Monday, November 9, 2009

Fundraising Update

Well, it has been a long time since I've updated this blog. Our fundraising slowed a bit over the summer, plus I had a lot of personal things going on and never got around to updating our blog.

So here's our update!

After the success of our first two movies nights, we decided to hold two additional movie nights.... that didn't fare so well. The third movie we decided to show was Jurassic Park. We thought it'd be a huge hit, but it turns out that many parents didn't want their children to see it. For our last movie, we showed a more family friendly movie Night at the Museum, but the turn out was not so great either.

I think movie nights as fundraisers have huge potential, but location is key. We live in a small town that has been saturated with our fundraisers. Plus, I have to admit, although we did put an announcement in the local paper, we didn't advertise as well as we should have done. I do encourage, however, other groups to consider movie nights if they're fundraising because it is a lot of fun and the potential to raise money is there.

Also, we found that we made a little more money when we sold hot dogs and nachos in addition to popcorn and candy.

A few weeks ago we had another garage sale and raised over $1100!! One of the keys to our garage sale success is that we kept all of our garage sale leftovers from the previous sale in church storage. That, plus new donations, meant that we had a huge selection of things to sale. We also decided that Fall garage sales tend to better than Spring.

Our last fundraiser (we think) is scheduled for this Saturday, November 14. We're holding our 2nd bake sale and we're doing a raffle as well. This is turning out to be a GREAT fundraiser!

We have three prizes to give away:

1. A Wilson NFL football autographed by Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys
2. An iPod Touch (16 gb)
3. A Nintendo Wii

Truthfully, if you have someone in your group who is good at soliciting, you can probably get prize donations for free. I'm terrible at that, so we ended up buying the prizes ourself and we're just considering it a donation to the cause. The football (which sells for around $350) was autographed by Emmitt Smith for free because India's Hope (Sarah's Covenant Homes U.S. parent organization) is a nonprofit and we were able to show nonprofit status in our request.

Thank you Emmitt Smith for autographing our ball for free!

We had 750 tickets printed online ( for $36. We're selling the tickets for $5 each or 5 for $20. We've been advertising via facebook and blogs and several members of our church have been selling tickets at work. So far, we've raised over $1000!! Never underestimate the power of good hearted blog readers!

One family who is in the midst of raising money for an adoption bought $200 worth of tickets. Another family who is going through a personal crisis gave $100 and a single mother with 4 children gave $60. Thank you!

We will also be selling tickets at the bake sale and drawing the winners at the end of the sale. I hope I'll be able to report that all our tickets were sold!

And, finally, I wanted to say that our fundraising efforts allowed us to buy 3 tickets to India AND donate $1000 to help Sarah buy new beds for the new children that she's about to take in at Sarah's Covenant Homes. Praise God! I want to mention, though, that the biggest help for our fundraising efforts has been church members designating their tithing funds to the mission trip fund. Without church financial support we never would have gotten as far as we have. Thank you Cornerstone Church members!

Until next time!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Willy Wonka Movie Night Fundraiser

Whew. We did it! Another successful movie night under our belt.

Earlier tonight, Books For Less hosted a "Movie Under the Stars" event to benefit our mission trip to India. They showed Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and nearly 100 people were there. Yeah!

The movie was free, but we did have a concession stand. Also, as an incentive, we played along with the Willy Wonka theme and sold Hershey Bars with tickets taped to the back. Three tickets were the "golden tickets" and came with a prize.

I've never seen such a mad rush for chocolate in my life!

Overall, we made $213 to go towards the mission trip. Fantastic!

A big thank-you to Buddy & Cherie for lending their space, the Rhys Family & the Parker girls for working the concession stand and for setting up, all the Cornerstone guys who helped tear down the "theater" after the movie, and especially everyone who attended and made the night a success.

Don't forget that next month we're showing Jurassic Park. Mark it on your calendar.

Until then, here are some pictures from tonight's event:

Abbie, Allie, Tuesday, Madelynne, & Kaity working the concession stand

Everyone's waiting in line hoping to get a chocolate bar with a golden ticket!

A A view of the audience

Tuesday with her golden ticket: An Ipod Shuffle

Marky with his golden ticket. He won a pinata filled with candy!

Natalie won a movie basket with DVD's, candy, and drinks with her golden ticket!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

$1 Parking Lot Book Sale Fundraiser

Cherie and Emily are one of the mother-daughter teams that will be going with us to India in January.

Cherie and her husband, Buddy, own and operate the local bookstore in our town - Books For Less. They have been instrumental in helping us fund raise for our trip. Not only have they been emotionally supportive, but they have graciously allowed the use of their parking lot for our monthly movie nights.

