Right ... I'm gonna confess... I'm rubbish at posting regularly. I have loads of blog entries that I've got half written or outlined in my head, but life seems to get in the way lately. Not that being busy with your family & friends is a bad thing (obviously), but not so great when you are hoping to build a readership for your blog! I had already explained how we have been a little busy with visitors over the first few months of the year. Well, they have now sadly gone, but life has remained just as hectic. Occupying my energies over the last few weeks in particular has been organising a fundraiser for a little English girl called Amelia. She is 3 years old, beautiful, spirited and unfortunately has a huge inoperable brain tumor. She is here in Houston, Texas to participate in a medical trial that we are all praying will save her life. Her parents have shown amazing strength and courage in dealing with this terrible ordeal and some of us local Houston families wanted to support them during this time. We organised a last minute Easter party for Amelia at a local restaurant called Clay's (a fabulous, family friendly place) and held a fundraising raffle and egg hunt for the kids! Thanks to the generosity of lots of lovely people, we were able to raise nearly $2,500 to help the family pay for the treatment (a small fraction of what they need in total, but a heartfelt gesture on behalf of the folks involved!).
One of the things we needed for our raffle was ballot style boxes. We wanted to do a Chinese style raffle, whereby you only enter for the draws you are interested in! However, with a lot of generously donated prizes, we needed a lot of boxes! You can buy these from stationary supply stores, but we wanted to minimize costs so that all profits went directly to Amelia. I therefore decided to make them myself and found inspiration in the form of drinks can boxes... the multipack sort of carton you buy in the grocery store with cans of beer or soda! The best thing about these style of boxes/cartons is that they have a pre-perforated slot in the top designed to be a handle!
You will need:
- Empty drinks can boxes/cartons (I used some that had contained 12 cans of sparkling water like the ones below, but a variety of different brands have similar designs)
- Wrapping paper (I got some really cheerful stuff from the dollar bins in Target!)
- Sticky tape
- Labels to describe your prize
- Raffle tickets (the double ones with the 'keep me' stubs)
This could not be easier... simply wrap the box in gift wrap paper leaving one end open. Find the handle slot and make a slit in the wrapping paper, fold the paper into the slot (and into the box) and secure inside with sticky tape. Close the open end of the box loosely (no need to tape shut) and complete the wrapping. This will be the end of the box you open to stick your hand in to draw the raffle tickets! On the other end of the box you can add a label so that people know what draw they are entering! Then people simply post their raffle tickets into the boxes they want to enter the draw for (remembering to keep the other half of their tickets!).
As you can see below, Amelia had a lovely afternoon with the other kids... participating in an Easter egg hunt and even getting to ride a pony with a pink mane (specially prepared for Amelia by the lovely staff at Clay's Restaurant)! Plus, we managed to raise a brilliant $2,400 from our raffle and auction!
If you would like to read more about Amelia and the fundraising efforts going on (or even to donate if you are able), please check out her website by clicking on the link below: