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Friday, March 16, 2012

UnBaby Shower Fundraiser

I have been walking in the March for Babies for the past four years. I love this organization for many reasons and have always looked for fun ways to raise money for the event. I have a lot of friends who would donate, but I didn’t want to just ask for money. I wanted to have an event where they could have fun while donating, so I came up with the UnBaby Shower.
The first time I sent the invitation out, all of my friends called to see when I was due. I assured everyone that there was in fact no baby. Some people believed me and some just wanted to come to make sure. I was recently divorced, so they were extra curious.  Once they finally believed me, I could move on to the real reason I had the shower...the other babies that aren’t born as healthy as mine were.
The UnBaby Shower is a great party because you can piggy back on the baby shower theme with promoting the March of Dimes. As I see it, it’s a natural fit. Baby showers are always fun and this one just lacks the “oohs” and “awes” from attendees when presents are opened, but we still have a good time. I have a lot of friends who own their own home businesses, and I ask them to bring their items to the shower to sell. It’s not a home show, it’s just a table where my guests can buy something they like and a portion of the sales comes back to the team. This year, I have my friend Kristen bringing her Sentsey display.
A couple of months before the event I ask a few people I know if they would be willing to donate something for the raffle. I usually get gift cards, movie tickets and other items, and I put together a gift basket and my friend with the home show will donate as well. Everyone leaves with something. If it’s not a raffle ticket, it’s a bag of Hershey kisses with a rattle lollypop. I remember when I was younger and attended parties; I always thought the best part of the whole event was the goody bag. So that is why I make sure to have something for everyone take home.
Donations are easy to ask for at an event like this because the shower puts everyone in a fun and giving mood. On the invitation I send out, I also ask that everyone bring a $10 donation. They receive a raffle ticket for their donation and for just one dollar more, they can purchase another one. All of the money we receive goes straight to our team. I don’t believe in taking money out to cover expenses – it’s just my way of donating to my team.
What is an UnBaby Shower without all of the silly games? We play shower games like bingo, what’s in the bag, baby shower lotto and the baby word game. Most of the time all we do is laugh. I always add in a little speech about March for Babies and why I walk. I talk about my miscarriage, my nephew born at 4 lbs 11 oz and about my boys who were born healthy. I try to encourage others in the group to share stories if they want, and I make sure to thank everyone for their generosity.
The UnBaby Shower is (I think) one of my best ideas. It mixes the mission of March for Babies, lots of fun, and fundraising! You can’t beat that! This event has a big impact on my team’s fundraising goals every year. I have friends who ask, “When is that baby shower is going to be? You know the one without the baby?” I’ve even expanded my team this year to five members! We’ve come a long way, and we only have more room to grow! My family team, CaseyHale Boys, will continue to be a part of the March for Babies for many years to come.
Please feel free to take the UnBaby Shower idea and use it for your fundraising. You’ll see how fun it is and how it makes fundraising so easy!

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