I guess most of the readers know I’m Tamil. And I know that there are a lot more people out there that are better equipped to write about the war. That’s not what I’m going to do. I just wanted to share something that I’m quite proud of – not for any kind of glory but because it was so much more successful than I anticipated.
We all know what the situation is like back home; some more than others. But there’s only so much protesting can do.
Every time I log onto FB, I’ve been invited to some other rally and some other protest and whilst I agree that there does need to be some kind of International Community involvement – even if it is just to highlight the situation more (some people I work with don’t even know that SL exists, let alone what’s happening there!), what difference has it really made?!
So A decided he wanted to raise some money. Host a charity event. So between A, R (who will maybe feature more in this blog as time goes on) and myself, we decided to go for it. A few ideas were thrown about and in the end we decided to have a charity auction. But not just random stuff for auction. We decided to auction off “dates” (yeah, it kinda borders on prostitution but not quite!)! This was all decided on 28/01/09 (you’ll see why I’m telling you the dates a bit later) and by that Friday we had a venue and a date for the event to take place – 04/02/09. That gave us exactly 5 days for us to market the event, get people who were willing to be auctioned, get restaurants to sponsor the dates and choose a charity. A charity that was preferably on justgiving so we didn’t have to handle large donations. That weekend was spent marketing it on FB (you gotta love it!), me making frantic telephone calls to friends calling in all kinds of favours as well as promising all kinds of favours (get your minds out of the gutter – nothing sexual!).
A has me down as a bit of a wordsmith – well, when I am compared against him. So I sent out a whole load of emails, messages and wrote the fundraiser page synopsis. Wednesday arrived as quick as we had thought of the idea and I spent most of the day running around finding stuff to collect the money in. Arriving at the venue (a bar lounge provided free to us), I set about creating the scene. I put the names of the restaurants into envelopes so those being auctioned off could choose.
And slowly people started to wander in – the after work crowd comprised of faces familiar and some of those not so familiar. I would have been happy if 20 people turned up but by the end of the evening I reckon at least 90 people had passed through the doors.
A was the comperé and thus began the auctioning. It wasn’t a normal auction. We set a bid increment which happened to be £5. Whenever you bidded, you only put in the £5 and the last person to bid would win the date. Thus, you could bid 4 times and spend £20 but your last £5 might have won you the date. We thought that this would work better than one person having to fork out £60/£70 and surprisingly it did… On the night, we raised £1981! For something that was arranged within a week, I’m so pleased that it worked out. Currently our total stand at just over £3500 with online donations and an employee charity fundraising scheme.
For some of those people that this war is more than the marches, the protests, the sitting in comfy offices preaching or dictating – hopefully it’ll make some difference.
Not just who I am – but a part of what I am.