the greater good. Food security is something that is often taken for granted in the developed world, and admittedly, through working full time in an unrelated job in the past, I have lost sight of the “bigger picture”. It is easy to be discouraged by the scale and complexity of poverty in the world. I often thought to myself throughout my university studies, how can I make a difference, when the problems are so big? When I learned about how $70 could feed a child hot lunches for a whole year through established feeding projects, I realized that every single person has the ability to make a change. I’m so excited to host a party that could change dozens of lives; it fills me with hope for a better world! Who would have ever thought that celebrating and having a good time, could have so many positive effects for other people too? One of the smartest people I know once told me: “Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t change the world.” Being a part of Eat So They Can has given me the motivation to be productive and make positive changes. I can’t wait to share with everyone the photos and outcomes of the 2013 Charity Ball.
Guest Post: Eat So They Can, Auckland NZ Team
Welcome to our next blog post: an update from our Auckland, New Zealand team and an introduction to the Kliptown Youth Program in Soweto, South Africa!
When you look at Kliptown from the outside, you might assume that there is little hope in this slum located in Soweto, South Africa. However, inside the community of Kliptown, you will find hope, courage, endurance and a real passion to break the poverty cycle. This has a lot to do with a remarkable place called the Kliptown Youth Program. The Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) was established in early 2007 to stop children from turning to the streets to survive. By providing after school care to children and by housing close to 350 children KYP has stood firm in responding to any social challenges facing the youth of Kliptown. KYP firmly believes that it is a lack of access to schooling which is at the root of most social problems in Kliptown and thus responded at a grassroots level to make schools accessible on a physical and mental level for children. Uniform costs were high so KYP provided uniforms. Through their food programme KYP feed and nourish students before and after school so that they are not hungry in class. Often for children in Kliptown food is a privilege and not a right. Parents have many different financial responsibilities and coupled with an unemployment rate of 72%, food is simply not affordable for many families. By providing children with food KYP not only nourishes them physically, but provides children with confidence that they will not suffer from being hungry. They feel safer. Having food should not be a privilege, it should be a right and the KYP works tirelessly to provide the children of Kliptown with their right to eat. GVN Auckland is proud to support the Kliptown Youth Program. We believe that through providing funding to KYP’s food budget we can actively provide children with food so that they are nourished mentally and physically. Although KYP’s main focus is on the lack of adequate schooling available in Soweto, we aim to aid their cause with an emphasis on providing appropriate nutrition. Children who are nourished learn better and hopefully by learning better, the children of Kliptown will be able to conquer the odds and finally be in charge of their own futures. To get the fundraising started, we have a street appeal planned. We will be targeting the busiest streets of Auckland. If you see us out there, please support our appeal with a coin donation!
Stay tuned into our facebook group and twitter pages for more updates.
~Eat So They Can team, Auckland NZ
Guest Post: Jiao Jiao
We are proud to publish this amazing blog post from Jiao Jiao, one of our ESTC International Interns, sharing with us her first advocacy event hosted in China, Shang Dong province, Ri Zhao city.
This event was based on the generosity of a committee member who participated in the Hope Project in Ri Zhao City. The theme of this project is supporting primary school student’s nutrition and food needs and many government officials, journalists, business representatives and other loving people came to visit and help the primary school students. As we have the same goals, my committee member hoped that I could also make use of this time to advocate the "Eat So They Can" campaign, informing more people of the need to pay attention to food problems not only in China’s rural area but other developing parts of the world. I helped with giving books we collected to the children and milk and cookies donated by other warm-hearted people.
The main goal of this event was to let these generous people know about ESTC through this individual project and call on more volunteers through local media such as the newspaper and television station. I also had the chance to collect relative information about child poverty in the Northern China rural area. I hope to make this a part of our campaign. I truly appreciate everyone’s help, this advocacy event was very successful and I reached the goals I had set. It was an unforgettable experience and below are some photos from my event, I hope you enjoy them.
My ESTC committee and I are in the middle and the children in front are the primary school students in poverty in WuLian, county of Ri Zhao city. The young people behind them are supporters of this event, a big thank you to them. :) Actually, we also made an ESTC poster, but it was broken unfortunately. :( A big thank you to these cute kids too, they need us!In this picture we are handing out gifts from supporters to the kids.This picture shows a committee member talking about his own story and our ESTC goals to more people through the local radio and television station.This is the local newspaper's report about the event; it mentions GVN Foundation, the ESTC campaign and our goals to support children's food and nutrition programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Due to translation difficulties, they could not use our ‘Eat So They Can’ name in English so I translated it "食能量助童计划" in Chinese or ‘A Project to Help Children through Food Energy’ :).
~ Jiao Jiao
Welcome to Eat So They Can 2013
We are excited to be starting the Eat So They Can
campaign for 2013. This year we have set the bar high and already have some great supporters working their Eat So They Can magic!
