Overview: Why The Book Smart Project? I chose The Book Smart Project because I believe that every child has the right to receive an education. I also believe education is essential and empowers children to have a better tomorrow and understand the world. I also searched for other organizations and causes which I could support. However, I decided to support this cause as the idea of every child being educated appeals to me; as they say, education can make a difference!
Plant Fundraising Activity: This fundraiser was one of my first initiatives as an Empower And Help Ambassador. Since becoming an ambassador, I have constantly been thinking of new ways to give back to the community. After learning about The Book Smart Project, I was moved and decided that I wanted to support this cause. While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary. Whether by joining Empower And Help or a small act of kindness to give it back to the community, I strongly encourage everyone to look for ways to make a difference and uplift others, especially those in need.
As a starting point, I brainstormed my ideas with my friends and family to collect money for my fundraiser. I decided on having a plant sale to raise money. I created a draft of the flyer with all the necessary details with my plant fundraiser’s date, time, and location. After finalizing the draft, I sent it out to my mentors for their feedback. One of my mentors guided me on how to include a barcode in the flyer for online donations and include a variety of plants with offerings of $5 Holy Basil (Tulsi), $5 Curry Patta, $5 Hibiscus, $3 Pothos, $7 Large Coleus, $5 Small Coleus, $6 Mums, $6 Speedwell, $3 Basil, 3$ Mint and Ajwain (Carom Seed). There was also an option to pick up plants before the fundraiser or on the Fundraiser Day on the Google form. I sold about 80 plants in total.
Looking back, I learned a lot of things in the process; here is a list of some of the things I learned:
- I learned how an idea can be executed at an event and what it takes to succeed.
- I learned how to create a flyer and set up a booth for a plant sale.
- I learned how to do community outreach, connect with people, and create awareness about my cause, fundraiser, and organization.
- I learned how to plan the logistics of my plant sale and, due to the pandemic, we opened a plant sale before the fundraiser and Google Form was an essential tool to collect responses and coordinate with buyers.
- I learned how to export the Google form responses to a spreadsheet and stay organized throughout the process.
- I learned about plant care, propagation, marketing, organization, leadership, and social skills.
- Friends, family, and a supportive community will always be around to help and get involved in such noble causes, so it is important to seek them out during your fundraiser. I am very thankful for local supporters who propagated Holy Basil(Tulsi) and Curry Patta from their homes and gave me saplings for my plant sale. In the process, I have also reached out to local farms for their support, but it was quite a process to get through the right contact. Nevertheless, there is always learning with everything we do.
Proud Sponsors: I am thankful to Home Depot and the Brace Place in Manalapan for their support to raise funds for The Book Smart Project. I had a raffle on the Fundraiser Day for the buyers who purchased $15 or more. It was fun to organize this plant fundraiser, from creating the flyer, collecting money for the plant sale, making a difference, and supporting a noble cause. Additionally, I added a small lemonade table to quench the thirsts of the buyers on a humid day!
Conclusion: Like any other matter, enough support is needed to make any event successful. I invited a couple of friends to help me along the way on the day of the plant sale, from setting up the table to handing out the last glass of lemonade. To manage the inventory, I wrote the names of buyers on their plant’s pot to stay organized and visualize my inventory status. Overall, this effort made the whole process easier and more efficient. I even printed barcodes for any buyers looking forward to donating and purchasing on the spot. My goal was to raise about $200, and I am so grateful I raised $1,018. I enjoyed being a part of the process, and I hope to continue making a difference.
[By Bhavyaa Pahlajani, is Empower And Help Student Ambassador 2021 from New Jersey]