When Danielle Bae, my friend, fellow Skyline High School Key Club Member, and Division 28 Spirit Committee Member told Peter Ch’en, Lt. G of Division 28 that Skyline High School would raise $1,500 for KCCP, I gawked at her and said “Really?”
I see myself as a realist, and fundraising is no easy feat. We said that our fundraising goal would be $1,500, and that just seemed like a number. But if you think about it, $1,500 is a LOT of money. Just think of all the chicken nuggets you can buy with $1,500 – and ALL of the money goes towards KCCP. $1,500 is a high fundraising goal, even for a large school like Skyline.
We started fundraising right away with plans like water sales, candy sales, handwarmer sales. Each time we held a sale, we raised about $20 – such a small part of $1,500. At one point, we had too many items to sell and no method of selling. Problems arose like weeds, but we still found the confidence to keep on fighting towards our goal. Two main fundraisers fueled our mission to $1,500: Candygrams and Caroling.
Candygrams were our first large fundraiser. Danielle Bae proposed this idea to me after being inspired by the movie Mean Girls. The gist was to sell a candy cane and note for $1, which we would then deliver to the recipient. Skyline is a large school, so we had a lot of publicizing to do. Using social media, morning announcements, and bugging friends during lunchtime, we promoted our Candygram sales. The week of November 21st-25th was Children’s Cancer Week, during which many students posted pictures of Disney characters on social media, especially Instagram. This was also the week we made our Candygram sales. We wanted to stress that spreading awareness of children’s cancer is one thing, but fundraising for the cause is another. In addition to helping fund children’s cancer research, each dollar that bought a candy cane and a note for a friend or staff member spread kindness throughout the Skyline community.
The Candygrams sales raised $555: a third of our fundraising goal. Not only did we fundraise for the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program, but 555 notes and candy canes were sent to students and staff throughout our school. Skyline Key Club was very thankful of our student population for participating. Other Key Clubs in Division 28 tried selling Candygrams as well (Bellevue High School!), and the sales went splendidly. Skyline was very proud to have spurred a fundraising idea that can be used in future years.
More recently, we held our Caroling for KCCP Fundraiser.
Caroling: to sing in a loud, joyous manner. When the idea of Caroling for KCCP was first brought up during a board meeting, most of the board members brushed it aside, saying that in this century, caroling isn’t the “thing” anymore. Caroling is what we see in the old-age movies our parents force us to watch. After all, when was the last time carolers came to our doors? So many years ago, if ever.
This didn’t stop Skyline’s Director of Publicity, Sara Reed.
On December 22nd, Sara brought a team of Key Clubbers around her neighborhood, singing classic Christmas songs and spreading holiday cheer to families all around. Sara made a simple sign for members to hold with the message: “TIS’ THE SEASON TO DONATE 2 KCCP”. The goal of the evening was to raise $50 for KCCP.
A short digression: I did not participate in the first night of caroling, I was on a ski trip. Let’s go back two years to the spring of 2015, when Erika Kumar, Sara Reed, and I ran a Dance to Eliminate (back when the PNW’s District Project was the Eliminate Project). This was my freshman year. During the end of that school year, Division 28’s Lt.G then, Cyssi Ngo, asked me to describe a moment when Key Club really impacted me. I will tell this story over and over because I am absolutely serious when I say this moment changed me. In the words of me from 2015:
“One moment that really struck me actually happened yesterday. I had watched Sara and Erika every step of the way (almost) as they planned DTE, and around 11:10, we carried the cooler, cords, our backpacks, a violin, and random items here and there into the trunk of Eric Zeng's car to drive to our "Skyline after party" at Dick's. The moment the car door slammed shut, we all screamed. (Sara, Erika and I, I think Imran McGrath and Eric were confused). Like a long, excited and exhausted scream because the event was SUCCESSFUL. The Dance had raised $1,200 for the Eliminate Project. It seemed so unreal that the event was over. After hours of planning, phone calls, "borrowing" streamers, flower making, taping, broken speakers, we had pulled through with the event. I cannot express how proud I am of Sara and Erika, but I think that one moment in the car when we all let out our emotions really was a moment to cherish. They were SO happy, and really isn't that what Key Club encompasses? Caring for one another, pushing towards our goals even when everyone seems to be doubting you.”
Why is this relevant to Skyline Fundraising? Again, I did not participate in the first night of caroling. Around 10PM, Sara, Kaitlyn Chong, and Sarah Huang came to my house to report on how the evening went. They shoved a bucket of money under my nose, and I said, “Wow. That’s a lot of bills…How much is this exactly?”
It is hard to explain the event that then unfolded in my living room. It was me goggling at them, not believing what they had just told me. It is pretty hard to believe someone when they tell you that you are holding $700 cash in your hands, especially when the initial goal was $50.
Then, Sara told me, “Do you remember two years ago, when we all got into Eric’s car after DTE, and we just screamed? That’s what happened today. Kaitlyn, Sarah and I got into my car, counted the money, and we just screamed.”
It warms my heart that Skyline’s underclassmen have felt the same feeling I felt back when I was a freshman. That Skyline Key Club is passing this feeling of exhilaration from one generation to another, from one class to another. It makes me so happy to know that Sarah and Kaitlyn have felt the feeling I felt when I got into Eric’s car after DTE in 2015.
$700 was fundraised in 3 hours of caroling. The next night, we caroled again, and we made $300. In a total of two nights, not only did Skyline Key Club fundraise $1000 for the KCCP, but we also spread holiday cheer throughout our neighborhoods. Little kids were overjoyed when they realized there were carolers in front of their doors, and we didn’t need skill. We were just a group of high schoolers who decided to go sing holiday songs to the people in our neighborhoods.
Words cannot explain how proud I am of Skyline Key Club, or how full my heart was after we exceeded $1,500. But in reality, we have so many people to thank. The success of the Candygram sales would not have happened without sacrificed hours of organizing, running sales, and managing candygrams. It could not have been done without donations from Target, or support from our school population. Caroling would not have been successful without a small idea from Sara, the members who participated in the singing, and our generous neighbors who donated to our cause. Skyline Key Club could not have fundraised $1,500 without the support from our advisors, our board, and our members. And for that, we thank you.
Check out this Buzzfeed article that Sara Reed wrote about these fundraisers!: https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarareed/how-skyline-became-the-first-school-to-reach-their-1ur0z?utm_term=.uyXdj5Gk#.fkX4xwRP