We have four faces new to the Eat So They Can
2013 campaign team – Matt, Alison, Emma and Kirsten. These four are going to be working closely with everyone to make sure that Eat So They Can
continues to be a fun, inspiring and meaningful campaign. You can learn more about them here: http://www.eatsotheycan.org/meet-the-team/GVNF-team/
We also have a wonderful team of international interns situated in countries across the globe helping us to spread the goodness that is Eat So They Can
! Remember to keep checking back to hear more about their amazing events and experiences.Now for some inspiring updates:
- This year the official Eat So They Can weekend falls on 19-20 October, following World Food Day.
- You'll see on our leaderboard that we've already had several great events this year and over $18,000 has been raised for our partner projects so far!
- We have some exciting stats from our 2012 campaign - $65,852 USD raised, 72 Hosts across 15 Countries and 42% of our total 2012 Eat So They Can hosts were repeat hosts, meaning they had so much fun previously they wanted to do it all over again!
Wishing everyone the best of luck with their Eat So They Can plans for 2013 and we will be uploading some exciting event blogs from our international interns shortly!
And the winner is....
On January 22nd, the GVN team gathered around our local policeman for our annual Grand Prize Draw! All our 2012 Eat So They Can hosts who had raised more than $500 for Eat So They Can were entered into the Draw and it was an exciting moment when our policeman pulled out the lucky name...
Congratulations Sarah Orr!
|Grand Prize Winner, Sarah Orr|
Sarah has won an expense-paid trip to Uganda on our Eat So They Can Distribution Trip. She will be part of a small team of committed volunteers who will learn about how the GVN Foundation distributes funds to our projects. She will spend time with the women and children benefiting from Eat So They Can, learn about how non-profits operate on the ground, visit the source of the Nile, and be involved in an incredibly rewarding experience.
|Sarah and the Distribution Team will meet the women's group that has benefited from our cow project|
Sarah has been hosting Eat So They Can events every year for the past six years and has raised thousands of dollars for GVN Foundation’s projects around the world. She says:"Hearing I had won this trip definitely made my night!! I couldn’t type fast enough to tell all my ESTC guests and thank them for all their support. I already am thinking about the ETSC 2013 dinner party, the theme has simply got to be UGANDAN food! :) It really is going to be pretty awesome to see the funds in action, meet the people on the ground, and to get a firsthand look at what is being done with the results of everyone's hard work. Thanks GVN and Thanks to all the ESTC Supporters and Hosts."
|Sarah's 2012 Eat So They Can event raised over $1,300|
Sarah first connected with us in 2006 when she volunteered in Vietnam for a month. Upon her return to Canada she hosted her first ESTC event and has hosted one every year since. She has been living in Toronto, Canada for the last 13 years however she is originally from Tauranga, New Zealand. She loves to travel, cycle and hike.
~ Eliza Raymond and the ESTC Team
P.S. For more information about our Distribution Trips, visit http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/distribution_trip/
Guest Post: Hadley Warner
This is a guest post by Hadley Warner, one of our fantastic International Interns!
One of my favorite parts of being an International Intern in 2012 for the GVN Foundation and the Eat So They Can campaign has been working with amazing people! From the beginning the other interns and fellow fundraisers were bouncing ideas around on creative events to host while the ESTC staff expertly helped to guide us to our actual events and goals. I have greatly enjoyed working with this organization for that reason because seeing so many people excited about making a difference in the world is an incredible gift in this day. I was thrilled to be partnered with the “Noon Meal Program” based out of Kigali, Rwanda. My goal was to raise funds and awareness for the Noon Meal program, which provides a nutritional lunchtime meal for 70 children. This meal is important not only to help them grow and develop properly but also to help them excel at school and life.
|Hadley Warner, 2012 International Intern|
I hosted an event in November called “Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause” to help raise money for the program. It was based off the idea of inviting friends and family to gather and create pizzas together within a community feeling. I made the dough ahead of time and had various toppings, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks while everyone that came brought a unique topping and a donation for ESTC. It helped to play the Eat So They Can DVD a few times for various people to see first hand the work the organization does. I also had laid out pamphlets and information for those who wanted to pick up and read information about ESTC or the Rwanda Noon Meal program.
|Noon Meal Program, Rwanda|
The event was a huge success and over 25 people attended. Everyone that came left with very full stomachs and a happy heart to have been surrounded by such warmth while helping a good cause. To end the night everyone migrated towards a roaring fire and I brought out warm chocolate chip cookies and brownies to enjoy!
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
Some good lessons I learned from this event included writing very detailed and thorough directions in the initial invite email. I had one friend get lost in the dark and arrive much later. I also will remember to create a “donation box” to put out in the center of the kitchen table in order for it to be easier for people to donate money or checks. Luckily these mistakes were not huge and I learned a lot from them.I was very happy with the outcome of this event and had a great time planning, preparing and hosting it! We raised over $1,030.00 for the Rwanda Noon Meal Program and had a great time doing it!