Thank you!!

Last Saturday, they decided to clear out some of their excess stock by holding a $1 Book Sale in their parking lot. All the proceeds will go towards Emily's portion of the trip.

They made $147!!! That's a lot of books!

This was a great idea and we hope that they continue to do it at least once a month until we leave in January. Not only will it be a great way for Emily to raise money, but it also gives us an opportunity to buy some fabulous books at a great price.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Katelynn & Emily

View from the parking lot

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Garage Sale Pictures

Nathan, Nyah, and Naomi had a blast killing time with the plasma cars

Nandini tests out the baby swing to make sure it's still working...

The toy section

Hmmmm... leave it to Eli to find all the dinosaurs in the sale

The men's section

Cherie manning the register

Julie setting up the books and videos

A small portion of the clothes for sale

No event is complete without a popcorn machine!

Garage Sale Success!

We had an amazing garage sale this past weekend. We made $1042!! We stored all of our leftovers and plan to have another one in the Fall. There are also a few items that we took out to put on Craigslist and Ebay later this week. We're hoping that our grand total will equal at least $1350 - which is the cost of one roundtrip ticket from Dallas to Chennai.

God is good!

Here's our advice for garage sales.... plan plenty of time to set it up! We started on Monday and worked all through Thursday evening just to get it ready. We held the sale on Friday and Saturday from 8 - 4.

We found that it's a great idea to have a popcorn machine and ice cold drinks for sale. The popcorn was a donation only and the drinks sold for 50 cents a piece. Clothes were marked from 25 cents to $1.00 and jeans were $2 - but we came down on the price on the second day of the sale.

We also discovered that men are always looking for tools and that women love costume jewelry. We set our good jewelry up at the front at the register to catch everyone's eye as they walked in.

Helium ballons on the door and road signs are also a sure way to attract customers.

We have plenty of pictures to post later on in the day.

A big thank you to Cornerstone Church for letting us hold the sale inside the building. Also thank you to everyone who donated items and your time to help us have a successful fundraiser!

Extra big thanks go to Cherie, Donna, Tristan, and Leslie for spending their entire week up at the church. And thanks to their husbands for letting them come up (and for watching the kids!). Also, thank you to Kenya and Julie for working the sale on Friday - and Kaylee for working the sale on Saturday. (Kaylee, now that we know you can make popcorn, we're specifically requesting you for each event! :-)

Also, thank you to the Crosses, the Newmans, the Holts, the Blacks, and the Smiths for coming up on Thursday night after Lifegroup to help us put out the last items we needed before the sale begin on Friday. And Gina and Melissa, we sure appreciated your help setting up during the week.

We also can't forget the men! We couldn't have taken down the sale without the help of Jeff, Mark R, Noah, John, and Mark G.

I know that we're forgetting some names, so please excuse us if we've forgotten anyone.

Don't forget that Emily and Tuesday will be holding a fundraiser at Books-For-Less on Saturday, June 13th. It will be a $1 book and popcorn sale in the parking lot. All funds raised will go towards the purchase of their individual tickets.

Our next movie night is Friday, June 19th. We'll be showing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Prizes will be given to the three people who discover a golden ticket in their chocolate bar. So brings lots of change with you to load up at our concession stand!

Again, one last big thank-you to everyone who is helping to make our fundraisers a great success. We still have plenty more to do, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any ideas.

Hope you all have a great week! Pictures will be posted later today.

New Craft Fair Total

We sold an extra $36 dollars in pillowcases. This brings the total to $190.50 - with $35 still going into the general pool.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Craft Fair Grand Total

Well, we just did a final count and we made $154.50 at the craft fair. It's actually not bad. I know that if you live in a larger town or city then it might not seem like a lot. But you have to remember that we live in a really small town, so $154 is not that bad.

Out of that $154, 50, $115.50 goes towards one individuals ticket, $4 goes towards another person, and $35 goes into the general pool.

All of the money that you see on our sidebar is money that's in the general pool (unless otherwise specified).

We're setting up at Pioneer Days in Eustace on June 20th and we'll be selling popcorn, drinks, doing a bit more face painting and maybe some crafts.

Until then, be sure to come by Cornerstone Church on June 5th and 6th for our super humongous fundraising garage sale!

Cedar Creek Arts & Crafts Festival

The Cedar Creek Arts & Crafts Festival was today. Actually, it's still going on as I'm writing this, so I'll be back later tonight to post an update on the amount raised.

