April 7, 2021 / DIY Fundraising

Crafting to End Duchenne

Crafting to End Duchenne

Restrictions on large gatherings made the Labbadia family’s annual kickball tournament fundraiser impossible in 2020, so instead they chose an activity they could do together as a family while bringing holiday cheer to others – crafting holiday ornaments and bandanas!  Colleen Labbadia shares how their crafting idea, Deck the Halls for Duchenne, took flight and what she learned along the way:

Q: Tell us a little bit about your event and why you chose to do it.

A: Since our family was unable to host our annual kickball tournament, because of the ongoing pandemic, we decided to ‘Deck the Halls for Duchenne.’ Our family truly enjoys the holiday season and loves spending time decorating and celebrating. Together we felt that we could combine our holiday cheer with our ongoing mission to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne…all in hopes of making seasons bright for others. We went on to craft hundreds of “HOPE” ornaments and personalized pet bandanas. Our little endeavor to continue fundraising amidst COVID turned into a HUGE success and we are very grateful!

Q: How did you fundraise?

A: Our fundraiser was run exclusively through social media. Posts on Facebook and Instagram highlighted our craft items for sale, ordering methods, and modes of payment. It was very easy and all orders were shipped as soon as payment was received in full. Our posts were shared by and large and the response was incredible! We also received great feedback explaining how and where the ornaments were displayed and/or gifted to others! The pictures of the pets in their bandanas were probably our favorite take away from this fundraiser.

Q: How did you adapt your event to make it COVID-safe?

A: Since our kickball tournament has previously brought out hundreds of people, we knew we had to find an alternative fundraiser that was safe. The ornaments and bandanas we created we able to be delivered via contactless drop-offs to ensure the safety of all involved. We printed shipping labels from home and had the post office pick up the packages to be shipped. We also dropped off purchases on buyer’s doorsteps. These delivery methods were simple and greatly appreciated by the recipients.

Q: Is there anything you would do differently next time?

A: Since I drastically underestimated the massive and successful response we received for this fundraiser, I would make MORE items to start with for next time. Luckily I was able to purchase additional supplies and create more ornaments and bandanas to fulfil all orders, but I had to do so in a shorter amount of time. Fortunately, it all worked out and everyone received their items prior to the Christmas holiday! However, a next time I would create a larger inventory prior to marketing our fundraiser.

Q: What is your advice for someone planning an event in 2021?

A: I had a great time making these ornaments and bandanas. For anyone looking at creating a fundraiser, I would recommend building off of something that you enjoy doing. Once you have that idea, you can determine how to create a fundraiser out of it. Painting, stenciling, and using my Cricut machine are some of my most favorite hobbies, but I do not always have time to work on them. Our fundraiser allowed me the time to craft. It also offered me some quiet time to reflect on our Duchenne journey and our hopes for a brighter future. Many prayers were said as these items were created, and I hope those prayers are answered on those who received them.

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