By Cherri Walrod – Founder and Director of Resources4adoption.com © April 2016
I cannot tell you how many families I talk to, email with and read about on social media who long to begin the adoption process but lack the funds to even start.
Almost every grant and adoption loan available requires the family to have a completed home study before they can even apply for this type of assistance.
So where does this leave a family with no funds to start? The answer is generally fundraisers. However, this answer creates even more questions than it answers. Which fundraisers? What type of fundraisers will work for my family? How much time do we have to dedicate to fundraisers? My small community is fundraised out! How can we even do this?
I have to answer these questions all over again since my family is currently in the international adoption process for the fourth time. I am constantly on the lookout for new and amazing fundraisers …especially ones that actually work well! Just a side note: Just in case you were wondering ….fundraising is REALLY hard work!
Let me tell you about a fundraiser which I just recently learned about. It is a CLOTHING AND SHOE DRIVE. My family is actually doing one for this adoption. This kind of fundraiser has the potential to raise most of the funds you will need to get you through the home study process. The best part about the whole thing is that it is totally free! Nothing to buy, nothing to sell! Everyone will be happy about that!
Here are some things that I have learned about a clothing and shoe drive:
One company, Angel Bins, who is based out of California will do shoe only drives outside of their service area. For a shoe only drive, there are generally more restrictions on what type of shoes and the minimum number of shoes needed before they will come pick up. For Angel Bins, it is a minimum of 10,000 pairs of shoes which is a pay out of approximately $4,500 (depending on how far you are from California). Some adoptive families have earned well over $10,000 from this fundraiser, but that is the exception.
Since we were not sure if we could get the minimum number of shoes in a short time frame, we chose a local company which does both clothing and shoes. It pays less than for shoes only, but it is what we felt like would work best in our community. The stuff that can be used will be used for those who need it. The stuff that cannot be used will be recycled.
Once you have your logistics figured out, it is time to start shouting your message to all your friends and neighbors. It is important to get them involved too. Don’t just ask them for their donations …ask them to ask their friends and friends of friends and so on. This kind of fundraiser works best if you get several bags from A LOT of people.
One other note: It is usually better to wait to ask for cash donations once you are a little further along in the process. If you happen to get a matching grant at some point then that would be a great time to ask for monetary support.
Some people’s trash can help you bring home your treasure!
Remember to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am happy to help!
Cherri Walrod is mom to six children and the Founder and Director of Resources4Adoption.com. Resources4Adoption.com is the #1 educational resource for adoptive families seeking financial assistance. From help in writing compelling grant and loan applications to providing tips for fundraisers, Resources4Adoption offers personalized support for each family.