We had a great turnout! There were a lot of booths set up and a lot of people milling around. We'd like to this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who helped make today a success:

April - donated bracelets
Carol - donated custom spiritual artwork (framed)
Melissa - custom made pillowcases (and donated her time to work the booth)
The Parker Girls - donated time and helped with facepainting
Tuesday - did face painting and donated custom framed pencil drawings
Mark - donated time to help set-up the booth
John & Donna - donated handmade swords & shields
Rick - donated handmade shelves
Eli & Nandini - donated handpainted decorated wooden crosses
Leslie - donated handmade clothespin dolls
Tristan - donated custom paintings, fairy wands, and lots and lots and lots of time
Cherie - donated homemade soap with dragonfly decorations

Although the festival is still going on, I can safely say that Tuesday, one of the teens going on the mission trip, was a huge hit with her face painting. She constantly had a line of kids eagerly awaiting to be transformed into cheetahs and other wild animals.

Here are a few pictures of the event. Be sure to check back later for the grand total.

Tuesday doing face painting with Nandi

Nandi - a beautiful little cheetah

Sword & Shield Sets - courtesy of John & Donna

Framed fairy drawing by Tuesday

Adorable little Joanna wearing one of April's bracelets

A sample of some of Melissa's cute pillowcases

Clothespin dolls & one of Tristan's paintings

Tristan's Painting

Clothespin dolls by Leslie

More clothespin dolls

Painted crosses made by Eli (age 5) and Nandi (age 4)

Only a 5 year old boy would put a T-Rex on a cross....

Some of the bracelets donated by April

Cherie's gorgeous handmade soap with a dragonfly in the middle

More pillowcases and another painting by Tristan

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greathall Educational Storytelling CD's - NEW Fundraiser!

We're embarking on a great new fundraiser that we hope you will all be a part of.... Greathall Educational Storytelling CD's!

These CD's are amazing!! You can choose between 42 storytelling classics, such as Just So Stories, A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet, The Prince and the Pauper... the list goes on and on.

Each story is told by award-winning professional storyteller, Jim Weiss.

For every Jim Weiss Greathall CD that we sell for fifteen dollars, $4 will go towards our India trip.

We really hope that you will consider purchasing a CD for your family. These would be perfect to supplement any education, to listen to in the car (perfect for upcoming summer vacation trips!), as a birthday present or as a donation to your local library.

We hope you will take a look at the different products that are available HERE and let us know if you are interested in purchasing a CD. You can email Leslie at and she will handle all of the details.

Also, if you are local to the Cedar Creek Area, we will have official order forms available in the next few days.

This is a great opportunity to raise money for our trip to India and for Sarah's kids. Please help spread the word!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bake Sale Update

We brought our baked good leftovers to church last night and sold an extra $14!! That brings our total to $290.45!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

First Bake Sale - Review

Our first bake sale was this afternoon. We made $276.45! Whoo hoo!

Not bad considering that it RAINED the entire time and we were only there for about 2 1/2 hours.

Tristan did a fabulous job setting up the sale. It looked amazing! We've learned that presentation is the key to a successful bake sale and we can't wait for our next one!

We want to give a big thank-you to everyone who made this bake sale a success:

The Rhys'
The Coopers
The Holts
The Wests
The Parkers (Melissa)
The Parkers (Kim)
The Blacks
The Goswicks
The Cross'

Also, a huge thank you goes to Brookshire's Grocery Store in Seven Points for letting us hold the bake sale. And, of course, we can't forget all of you who came out in the rain and supported us.

For those of you interested in holding a bake sale, we quickly discovered that sugar cookies on a stick are a big seller. (Thanks Shara!). Also, Dreama scored big time with her Dolly Madison 7 layer bars, Melissa's spiced pecans were scarfed up, and who knew that the Cedar Creek Community loved homemade blueberry scones. They were gone in less than an hour.

Here are some pictures from today's bake sale. I arrived late, so missed out on getting pictures of some of the teens who came out and helped.

Always have an adorable kid help sell your food. Abby was a hit with the customers. Honestly, who could resist such a face?

Cindy C. and Elijah- who just bought Dreama's 7 layer bars.

A nice couple we met who just moved here from Denton.

Leslie and Abby standing in the rain.

Shara's cookies on a stick and Melissa's spiced pecans.

Emily & Tristan

Looks good, doesn't it!!??

Emily, Katie, and Leslie in their cute little aprons

Abby - working her customer service magic

Stars Wars Movie Night - REVIEW

Thanks to everyone who helped out at last night's Movie Under the Stars. We had about 75 people show up... which isn't bad for our small little town. However, our goal is to double that for the next movie night (scheduled June 19th) and keep on growing it after that.