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
|Pizza Tuesdays for a Cause|
~ Hadley Warner.
Guest Post: Lauren Schaefer
This is a guest post from Lauren Schaefer, one of our fantastic International Interns!
The GVN Foundation began the Eat So They Can campaign with a simple idea: that people around the world could help end hunger for people in other parts of the world by hosting events in their area. In order to build support and spread the word, this year for the first time the team recruited twenty-five International Interns. We International Interns truly are taking action around the globe—in eight countries across five continents, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, India, the United States, and China. Some were lucky enough to team up if they are in the same area. Our actions go beyond hosting events, though there have now been several in each of these countries thanks to intern efforts. Roles also include recruiting hosts to increase the number of events, spreading awareness of the campaign, and teaming up with local companies and media to keep up the momentum. The range of events truly displays immense creativity across the board. From a benefit concert and themed dinner parties to an art auction and busking, these efforts have managed to raise over $17,000 in six months. Mariana Rocha of Brazil even took the time to set up a translated page and newsletter in Portuguese to keep the donors and hosts she recruited in the loop with huge success—over 70 subscribers and counting!
|International Intern, Lauren Schaefer|
Each intern was assigned a specific project for which to raise funds, giving us a closer connection to those we would be helping. I advocated for the Nalusse School in Uganda, while others raised funds for children in Kenya, Guatemala, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, or Vietnam. Talk about global impact! We were able to see pictures of and hear stories about these children, not only to help appeal to those at our events but to motivate us with a more specific target for which to do good.
|ESTC reaches Brazil!|
While some interns are professional event planners or social media experts, others were clueless as to where to begin what felt like an overwhelming project. As one of those in the latter category, I am grateful to be able to say that the GVN Foundation team and those with more experience were exceedingly helpful through the entirety of the process. We attended online seminars covering topics such as fundraising tips, using social media, and details about our specific projects. A Facebook group was created for us to bounce ideas off each other and share inspiration and success stories. Provided with templates, letterheads, certificates, and relevant knowledge, all it then took was the dedication to begin and keep going!Kelly Holyoake, Advocacy Manager for for the GVN Foundation, believes the International Intern Program is “very important” because it “creates awareness of the campaign in areas of the world that would otherwise be hard for us to reach. This is our first year running the program and we hope to continue it, expand it and improve it.” I hope so, too. Being an international intern has been educational in many ways, both personal and practical, and I encourage anyone interested in making a difference or learning about non-profit work to apply. It is a powerful cause and inspirational experience.
|Nalusse Hot Lunch Program, Uganda|
- Lauren Schaefer
Guest Post: Lauren McPhee
This is a guest post from Lauren McPhee, one of our fantastic International Interns!Although my event had a rocky start due to a flood in my venue the day before my event, it was a huge success with the help of some wonderful friends. My South American Dinner Gala was held at my home in Calgary on October 13th, 2012. The evening started off with a presentation about ESTC and how everyone could get involved. The 2012 ESTC DVD was also presented and a prepared slideshow was left on for the rest of the evening. After the presentation about ESTC and how people could become involved, dinner was served. A variety of foods that are common in South America were served including ceviche, papa a la huancaina, chicken and beef empanadas, and more!
After dinner a spectacular performance by some students from the Mambo Productions Dance School who donated their time were supposed to perform a dance for the event but due to the limited space in my home and nowhere to do it outside, they were unable to perform, but they will hopefully be involved in any future events that I do. Luckily I had a backup plan. I had some trivia questions ready so my guests would be able to learn some interesting facts about the world, world hunger, and a little more about South America. The winning team’s names were put into a raffle for a round trip flight ticket for two, which was graciously donated by Escape the Ordinary. Once we finished trivia, a passionfruit mousse cake was served for dessert and the rest of the raffles were drawn. I was lucky to receive donated items from Pink Lime Salon, The Calgary Hitmen, Aussie Rules dueling piano bar, and the Cattle Baron Restaurant. Although we experienced some hiccups along the way the evening was a success and we raised $500 for Eat So They can. Hopefully the guests and businesses that were contacted also became more aware of world hunger and how just one little act can change a life. Some of the venues that I had contacted for donating space for the events so I could make it a large scale dinner party did not get back to me until it was a little too late for this event, but there is some interest for future events. Hopefully with the help of these large scale venues I can make the South American Dinner Gala an even better success next year!
- Lauren McPhee
Guest Post: Michelle Strong
This is a guest post from Michelle Strong, one of our fantastic International Interns! As I write this post I am guided by the hope to share with everyone who reads an important lesson I learned which has greatly helped me along my way in my endeavors to raise money for the women and children of Huchuy Yachaq, Cusco, Peru.
