Great Ideas to Help Make a Difference
There’s a great deal you can do to raise awareness and support for Episcopal Relief & Development’s work around the world.
Here are some fun and exciting ways to get your family, friends, church and school group involved.
- Raise Awareness about poverty, hunger and disease
- Use one or more of our Christian Formation programs in your church or school
- Get inspired by our Friends of Episcopal Relief & Development series, which highlights creative fundraising efforts by groups and individuals
Whether in your community, church, or family, you can help spread the word about opportunities for people to respond to poverty, disease and hunger through Episcopal Relief & Development. Here are just a few suggestions:
Start a reading club focused on poverty and related issues. Check our suggested reading list for materials.
Create a display using a mosquito net as a powerful visual aid to educate people about malaria. Purchase a net from a local camping store or online and hang it prominently in your church to draw attention. Include a poster or brochures with information from our NetsforLife® page about how this net can help stop a deadly disease.
Arrange a “sleeping bag Saturday.” Church youth members can sleep outside or in the church basement to experience a night without the comforts they’re accustomed to and learn more about the importance of long-lasting insecticidal nets for preventing the transmission of malaria. The next day’s sermons and Sunday school activities can include discussion on the experience of “living” in someone else’s shoes and the hardships of poverty.
Hold a weekend holiday retreat to explore challenges facing people living in poverty. Consider taking a special offering to support Episcopal Relief & Development’s work around the world.
Want to fundraise to support our Gifts for Life program? Hold a special event and have fun in the process! Here are some examples.
Organize a read-a-thon, dance-a-thon or walk-a-thon. Collect pledges from family friends for each mile or hour of your activity.
Organize a weekend car wash and use the proceeds to purchase Gifts for Life.
Arrange a silent auction for your church and community members. Ask members of your congregation to donate items that can be put up for bidding.
Have your adult or children’s Sunday school class host and make an inexpensive dinner with an admission charge. Decide together what Gifts for Life selections to purchase with the proceeds.
Encourage your children to write letters to family members, friends, classmates and club or team members to raise money to purchase a special gift. Have them mention that the gift will make a difference for children in need.
Sponsor a church or neighborhood garage sale. Gather gently used books, crafts, clothes and household goods to sell, and use the money you raise to purchase items from the Gifts for Life catalog.
Hold a wine-tasting event and use the proceeds to purchase clean water or other basic needs for a family or community. Please click here to learn how St. Paul’s Episcopal, Franklin, TN, hosted a “Wedding at Cana” event.
Additional creative gift ideas
Courtesy of Barb Hagen (Episcopal Diocese of Montana and Province VI Coordinator for the Network)
Instead of going out to dinner with friends, hold a potluck and put the money saved into a basket. Then go through the Gifts for Life catalog as a group and choose items based on the amount collected.
Hold a Game Night and ask people to make a donation in order to participate. The group can then decide together what gifts to purchase with the collected funds.
“Get the Warden’s Goat”: Raise enough money to buy a goat in honor of your church’s warden. In the same way, you can “get the priest’s goat,” the treasurer’s, the auditor’s or whoever you choose.
Instead of holding a regular family, office or group gift exchange, pool the funds that would have been spent and choose Gifts for Life as a group, or give gifts to everyone based on their various interests. For example:
- For your child’s teacher: Nurture & Nourish the Earliest Learners or Educate Children Orphaned by AIDS
- For new parents or grandparents: Care for Moms & Newborns
- For an avid gardener: Seeds, Tools & Training, Fruit Trees or a Community Garden
- For a farmer: a Cow, Pig or Flock of Chickens
- For someone in health care: Vitamins and Medicine, Health Clinics or Training of Community Health Workers
- In honor of a baptism: Clean Water
- For campers: Mosquito Nets!
- For a banker, accountant or church treasurer: Micro-credit Loans for Women