Children get sick and often need financial assistance in order to receive the medical treatments they need. Whether the economy is going well or not, a child's illness can present significant financial challenges, threatening devastating consequences for the family. Even if the child is covered by health insurance, the plan may require coinsurance payments, deductibles or co-pays that are too steep for the family to reasonably cover. In these cases, friends, relatives and the community can help to fill the financial void by raising money through various fundraising activities.
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Focus your fundraising on the child's needs. Talk to her parents and find out what they need to help pay for medical care. Make fundraising jars for the general public to donate spare change and small bills to help contribute. Distribute these jars at local stores around your community. Set up a bank account for all donations, and ask the bank to designate the account with the child's name, so donors will be able to make donations specifically for her medical care.
Generate publicity by using YouTube. Film a short fundraising video, asking for donations and include information about the donation bank account, including the bank name, address and the account number.
Create a webpage, so you can disseminate the fundraiser information more widely. If you aren't technologically savvy, have someone else make the webpage. Include Facebook in your fundraising efforts, and ask visitors to your Facebook page to contribute.
Contact local media--radio, print and television-- and let them know that a local family is in need of donations to help pay for the costs of medical care for a sick child. Tie this publicity in to a fundraising event such as a concert, auction or dinner-dance.
Create an e-mail list of donors. You want to have their names and contact information easily accessible, so you can thank them for their help, let them know how the child is doing and keep them up to date on the fundraising efforts. Schedule regular update e-mails--at least once a month unless something happens with the child's condition.
Tips and warnings
- Don't stop with just one kind of fundraiser or only one fundraiser. The sick child will continue needing financial assistance as she recovers from her illness.
- Involve locally known artists (musicians and painters) in your fundraising efforts. Ask them to donate their services or artwork.
- Register your fundraiser if your community's laws require doing so.
- Limit access to the money that has been raised in order to reduce the risk of theft or embezzlement.
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