As I dived headfirst into my fundraising efforts I soon realized that in order to keep my head above water I couldn’t do this alone. In fact that was my first mistake in thinking I could possibly stay afloat without any support.
One thing I have learned and will carry with me in my future efforts is to seek help. There is nothing wrong with sharing your task. In sharing the work load for your event or any other task you undertake, not only are you increasing your chances for success, you are also gifting to those who help you an opportunity to make a difference and get involved in something they might not have otherwise involved themselves in had you never asked for their help.
I am really grateful for the help I have received along the way. I would like to share an event that my mother and good friend back home in California put together to help me raise money for my project. Even though I was oceans away in Sydney their efforts have touched me and carried me through the rest of my journey as an intern. I am sharing their event as a thank you!
I was truly impressed by my friends and family back home who without hesitation jumped at the opportunity to help me raise money for my project. All of them had never heard of Eat So They Can before and I can easily say their willingness to help and spread the word about ESTC has instantly made them advocates for life.
They held a fundraiser at Painted Earth, a local pottery studio in Menifee, California. Painted Earth graciously donated 20% of pottery sales to ESTC. Not stopping there my mother also secured a food donation from Chic-fil-a and was able to raise additional money for ESTC from food sales. Everyone I knew from back home got involved, from my friends’ children, parents and grandparents. They all well and truly immersed themselves in the event and made it happen and for that I am so grateful and full of many thanks!
I would also like to thank all my friends here in Sydney that helped me with my own event that occurred over the Eat So They Can weekend on October 20th. I could not have done this event without their support and help. When I first began the task of planning the dinner cruise I was so absorbed in my own little world that it didn’t even occur to me to ask for help and to share this experience of planning my event. Just a month out from the event I realized I needed help in order to spread the word about the dinner cruise and to sell tickets.
My friends all graciously offered support, posting on their face book pages and sending emails out to their co-workers. It was truly amazing how much of a turn around I had in my event when I simply just asked for help. I went from having sold 2 tickets to 18 and raised $600.00 for my project. People who couldn’t come wished me luck and told me that having heard about Eat So They Can for the first time they were inspired to get involved in any way they could and asked for more information.
By sharing the workload my message about Eat So They Can and my project has reached so many more people than I could have imagined both locally here in Sydney and internationally in my hometown in California.
A quote from Leo Tolstoy reflects so perfectly on what I have learned from my time as an intern for Eat So They Can.
“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.”
Applied to my time as an intern, my success in my fundraising efforts is only truly my success when I know that I have had help along the way, and those who have helped me share in the success. So as the season of giving quickly comes upon us with the wise words of James Durst I say “Help one another; there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.”
- Michelle Strong
Guest Post: Janine Viret
This is a guest post from Janine Viret, one of our fantastic International Interns!
On Saturday November 17th, 2012 Shannon Henry and I hosted our major event, Local To Global Art Show for Eat So They Can. We spent many months planning ahead of the show and to say we had a rough road would be a major understatement. Hosting events in major cities has its pro’s and con’s and in the end the pro’s far outweighed the cons, but we found finding donors for most things was very difficult in a city where companies and individuals are asked daily for donations or sponsorships.
In the end we had an amazing event with up to 9 art donors including (Jasmine Gates, Marlene Etheridge, Randy McAllister and Mikal Davis). Food was donated by Urban Source Catering and yummy cupcakes and squares Donated by Something Delicious Baked Goods.
We got our wine from Niagara Wine College at an amazing price and by the end of the night there was no bottle left untouched.
At the end of the night we had around 40 people in the building and every piece of art was bought up, some for prices much higher than we anticipated!
As people strolled around bidding on art and munching on goodies while sipping wine, we had the pleasure of a wonderful piano player named John Feldman who played both classical and much loved classics (including a little Queen) nonstop all night.
Feedback from the Art Show was very positive and everyone was very excited to hear more about the cause and to find out what our plans were for next year’s event, which is very encouraging as Shannon and I have bigger plans for hosting the art show at a winery next year and we already have plans to start scouting locations this January.
In the end the event was a huge success with us raising enough money to feed more than 10 children for a year which makes us very happy and proud.
I can’t wait to do even better next year and continue with all my awareness campaigns for this year.
- Janine Viret
A step-by-step guide to hosting your event!
Here at the Eat So They Can office we're busy preparing for the festivities this weekend! If you're still thinking about how to organize your event, here's a step-by-step guide to ensuring your event will be a success!
Choose your venue: This is the first step you should take as it will affect everything else. Your venue can be your home, a community hall, a park, a beach, a church hall, a restaurant, a cinema or anything else you can think of!
Decide on the date and time: Although the official weekend is October 20-21, remember that you are also welcome to host your event later in the year. Our only request is that you submit donations by December 31.
Start promoting your event: You can do this by updating your personalised webpage and sending this around as an invitation to your event. If it's a public event you might also want to put up posters and ask your friends to help you spread the word.
