For all of those fundraising families out there, we want to share details and outcomes from all of our fundraisers.  We know how helpful it is to get ideas from other people and learn from their experiences.  So, here is a brief description of our missions and adoption fundraisers.  If you have any further questions about any of these ideas, just leave me a comment!  Thanks for reading!

BIG yard sale! - April 26th - raised $850
For this yard sale we collected donated items for about two months. We decided to have this sale out in the middle of our town because our street is not heavily traveled. It was a lot of work because we had to borrow tables from several people. We were out at our site with the first load of stuff at 6:00am. My dad and step-family was there to help unload and set up tables and start displaying all of our stuff. My dad and husband had to make more trips back to our garage to get more stuff!  We actually ran out of table space and just opened up boxes and bags for people to rummage through. It worked!  We had a sunny, warm day, lots of traffic, may generous shoppers, and we made over $850. The great part was that we had little left over and we were set right next to an Abba's Fund thrift store. So everything that was left over we could just walk down the sidewalk and donate! It was a long day but so worth it!

Give One Save One Fundraiser  - November 4-8
watch our video and give!  --Raised just over $600.   
This was a great, easy fundraiser. First, we had to create a video to represent us and our adoption. Over the summer, we had a friend or two help us get some video, and we added photos and set it to music.  Then, we filled out an application found on the give one save one blog.  It was several months before our family's turn came up in November, but it came at a perfect time!  The week leading up to our featured week, we posted things on our blog and on Facebook, and we asked our family to help us spread the word about us being the featured family.  We just wanted as many people as possible to view our video.  By the time the week was up, we had received enough to finish funding a matching grant we had been working hard to complete.  It was a blessing of a fundraiser!  I highly recommend G1S1 to any adopting family!

Car Wash & Bake Sale- raised $400+
In July, we hosted a car wash and bake sale at our local Advance Auto Parts.  If you want to do this type of fundraiser, I highly recommend Advance Auto because they generously donate all supplies: water, hoses, sponges, and soap!  All we had to do was advertise, make some signs, bake some goods, and borrow a tent to set up for the bake sale.  I included a poster with some info about Bulgaria and our girl.  We also recruited a few helpers, and we were set!  You can read my post about the car wash here.

Benefit Dinner - raised $1,500
For this event, Jeremy and I reserved the multi-purpose building at our church several months in advance.  We knew there was potential for a big turn out, and we wanted to enjoy the event rather than be cooking the whole time, so we knew we wanted to cater the food.  I have a part-time "adoption job" at a restaurant, so we decided to order chicken pie, mac-n-cheese, and baked apples from there.  They gave us a pretty good price!  Then we created event tickets to sell.  We sold tickets before and after church for a few weeks leading up to the event. We wanted to have a program and even looked into getting a guest speaker, but that didn't work out, so we prepared a presentation ourselves about the theology of orphan care and adoption.  We made video testimonies from our friends who have adopted and showed those during the presentation.  After the program, we had a dessert auction.  Several family members and church friends donated some awesome looking cakes.  We also auctioned off leftover food from the meal.  All-in-all this was a very worthwhile fundraiser!  We really appreciate every person who came and/or helped out in some way. This whole fundraising journey is such a humbling blessing.

Spaghetti Lunch Fundraiser #2- raised $885
 This fundraiser worked just like our first one (see below), but we did the cooking out of our church kitchen and sold plates to businesses and church members in the town near our church.  See my blog post here. We were truly blessed by many supportive folks who helped out in various ways with this event.  Thanks to you all!

 Beautiful Prints for Sale- raised $100
My dear friend, who just happens to be a talented graphic designer, is selling one-of-a-kind typography prints through her Etsy store.  For the months of November & December, $5 from every print sold will be donated to our adoption fund.  These prints are a MUST SEE and would make such unique Christmas gifts.  Please visit her store here or click on the link on the right hand side of our blog. 

Just Love Coffee - ended - not successful
We are selling Just Love Coffee products through our online coffee store!  GO HERE to purchase a variety of high-quality, organic, fair trade coffees from around the world.  We earn around $5 per bag to help raise needed funds for our adoption.  Coffee makes a great gift or stocking stuffer!  -- I'm not sure if it was the high cost of the coffee or that our circle of friends, family, and readers just aren't coffee lovers, but we sold zero coffee, so after a few months, we ended this fundraiser.  The good part is that we had no money invested up front.  For a coffee loving bunch, Just Love Coffee might work wonderfully, but it wasn't a good fit for us.

  Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale - raised $360
This yard sale worked the same as our first one that we did to raise money for our mission trip.  This time, the Lord really blessed because we only had about two weeks to collect items, but we received gobs of support from family, friends, co-workers, and church members.  We were not able to conduct the sale on Friday this time.  I also did not do newspaper ads this time around.  I think we did very well for a one-day sale!

Adoption Bug T-shirts! - still underway
We will be selling T-shirt for several months...probably until our dossier is submitted.  These shirts are beautiful!  Please visit our T-shirt store and consider purchasing a shirt.  We receive a commission for every tee sold and Steven Curtis Chapman's organization, Show Hope, receives $1 for every Show Hope tee sold.  Thanks so much for being a part of our journey!

Spaghetti Lunch Fundraiser - Raised $600+
You can read my post about our spaghetti lunch fundraiser for adoption here.  It involved some legwork, but the end result was great!  We had to put very little out-of-pocket money into it because of our supportive family, community, and friends, so almost everything we made was profit!  Yay!  We plan to do this type of event again possibly this Winter.

Bundle for Bulgaria #1 - raised $165
We are currently raffling off  a bundle of items for Bulgaria here.  This fundraiser is helping us raise money for our first set of adoption fees and home study fees which will all be due early this Fall.  It only costs five dollars to purchase a ticket and it's easy to donate through our Paypal button over on the right.  Every little bit adds up and helps give an orphan a home, a family, and a hope.  We hope you will be a part of this raffle!  Don't forget to share our blog on Facebook for an extra entry!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Yard Sale - Raised $400
We asked our church family, neighbors, and friends to donate their unwanted stuff to us.  We advertised at church, on Craigslist and Facebook, in the newspapers, and made signs for the road.  We found that we got a lot more traffic on Friday than on Saturday, and most of the big-ticket, good items were gone by the end of the day on Friday as well.  Overall, this was definitely a successful fundraiser because the only money we put into it was for the newspaper ads.  Thus, most of what we made was profit for our mission trip to Sudan.

Sharing @ CUMC - - Raised $1,600
To raise awareness, funds, and prayer support for our misssion trip to Sudan, Jeremy and I visited my my mother in-law's church to share at both morning services.  The generious church family there took up a "soup pot offering" at the end of both services for us.  It is our hope that Jeremy sharing our testimony went beyond just our mission trip.  We hope that others were inspired during the service to make disciples wherever they are.  We hope that someone was inspired to GIVE, to GO, to SEND, to SHARE, and to LOVE in the name of Jesus.

Gold Party - - Raised $343!
Our Gold Party was a lot of fun!  It was so neat to hang out and chat, eat good food, and see what everyone had.  A friend of a friend hosts Gold Parties where you invite your friends to come sell their gold items.  The company gives the host an amount depending upon the number of grams of gold sold at the party.  Some of us (like me) found out we were duped when we bought our "white gold" class rings only to find out they are not really gold!  Others brought a bag of stuff that they didn't even know what it was and ended up leaving with some extra cash in hand.  Overall, the night was a win for everyone, including our mission trip fund.  We raised $343 to help send us to Sudan.  If you are raising money for a cause, we definitely recommend having a Gold Party. 

Online Raffle- -  Raised $545
From Saturday, January 14th to Saturday, February 11th, we raffled off a new Kindle Touch from our blog!  We signed up for a PayPal account and installed a link to it here so that people could buy raffle tickets through this site.  A five dollar donation bought one virtual raffle ticket, ten dollars buys two tickets, and so on.  On February 11th at 11pm a name was randomly chosen from the ticket list and the winner of the Kindle was announced on our blog.  All proceeds earned from the raffle went toward funding our mission trip to South Sudan. We used Facebook to spread the word about raffle.  This was such an easy fundraiser.  We definitely plan on doing online raffles again in the future! 

Letters! - -  Raised $550
In early January, we sent out missionary support letters to many of our friends and family members. This letter explained about our mission trip to South Sudan and asked for prayers and financial support.  Donations trickled in really up until the week we left for Africa.  Along with every letter, we included self-addressed envelopes, a business card for our blog, and a wallet-size photo of us for people to keep as a prayer reminder.  This was a great and easy way to let a lot of people know about our trip.