By Devlin Smith
Thirteen-year-old Anna Stuber will be starting grade eight at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, BC, this fall. She celebrated her bat mitzvah in January and raised money for a chosen charity as part of the experience. She chose the African Well Fund.
Anna has been selling little blue pins featuring the words for water in six different languages. She has been selling them for $3 Canadian or more each (about $2.93 US) by donation and has currently raised about $1,500 Canadian (about $1,467 US).
Anna answered a few questions about this fundraiser, why she wanted to do it and what she’s gained from it.
Why did you decide to raise money for the African Well Fund for your bat mitzvah project?
I have always wanted to be involved in helping Africa and I have always dreamed of helping provide water. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to raise money.
How did you come up with the idea to make buttons for your fundraiser?
At first I was really stuck on ideas for my fundraiser. I really wanted to sell something to other children at my school so I wanted to come up with an idea that everyone could participate in. My mum then helped me to come up with the idea of selling pins. We sat down together and designed them.
Where have you been selling your buttons and when did you start selling them?
I have been selling them at school. I sold them to all the parents at our middle and senior school concerts, my synagogue, to all my parents’ friends, my friends and family. I also intend to take some of my pins with me when I visit England in the summer. I have been selling them since early May.
What kind of reaction have you gotten from people to the buttons and your fundraiser in general?
Most people have really congratulated me and been very pleased for me. All of our friends were very generous and supported me. Overall it was a very positive reaction.
What’s your goal for this fundraiser?
My goal for this fundraiser is to raise enough money to build one well. I am roughly at about $1,500 [Canadian, about $1,467 US] and I am hoping to get to at least $2,000 [Canadian, about $1,957 US].
You’ve already raised nearly $1,500 Canadian. How does it feel to have raised that much?
It really does feel incredible. I love doing charity work and every time I sold a pin I felt incredible. I really felt a sense of achievement. It gave me such a buzz and I hope to continue with much more charity work in the future.
What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve gained from this fundraising project?
I have learnt quite a few lessons from this project. I think the most important lesson is that it feels amazing when you are making an effort to help others. I think it has also helped me gain confidence to approach people. By the end of the first three weeks of selling my pins I was able to talk to a complete stranger and sell my pins with confidence. I also had to speak a couple times in front of huge audiences in order to make people aware of my project. This was terrifying but again it was a very positive experience.
What advice would you offer to other kids your age interested in raising money for charity?
I would suggest being creative with your ideas but make sure it doesn’t become too complicated. You have to make sure you can cover the cost of whatever you are selling. I suggest that if you are selling something it should be an object that people can wear or advertise to others. You should keep the individual price low but you should advertise the unit price plus any other donations. Although I sold my pins at $3 each on average, each pin raised $5 [Canadian, about $4.89 US]. I also want to suggest that you don’t be afraid of speaking people but enjoy the challenge. At first I was really hesitant toward talking to people but after a while I realized that most people are really generous and kind when it comes to charity. Also just have fun and make sure you don’t stress at all.
Anything else you’d like to share about your fundraiser?
I would really like to thank everyone who helped me. Without their support, time and effort there is no way I would have been able to even think of this project—my mum (especially), all of my friends who helped me sell the pins, everyone who donated or bought a pin and everyone who helped to inform others of my project.