Think about how you want to raise money at your event: You can raise money in many different ways depending on the type of event you're organizing. Some examples include: charging a ticket price, a suggested entry donation, a collection box which you pass around after showing the DVD, a raffle, an auction or items for sale at your event.
Think about what you want to offer your guests: If you're planning on charging an entry price you will need to think about what you can offer your guests. Will you provide free food, drinks or have a raffle? Remember it's completely up to you so do what you feel comfortable with and make sure it's appropriate for your venue.
Host your event! Good luck and remember to have fun! You worked hard so give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy it!
Submit your donations to the GVN Foundation:
You can do this either online through your personalised webpage or by writing a check/cheque made out to the GVN Foundation. If you write a check make sure you put ESTC and your name in the memo and post it to: PO Box 602, Bellefontaine, OH 43311, USA. New Zealand donors should make cheques out to GVN Charitable Trust, and send them to Global Volunteer Network, PO Box 30-968, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
Good luck to everyone hosting an event this weekend - we hope you have a fantastic time!
Introducing...the Eat So They Can Sticker Competition 2012
We are excited to announce the arrival of the inaugral 2012 ESTC sitcker competition! This is an opportunity for you to let your creativity shine and compete with other ESTC hosts around the world.
We are searching for the most creative photo of an ESTC sticker, and you will be the judges! The photo with the most ‘likes’ on our Facebook page will win an awesome prize consisting of:
• An ESTC hoodie
• An ESTC t-shirt
• A $100 voucher to spend on jewelry from the GVN Foundation online shop
Entering the competition is really easy. If you've signed up to host an ESTC event this year, you will have received an email with a link to enter your address to receive a party pack. Once you've filled this in, we will be posting out party packs containing resources for your event, such as a DVD, ESTC balloons, thank you cards for your guests, further information, and, of course, the all-important stickers. Then you'll need to get snapping, and send us your photo with a description of up to 150 words about why you should win the competition, by the 22nd of October. We will then post the photos on our Facebook page, and it will be up to the public to decide who wins by 'liking' the photo on Facebook. So make sure you get your friends and family voting too!
If you're not signed up to host an ESTC event this year but would still like to take part in the competition - you can! Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you some stickers so you can join in the fun. But remember, there's still lots of time to register to host an event - just go to our sign up page
, fill in your details and you're done!
Good luck - we can't wait to see what you come up with!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Guest post: Shannon's Beyond the Crystal Ball event
This is a guest post from Shannon Henry, one of our fantastic International Interns, who has recently hosted a very successful Eat So They Can event at Niagra Falls!
On Friday September 7th, I had my first event, 'Beyond The Crystal Ball'. It was an evening of enlightenment, insight and empowerment.
The event consisted of a presentation to start the evening off entitled 'Do You See What I See? Shifting your perspective to allow the love within' by a wonderful woman named Cheryl
. I met her early on in the planning process while looking for volunteers and it was amazing how she stepped up and really helped the evening come together. She helped me turn the event into something much larger than I originally intended and I am so glad! After the presentation guests then had the opportunity to circulate the room, enjoy the sweets, bid on the silent auction and have readings/exchanges with a few of the nine gifted intuitives (clairvoyants) who graciously donated their time. Each guest had an average of three 15-20 minute readings. Not knowing a lot about the 'psychic' community when I started planning the event, it took some doing to find people but when I did I was very pleased with the responses I received. I am so grateful for everyone who donated their time and gifts to benefit Eat So They Can. I was touched by how genuinely welcoming and open everyone was.
|One of the intuitives who donated their time|
What surprised me most about planning this event is the spectrum of people you meet. I heard a lot of 'no's for the venue and was getting discouraged until I changed my approach and went big. The DoubleTree Fallsview Resort and Spa
in Niagara Falls said yes almost instantaneously! The staff was incredibly helpful in the planning, room set up, supplying the tea, coffee, water, wait staff and more. They made an exception of their no outside food rule to allow The Frosted Cupcake
to set up a delicious display (which was completely donated as well). The Frosted Cupcake is also the sponsor of my next event - 'Hungry for Change' cupcakes will be available at their location every Wednesday in October with all proceeds going towards ESTC!
|The Frosted Cupcake|
The evening was a huge success and we raised $1300 for Eat So They can. Hopefully we also raised a little awareness. I had programs printed up with upcoming events, general information and how to become a host; I spoke about the charity in my welcome speech, and had the DVD playing on loop by the silent auction for anyone interested in more information. We were operating on a $0 budget, meaning that I didn't spend a single cent organizing this event.
|A silent auction table|
The media was helpful, we were on many radio stations, in many event sections of local papers online and in print, Niagara This Week ran a story. Word spread. The best part? This was only year one! The DoubleTree has signed on for next year also - September 6th, 2013. Mark your calendars!
|The welcome table|
- Shannon Henry
Guest post: Mariana's experience as an ESTC International Intern!