We raised $215. 75! Not bad!! Our biggest sellers were the glow bracelets and the canned drinks. The kids LOVED the glow bracelets (some of the kids used them as light sabers). We also sold a lot of popcorn. Man, that was some good popcorn!

We learned a lot from our first movie night. Things to consider: more advertising, posters, etc. We also plan to get a strobe light to attract people to the next movie night. We had to turn off the parking lot lighting in order to show the movie, so most people just drove right by and didn't notice we were having a special event. The strobe light (pointed upward) should attract attention for next time.

We're also going to have a "gimmick" for the next movie. We plan on showing the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . In addition to our regular concession stand, we're going to sell chocolate bars... and there will be three separate bars that hold a golden ticket. We're still working on the prizes, but someone generously donated a new Ipod Shuffle, so that will be the top prize.

We're pretty excited!

Until next time, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy from last night.....

The bomb pops and fudge bombs were a big hit. Here's Nandini with her patriotic bomb pop.

Tristan (popcorn maker extraordinaire) and beautiful baby Sailor.

Nicholas and his friend - all decked out in glow bracelets. Nicholas wins the prize for the child who spent all of his Daddy's money at the concession stand. :-)

Best friends: Brett Vader & Eli Vader

Popcorn anyone?

A partial view of the crowd.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Loves Cupcakes?? Bake Sale Tomorrow!

Cornerstone will be holding a bake sale tomorrow at Brookshire's in Seven Points.

If there's one thing we can say about the women who attend Cornerstone Church (and the Cedar Creek Homeschool Society).... they are fabulous bakers!

We'll be selling baked good from 10:00 - 2:00. Trust me, you don't want to miss it!

Can we tempt you with a small sampling of some of the items that will be for sale?

Blueberry Scones
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Triple Chunk Fudge Brownies
Popcorn Medley
Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Seven Layer Bars
Cookies on a Stick
Paula Dean's Poundcake

Trust us, the list goes on and on!

It's cash only, so be sure to bring your money and your appetite. As always, any donations will be greatly appreciated.

See you there!

Stars Wars Under the Stars - FREE Movie Night

For all of you in the Cedar Creek area, be sure to stop by Books-For-Less in Gun Barrel City for Cornerstone's first India Trip fundraiser.

Buddy and Cherie Holt, who run Books-For-Less have generously donated their parking lot for Cornerstone to hold a Movie Night Under the Stars.

Actually, we have FOUR nights planned over the next four months.

Tonight we're going to show Star Wars IV - A New Hope. Otherwise known as the first Star Wars movie that most of us saw as children.

This is a FREE movie. Donations will be accepted and we will also have a concession stand that will include popcorn, drinks, candy, ice cream, pickles, and glow sticks.

The concession stand opens at 8:30 and the movie starts at 9:00.

Be sure to bring your family, some lawn chairs, and a blanket.

See you there!

Welcome to Our Blog!

Hi! We're a group of members from Cornerstone Church in Mabank, TX and we want to welcome you to our India Fundraising Blog.

We'll be headed to Ongole, India this coming January to work with Sarah's Covenant Homes - and we can't wait!

We thought this blog would be helpful for several reasons:

1. To keep track of all of our fundraisers
2. To raise awareness for Sarah, her children, and her work
3. To help provide a one-stop fundraising site for other churches and organizations who need fundraising ideas for future mission and humanitarian trips.

So, first things first... let's tell you a little about Sarah and her children...

Sarah is an American missionary who is married to an Indian minister named James. Together, they run India Christian Ministries. A little over a year ago, Sarah also opened up Sarah's Covenant Homes, which currently houses 43 abandoned children who have special needs.

Sarah and her kids are truly inspiring!

You can learn more about Sarah by visiting her blog: . It's a fantastic site that is updated daily and lets you follow the progress of her children and gives you ways to become involved with God's work.

If you have a heart for missions, India, and/or children with special needs, then you definitely want to follow Sarah's blog!

Want to know a little bit more about Sarah and SCH? Then click HERE to link to an article that was recently published in Earthern Vessles magazine. It can be downloaded in brochure form. In fact, we're going to have copies of it at all our fundraising events.

Also, be sure to click on our sidebar and watch the slideshow of Sarah's kids. But be prepared.... you might want to have a tissue handy. You're sure to fall in love - and get a little inspired!

Thanks for stopping by our blog. We've got lots of fundraisers planned. You can also follow our blog on blogger or subscribe to it via GoogleReader. That way you'll always know when we have a new fundraiser coming up.

Thanks again!