Fundraising Safari: Young People Get Creative to Respond to Sandy

Nick Kiger | February 4, 2013


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a CWS field staff person?  You know, the people who help you organize your CROP Hunger Walks, you Blankets+ Sundays and your CWS Kits collections?  Well, thanks to the new CWS Blog and yours truly, you will now have an inside look.

The best part of working as CWS field staff is all of the people, groups and organizations we get to interact with.  There are some really amazing people in the world and we have the privilege of working with a lot of them every single day!  After Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of the east coast of the U.S., field staff hit the phones to reach out to our supporters to help us respond quickly and effectively to the storm.  Knowing that thousands of people were without power and the temperatures were quickly dropping, we asked groups to do a CWSBlankets+ fundraiser or collect CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets.  We had a great response from everyone, but the response we got from young people, especially here in Ohio, showed how creativity could be used to help people in need.

A few days after my initial phone calls, I got a response with an interesting question: “What is the size of a CWS Blanket?”  That’s right, the chaplain from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, wanted to know the size of a CWS Blanket.  I happily responded that one CWS Blanket is 8 x 5 ½ feet.  Why did Defiance College want to know the size of a CWS Blanket you ask?  Because Defiance students came up with the idea to “cover their court” with CWS Blankets.  Not literal CWS Blankets, but they wanted to get enough $5 donations to provide enough blankets to Hurricane Sandy survivors to cover the entire area of their basketball court.  Cover the Court was a huge success, with students, faculty, staff and community members all pitching in to raise enough money to purchase 110 CWS Blankets!

Not only did Defiance College students do their part to respond to Hurricane Sandy, but their idea to cover the court has spread far beyond Defiance, Ohio!  College and high school groups all over the country are doing what they can to cover their own basketball courts by raising money to purchase CWS Blankets.

I get to see inspiring creativity come out of terrible tragedy.  I get to see people rise up to the challenge when complete strangers need them most.  I get to see young people spark an idea that ignites a response from other students thousands of miles away.  There are some amazing people in the world, and as a CWS staffer, I get to work with a lot of them every single day.

Nick Kiger, Ohio Associate Regional Director/CWS