I wanted to share a little bit of my experience so far as an International Intern of Eat So They Can. First of all, becoming an International Intern of ESTC was exactly what I was looking for – since I couldn’t leave this year for any volunteer work for GVN Foundation. I wanted to participate and help even if only a little bit and even if from far, which is amazing how globalization made this possible nowadays.
Being from Brazil, however, I knew it was going to be more challenging than it normally should. Not only the language and currency are different, but the culture, especially if we’re talking about fundraising, is amazingly contrastive. For example, Brazilians are not used to donate things – let alone money – to people or organizations they are not aware of or trust based on their knowledge of the organization’s activities. Furthermore, our mentality is still ancient: we still see ourselves as a poor developing country, that NEEDS help instead of PROVIDES help. The government, in this matter, is ahead of the majority of the population.
With that being said, my first months as an International Intern for ESTC involved translating everything I could to Portuguese. I had a couple of meetings with some companies, such as McDonald’s, Applebee’s and they all had an issue with the use of English in the flyers, website and other sorts of promotion. So, I started translating from flyers and PowerPoint presentations to certificates of appreciation and even subtitles for ESTC videos.
That is how the whole idea for the Eat So they Can Brazil’s website came up. I’ve created a simple website in Portuguese as a tool for people to know more about the campaign, our projects, and even donate through the website! Also there are news that I’ve been updating according to the ESTC news and also from our events and donations here.
You can check out the website by clicking here
. Hope you like it!!
So far, ESTC Brazil has had two great events: participation in the “Month of the Nutritionist IPGS”, an exciting congress about a healthy and nutritive lifestyle, and the “Eat and Drink So They Can”, a gathering between friends to raise funds for ESTC’s program Nutrition for Change in Peru.
In both events, consciousness and funds have been raised, as well as more than 70 subscribers for our Newsletter Eat So They Can Brazil – another way I found to keep donors and people interested in touch with the campaign and our actions. Every month, they receive updates, curiosities, testimonies and more from both ESTC and the GVN Foundation (all in accordance with the original Newsletter).
So, here it is the efforts made so far from ESTC Brazil! Even if there is still a long way to go as far as raising funds, I believe we can change this Brazilian way of dealing with fundraising, making them realize how CLOSE we are to the whole world and the difference we can make in each other’s lives. And Eat So They Can is the tool for that!
- Mariana Rocha
Guest post: Arianna's ESTC Dinner Party
This week we have a guest post from Arianna, one of our fantastic International Interns, who has just hosted her main Eat So They Can event. Sounds like it was a lovely evening, and a great example to follow!
Hi everyone! My name is Arianna Governatori, and I am one of ESTC’s international interns in San Francisco, California! I just hosted my main event this week and it was super successful- I was able to raise twice the amount I had hoped for. Since it was an almost last minute decision to host this event, I only had a few weeks in order organize it all. I’m glad to say that friends, families, and sponsors all came through to help this classy and delicious dinner happen.
The dinner party was hosted in my house, as that was the easiest venue, which is why I was happy to have an event planner take care of the details to ensure that my backyard could be transformed into an elegant place for the intimate dinner I had in mind. Instead of inviting everyone I knew, I carefully selected a group of twelve to invite to make sure that they could converse and enjoy themselves, as well as supporting ESTC. The event planner placed candles everywhere, including on floating rose petals in the pool, and provided fabulous lily centerpieces.
The food was provided by a variety of different sources. I was able to secure Freixenet as a sponsor, so upon arriving, each guest was served sparkling wine, as well as hors d’oeurves of cheese puffs and chili spiced almonds. The salad (as you can see in the picture) is a make-your-own Senalese salad, as an appetizer with avocado, mango, jalapeno, and coconut. The main course was prepared by a small-time chef that a friend of mine knows, which was baked fish accompanied by saffron purple potatoes and a fava bean puree topped with seasoned peas (all provided by Whole Foods). My father’s restaurant kindly donated the wine for the main course, and the dessert, which was a fabulous tiramisu. I used my espresso machine to serve coffee, as I always feel that is a nice touch to end a meal. Overall, the guests seemed very satisfied with the meal and impressed with the different courses and pairings of wine.
Before the dessert, I spoke of the cause I am raising money for to ensure that everyone knew where his or her donations were going. I am raising money for the Manamani community in South Africa, specifically for a program that provides nutritious lunches to 140 elementary school children. I had been hoping to raise enough money to feed 12 (the same amount of guests), and managed to raise almost twice that! I was thrilled with how everything fell together so quickly and with such great support from my sponsors, as well as my family.
