When Rene Moquin and Annie Weissman thought about how they could further their global impact this spring, the answer seemed clear: reach out to family and friends to conduct fundraisers in support of Global Volunteers’ programs. While both have different methods for conducting their fundraisers, Rene and Annie each found ways to have fun while engaging new people. By the end of the summer, they had each contributed to raising over $2,500 for different aspects of the Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) program in Ipalamwa, Tanzania.

Annie began her fundraising efforts in March when she decided to host a wine and cheese party at her home for her friends. She knew that a party was in order, but wanted her event to have a greater purpose, as well. Excited by her experience serving with Global Volunteers in Tanzania in October 2018, Annie wanted to use the party as an opportunity to motivate others to become impassioned about supporting the mothers and children of the Reaching Children’s Potential program. She laid out her photo books on the coffee table, shared her stories of chatting with mothers on home visits and witnessing the joy of the students playing at the school, and asked her friends to support the women’s cooperative through a donation. Amongst the wine and cheese, Annie’s friends were happy to give, and together, they were able to raise enough funds to purchase a new sewing machine for the RCP mothers of the cooperative. This sewing machine will allow the mothers of the cooperative to produce more clothing for sale faster and at lower cost.

Rene took a different path for his fundraiser. He, like Annie, has served on many programs with Global Volunteers, but he has chosen to fundraise the cost of his service program contribution each time he has served. Rene prefers to do this because it provides him an opportunity to share something that is an important part of his life with his many friends and family. He says, “It’s not about the money. It’s about people supporting something that they think will make a difference.” Although Rene has not made it to Tanzania with Global Volunteers, he has traveled the country in support of other development projects and understands the detrimental effects of stunting on its population, so this Summer, he wanted to conduct a fundraiser solely in support of the Reaching Children’s Potential program. Using what he knew about the program and underlining the importance of investing in efforts to provide proper healthcare, nutrition, and support to mothers and families, Rene wrote a letter to his peers asking for their support, and received a substantial response.  His fundraiser was a great success, and all the money raised will be used to purchase nutritionally-fortified meals, Earthboxes, and chicken coops for RCP program members.

Since her first fundraiser, Annie and another former volunteer, Sharon Moore, have already been hard at work organizing another fundraiser—this time in support of RCP’s hand-washing stations. Rene is excited to begin planning a future service program in Tanzania where he can see how the donations he raised are having an impact. While they both brought their own unique style and personality to their fundraisers, both Annie and Rene have contributed to the improved lives and livelihoods of mothers and families in rural Tanzania and had a global impact.

If you are interested in helping to plant the seeds of change with a friends and family fundraiser like Annie or Rene, please contact mhill@globalvolunteers.org for ideas and support.

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