Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. 14-year-old microgrant recipient Angelina’s project, Soaps for Floats, was a one-day fundraising event in which people donated soap bars, body wash, laundry detergent, dish soap, and other toiletry products in exchange for an ice cream float. Event attendees were also able to purchase the ice cream floats with money in lieu of a soap donation. The money raised was donated to a local food pantry, and all donated items were distributed to low-income individuals who were unable to purchase these specific items with food stamps.
- How many volunteers participated in your project? How many hours did it involve?
I had 14 volunteers help me on the day of the event, and many businesses donated items for the raffle baskets. The event was a total of 3 hours, but volunteers stayed for about 4 hours to help with set up and clean up. I spent many weeks planning the event and all that went with it, spending at least 12-15 hours on it in total.
- What did you learn from this experience?
This experience was eye opening in so many ways. I learned just how much work it takes to plan and run an event. This also taught me about budgeting and tracking expenses, along with contacting businesses in a professional manner. Seeing people donate their time, talents, and treasure is so inspiring. For example, a group of adult men with mental disabilities attended the event to receive floats. They had never had ice cream floats before and were really excited to try them and get their faces painted. Seeing such a small act make someone so happy is incredibly rewarding. So, though I learned about the professional parts of running an event, I also learned the joy that comes from helping people.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future?
This project will continue to have an impact on the lives of many people in need. In total, over 500 soap products were donated, all of which went to the Community Outreach Program of Steger, Illinois. This program gives food and household goods to those in need in the community. Many families benefited from this project as the soap was distributed over many weeks. Some have even suggested that this become an annual event, which would benefit community members for years to come.
- Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.
For my project, I ran a fundraising event called Soaps for Floats that collected household soap products to donate to a local food pantry. People who donated either soap or $1 enjoyed an ice cream float along with games, face painting, and raffle baskets. I put a lot of time and effort into making sure that this event ran smoothly. I set up a time and place for the event, asked for and received donations from local businesses, advertised using multiple types of media, and purchased all of the supplies needed for the event to run smoothly. The event was held on July 15th, 2017. Overall, it went even better than expected. There were about 100 people who attended this event. In total, over 500 soap products were donated, and $200 was donated to the food pantry, which will use this money to purchase toiletries to distribute to the community. The success of this project is more than what I was hoping for, and the amount of community support surpassed my expectations.
- How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?
Without this microgrant, I never would have had such a successful fundraiser. I used the money I received to purchase all of the supplies for the floats, raffle baskets, games, and other supplies needed to run this event. With the $250 grant I received, I collected over 500 soap products and raised over $150 on the day of the event alone. Not only did this opportunity inspire me to do good in the world, but it gave me the means to do so.