I loved being able to use some of the ESTC resources at the event- it gave a great professional touch to the dinner. I attached my ESTC business card, as well as the event planner’s, to a menu I provided each guest with, and put the balloons in the trees and floating in the pool. As the guests left, I was told that I should host more dinners like this to raise money- maybe I will! I think that a dinner was a great way to get people I know involved in donating because they receive an excellent meal and ambiance, in addition to helping a great cause. I find that it is harder with events that have specific targets or larger events to have large donations, but with the small, intimate vibe that was created, it was perfect.
- Arianna Governatori
Eat So They Can - at school!
Since most of our nutrition projects around the world are targeted to children, for example by providing a hot lunch during the school day so that the kids have energy to concentrate and do well in school, we thought it fitting that other school children around the world should also be involved in Eat So They Can. One of our International Interns, Shannon Henry, has produced a lesson for primary school aged children called Local to Global, to promote empathy and curiosity in foreign cultures, while increasing geographical and cultural awareness.
At the same time, the lesson allows the kids to relate their new knowledge to themselves, examining how family histories and traditions contribute to and enrich society.
Activities include choosing a country and learning about it together as a class, discovering languages spoken, games played by children, family structure and other aspects of life; and then comparing your home country with the one you’re researching. This lets children see how parts of the way of life they are so used to can be completely different in other countries, and other parts might be very similar.
Another activity involves each child picking a country and learning about what a normal day would be like for a child their age. Firstly, they write a journal entry recounting what a typical day in their own life is like. Then, with their newly acquired knowledge, they write another journal entry, this time from the point of view of someone living in the country they researched.
You can find the lesson plan, as well as a letter for approaching schools, here
. If you have contacts with any schools in your local community, it would be fantastic if you could ask them to get involved in Eat So They Can!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
As the Eat So They Can weekend is now just over two months away, you might like to think about where you would like the funds you raise at your event to go. You can choose to support one of our main causes – Immediate Needs, Sustainability Projects, or Greatest Need – or otherwise, you can support a specific project run by one of the GVN Foundation’s partners.
We are proud to be actively supporting various projects run by our partner organizations in Peru. Each of these programs has had a significant impact in improving the lives of women and children and ensuring that they are on the right track for a brighter future. We’d like to share with you a couple of the projects that we support in Peru – it’s easy to see how the funds raised through Eat So They Can are having a really positive impact on these deserving communities.
Huchuy Yachaq Snack Program
This project is located in Hermanos Ayer, in the outskirts of Cusco, Peru. Huchuy Yachaq is a community centre that serves 200 families suffering from a variety of challenges like accessibility issues, a lack of basic facilities, unstable housing, and social problems. The community centre, which was established in 2006, has been a great success. Providing services such as a kindergarten, a community library, a homework tutoring club and a women’s empowerment program, it also runs a nutrition program which provides a daily hot snack to the children who attend. The GVN Foundation would like to improve the program by providing a complete meal for the kids. These children are reaping the benefits of the extra nutrition, reducing their hunger and increasing their ability to concentrate while doing their homework. In addition, more children are attending the community centre and making use of the library and tutoring services, as the snack acts as a positive incentive for children to attend – now around 110 children are making use of the centre every day!
Nutrition for Change, Hogar Mercedes de Jesus
Hogar Mercedes de Jesus is an orphanage in a small village called Anta, which provides a loving and supportive home to 25 girls who are aged 4-17. The orphanage has made a fantastic improvement since our involvement began six years ago – back then, the level of nutrition, education and healthcare was suffering due to the lack of funding. Now, having improved in leaps and bounds, the orphanage has become a model orphanage, providing a shining example of what can be achieved.
The GVN Foundation has been supporting the Nutrition for Change project, which provides a daily nutritious lunch and vitamins to both the children who live in the orphanage and children from the surrounding community. This has the added benefit that the orphanage children are better integrated into the community. In addition to the 25 orphanage children, around 75 children from the community have been benefited from the project.
We hope this has inspired you to pick a cause or project to support for Eat So They Can this year! You can also choose from projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Nepal and the Phillipines - check out some previous blog posts for descriptions of these. Also, keep an eye out for your host Webinar invitation next week, and we'll be in touch soon to get your address for the Party Packs!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
Boosting Child Nutrition in Uganda
Malnutrition is a serious problem in Uganda. With children born in 2010 having an average life expectancy of 54 years, it is easy to see that basic nutritional and health needs are not being met in the land-locked East African nation. Poverty and corruption are widespread, particularly in the rural areas where around 85% of Ugandans reside, most of whom are dependent on farming.
Children’s nutritional needs are of paramount importance, as when children are malnourished, their ability to concentrate in school is reduced and the poverty cycle continues. The GVN Foundation’s partner organization in Uganda has been providing a hot lunch for 160 students and 9 teachers at Nalusse Success Primary School in Mukono Town since February 2008.
