Recently, I volunteered at my town’s collector car auction. I thought it was such an interesting experience. Even though it’s usually boys who like cars, I do too, even though I admit to being a full on girly girl. I thought it was so awesome how many car enthusiasts gathered for the whole day, from all walks of life! Men and women, boys and girls, young and old, it seemed everybody enjoyed seeing beautiful vehicles I could only dream of owning.
Lucky for me, one of the organizers of the auction was kind enough to let me bring my donation box for Free the Children! Since I was working at the admission table, people would donate their spare change after purchasing their passes for the auction. From the change donations alone, I earned $109! It was also an incredibly generous surprise, for me to find out at the end of my work day that I was getting paid for my volunteer work. I decided to put this towards my fundraising, which gave me a total of $191.
I’m not going to lie, I honestly find that fundraising has been the most challenging component of the entire pageant for me, it can be quite intimidating asking people for money, even though it’s for a charity. However, I now realize the purpose of this challenge, and why we get bonus impression marks if we raise $1,000 and above. It shows a lot of initiative, organization and leadership to be able to raise such an amount of money, and in the end it is all donated to such a worthy cause. After experiencing first hand how difficult it can be, I find it absolutely astonishing and inspiring to hear that the most money every raised by a Miss Teen Canada- World delegate was $14,000!
Since plenty of fundraising happens at high schools, I decided to ask the upper school principal at my school if there was anything we could do. Unfortunately, since I go to a private school, there can be much more specific rules, and in the constitution we aren’t permitted to fundraise. However, this doesn’t mean that my teachers haven’t been incredibly supportive.
My principal actually used to be the Free the Children representative at the school he last taught at, and he actually did the Vow of Silence for an entire day, while he taught classes! He suggested that I prepare something short I can say to the upper school explaining what Free the Children is, why I care about it, and why they should as well, so that way they can feel free to donate without breaking any school rules. Also, today I spoke to my badminton coach whose extremely easy going, and easy to talk to. He suggested that I speak to a few teachers about collecting their bottles, or even asking the school’s headmistress about getting a week’s worth of the school’s recycled bottle bags. It was also so kind of him to donate $5 to me today for my donations box- random acts of kindness ALWAYS make my day!
Although I’m quite nervous to ask, I have to tell myself that the worst possible scenario is a no. But honestly, rejection is a part of life, and it is something that everybody faces through their life, no matter how successful or prestigious they may be. Something my mom tells me when I vent my concerns to her is, “You know, most people probably find it easier to ask your teacher for a bag of recycled bottles than to model a bikini in a provincial beauty pageant”. Her advice always makes me laugh- it’s brutally honest yet hilarious!