Letter to the Editor: The following is an original letter sent to Patch by Kara Patrovic of Kara2Mijael.
Dear Families and Friends,
I would like to thank you for contributing to my cause. Your contributions have helped me raise almost 4,500 dollars out of my 5,400 dollar goal so about 85 percent of my goal has been achieved! I thank you for your kind words as well because they were also just as important and appreciated. And I thank many of you for your donations of saleable items (for my yard sale) and clothes and supplies that I can bring to Bolivia.
The past few months have been very busy; it is amazing how much this fundraiser has grown. It started out as just a letter in the bulletin of my church. I was a bit naive and had thought that this would cover most of the cost of the trip. Then I checked out the price of just one plane ticket and reality hit me. I knew it would be a lot harder to reach my goal than I had originally thought, so I began writing letters to you, my family and friends, and I was surprised and excited by how many responses and how much interest I was getting in the cause. Then I knew I couldn’t just stop there; I started to write letters to local businesses to see what they could do and within a week I got a phone call from the Miller Place Wendy’s manager asking if I wanted to have a fundraiser there.
At first, it was very hard to put the fundraiser together with her and I kept catching her at the wrong time, and I became discouraged; the flow of donations through the mail had slowed down and I was coming closer to my intended date of the trip. I started to lose hope and thought I would never reach my goal. However, I kept pushing forward and finally devised a date with her.
I was excited but also nervous because I wasn’t confident that many people would have interest in coming. I sent out emails to all of the local organizations about the Wendy’s Fundraiser to send out to their distribution lists and I hung up fliers for the fundraiser on every door in my school to spread the word. I wanted to raise as much money as possible because I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for; this would help me a lot. That night, Wednesday, June 6, the Wendy’s Fundraiser set sales records for the restaurant! Including donations, I received a grand total of 765 dollars! I was excited and had a warm feeling in my heart that people wanted to help me with my endeavor.
In the last few months, I have also been working with my High School’s Service Club and they sold Bolivian flags - each person to buy a flag had their name hung up on the wall of my cafeteria. Also, every person who donated to my cause in general was acknowledged with their own flag. I have also gone to local events to spread the word of my cause and receive donations. I have been collecting and returning bottles and cans to use the return money towards my cause. I have a job refereeing and have used all proceeds towards my cause.
I still have not reached my goal, so I am continuing to fundraise. Currently, I am trying to negotiate with airlines to get discounted flight tickets so that more of the money I raise can go towards Mijael and the people around him. I ask that if you know anyone who works with airlines, please let me know so I have a better chance of receiving the tickets at a discount. I am also having a Car Wash at Miller Place Applebee’s on Saturday, July 7th from 10am - 1pm. I am also planning to have a yard sale in the middle or end of July. If you have any toys or supplies or other items that you do not need anymore, please contact me and I will be glad to take them off your hands to sell at my yard sale to benefit my cause, or to give to the children in Tarija. I will be making t-shirts for my trip with the “Kara2Mijael” logo on the front, and a list of all my sponsors on the back; I will bring the shirts to Bolivia to give to Mijael and his mother.
My plans have changed in the meantime, and I have decided to go on the trip in August; that way I have more time to fundraise to reach my goal. I have already learned so much just by planning the trip; it has changed the way I think and helped my understanding of money, a budget and basically planning and running a small organization. It has changed me a lot this year, but I believe my trip will not just change my year, but will change my life. I cannot wait to visit Mijael, his family and friends and hopefully begin an adventure and pursue my dream, which will only get bigger, of making the world a better place. I want you to remember that the reason I can do this is because of you and your generosity! You have helped the world become a better place and will benefit many people’s lives besides just Mijael and I.
I will attempt to communicate my progress as often as possible, but you can follow my progress on my website, www.facebook.com/kara2mijael. (You don’t have to be a Facebook member to visit the site, but if you are, when you “Like” it, you will receive updated information.) If you have any questions, or if you are still interested in helping my cause, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for all of your continued support.
God bless you,