Last year my family and I wanted to do something to commemorate our late son’s passion for feeding the hungry. We saw a sign for the Red Bank CROP Walk and realized the walk was on his birthday so we started an on line team for the 2009 Red Bank Crop Walk. We did not join as part of a church or other organization, but simply as an independent family who wished to honor our son, Chris who had volunteered at food pantries and had often said that “Food is a right - not a privledge!”
We did all of our team organizing and fundraising online, using the convenient tools offered at www.cropwalkonline.org/redbanknj The website took us step by step thru the process of starting a team and asking for donations. The website allowed us to import email addresses from our contact list. That made it really easy. We typed up a form letter that explained our intentions, and sent it to everyone on our downloaded list.
We got a tremendous response! Some friends volunteered as team members, some gave online donations, some did both. We offered our home address and phone number so people could mail us checks if they weren’t comfortable donating online, or if they had questions. The website gives donators the option of sharing their name, or remaining anonymous.
As our team captain, the website offered me tools to keep track of all the donations towards our team, and all donations collected by each team member. There is also a checklist to help keep track of who in your list responded, and who was sent a thank you. Thank you notes are so important in my opinion. I sent an individual thank you to every person that donated. I wanted to be sure that they knew how much we appreciated their participation. If someone donated online, I sent them a personal email thank you note. If someone sent a check in the mail, I sent a thank you card by mail to their home. I also sent a personal thank you to each team member that walked with us.
The day of the walk was special to us. We felt blessed to spend Chris’ birthday doing something he felt so passionate about. I would encourage any group to check out the Red Bank Page on the Church World Service website www.cropwalkonline.org/redbanknj and try your hand at online fundraising. Even if you are not comfortable with computers, the website makes it pretty easy. And I will be happy to help any of you that want some assistance with this.
Please help CROP Walk to assist 17 local partners in our local Monmouth County communities.
Best Wishes and Good Luck this year!
For more information: 2009 article Holmdel Journal by Tony Senk, We Honor Chris Bradley