Having a hot lunch at school is very important to these kids, as many come to school without breakfast. Before the nutrition program started, most of the kids only ate a small dry bun for lunch, but now they are served a cornmeal-like cake (posho) with beans. The program has been hugely successful – the students are now much more energetic and their learning has significantly improved. Moreover, the program is contributing to the students’ personal development, as well as the development of Uganda in the long run.
The approximate cost for running this program for one year is US$7,000, which includes all ingredients, cooking materials, salary for the cook and distribution costs. The funds raised from Eat So They Can this year will enable us to continue supporting the program in 2013, so together we can continue to help these children out of the poverty cycle, one meal at a time.
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
The Grand Prize Draw!
We hope you are getting excited about Eat So They Can and that you’ve started planning your event. This year we’ve got some extra incentives to encourage you to host a fantastic event and raise money for our deserving causes!
If you raise $500 at your Eat So They Can event this year, you will be entered in the Grand Prize Draw
to win an all expenses paid trip to Latin America or Africa! Last year only 43 hosts raised over $500, so your odds of winning are pretty good! The prize is a place on one of the Eat So They Can Distribution Trips, during which you would be able to see first-hand the impact that the funds you raised is having on vulnerable women and children around the world. If you would like to find out more about his year’s Distribution Trips, check out the participant report of the Peru trip here
; or the Kenya trip here
$500 might seem like a lot of money to raise, but in reality it’s not as hard as you might think. We’ve put together a few ideas to get you started on the right track!
Firstly, how about selling tickets to your event? This way everyone will be donating towards Eat So They Can by simply coming along and enjoying themselves! If you can get some sponsorship for food, drinks, or live music, that means you can keep costs down as much as possible.
Another great idea is to hold a raffle or an auction as part of your event. You could start by asking local businesses if they would be willing to donate items or services towards the cause. It’s worth asking a variety of places – we’ve even got a dentist on board who will be donating a teeth-whitening service worth $750! Artwork from local artists can make a lovely prize, as can vouchers for specialty stores. Otherwise, instead of guests purchasing tickets for a raffle, you could hold an auction where guests could bid for the items.
It’s always fun to include different activities during your event – a popular choice is to have a quiz to raise awareness about Eat So They Can and the projects we support around the world. And, of course, don’t forget to show the Eat So They Can 2012 DVD which will be part of your Party Pack this year! We’ve just had a sneak preview and it’s looking amazing – it’s safe to say you and your guests will be in for a treat.
Check out last week’s blog post
for lots of different event ideas, and inspiration from our International Interns and previous hosts! With some careful planning and preparation, you’ll find that it’s a breeze to reach $500 and be entered into the draw – not to mention having heaps of fun at your event!
- Elizabeth and the ESTC Team
As the official ESTC weekend is gradually coming closer, we thought we’d share with you all some ideas and inspiration for hosting an event! If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so here
Last year there was a huge range of Eat So They Can events around the world, from smaller intimate dinner parties to glamorous cocktail parties and everything in between! Here are a few samples of previous Eat So They Can events:
• Sunday Best Trivia
: this event took place in Newcastle, Australia. With 85 guests, the trivia night raised funds towards women’s empowerment projects around the world, and was a huge success!
• Cocktail Party:
this party was in Lima, Peru. All guests made a donation of any amount, which served as the entry ticket and one ticket for the raffle. Guests could then purchase additional raffle tickets for a set price. A variety of artists and designers donated generous raffle prizes, a local DJ provided the music and a company donated the drinks.
• Peruvian Dinner
: the guests at this dinner party in Canada were treated to a range of traditional Peruvian dishes, a quiz to raise awareness and a raffle with donated items.
• Bush Brekky
: a group went hiking in beautiful New Zealand bush and then had a gourmet breakfast of bacon, eggs, coffee, bananas and pancakes!
Remember, your Eat So They Can event can be anything at all – the only limit is your imagination! For more ideas, check out our Past Events page
Here's the breakdown of the types of events hosted last year:
• 50% hosted a dinner party
• 10% hosted a cocktail party
• 10% hosted a lunch
• 30% hosted some other kind of event – including wine tasting, picnics, High Tea, guided tours, talent shows, online events, and brunch.
Here are the different fundraising methods used by hosts last year - many hosts used multiple methods.
• 51% had an optional donation
• 35% had a suggested donation
• 25% had a set ticket price
• 22% had a raffle
This year our International Interns are doing an amazing job of organizing events all around the world! Some ideas currently in progress include:
• A multi-school art auction, selling children’s artwork
• A fashion event at a boutique hotel
• An art show
• Wine tasting at a vineyard
• Yoga classes
• Silent auctions
• A formal ball
• Casino night
• Harbour dinner cruise
• An international food festival
• An Eat So They Can Amazing Race
You can see the huge diversity of events that will be taking place this year! We hope this has given you a few ideas for hosting your own event. If you have any questions or would like some advice on hosting an event, please get in touch with us!
Good luck with your event planning,
Elizabeth and the ESTC Team