a lesson in fundraising from a 13-year-old

We’re always on the lookout for great fundraising appeals, it’s our passion and our business. So we were surprised when we received this great email appeal. Here it is exactly as we received it:

Hi – this is Justin. My mom and I are walking in our first marathon! We are very excited. It’s just about 2 miles so it’s a good start for us. We are excited to make a difference and help homeless people. I have my link below if you are interested in making a donation of any amount. It’s tax deductable whatever that means.

My Walk For Hope Here Page

Thank you. Wish us luck. Dad will be driving incase mom can’t make it. I know we will do it.

Justin and Topper

Full disclosure here: Justin is our 13-year-old nephew and Everett Gospel Mission (EGM) is our client. But we were hardly involved. Justin found out about the “Walk For Hope Here” event from a Facebook posting. From that, he decided that it was something his whole family was going to do (he’s a bit of a force in a great way). Topper is Justin’s service dog and a huge part of his life.

Justin’s email had us smiling for so many reasons: our family making a difference, helping a wonderful organization in a great cause, and he wrote a terrific appeal!

So, as we do when we run across interesting people doing interesting things, we asked him for an interview.

Oneicity: Why did you decide to go on this walk?

Justin: Well I did it because I wanted to help people who are homeless and to have time with my mom. We will strengthen our muscles and bones, which helps us while we help others.

Oneicity: What would you like to learn about people who are homeless?

Justin: What problems do they have. How much food do they need. How starved are they. Do they know Jesus like I know Jesus? Do they have a Bible?

Oneicity: What would you say to grownups to encourage them to participate?

Justin: Come on folks. Just try. If you try to help others you will do a good thing. It’s not about yourself it’s about helping others. If everyone would just try, what a wonderful world we will become.

Oneicity: What advice can you share for other kids who want to raise money for causes like this?

Justin: Stop playing video games. Well, once in a while you can play, but think about using your computer for some specific reasons like helping the homeless. It’s a great cause to help one another and you will feel great doing it. If I’m doing it, you can do it

Oneicity: Do you have plans to do more activities like this?

Justin: I do have a plan to help feed the homeless in Bremerton, WA on the 27th [of February]. We will continue to do this the 4th Sunday of each month. I want to do more marathons with my mom this year as we hear about them. I also want to share at the hospital about what a service dog does and what Topper means to me.

We love Justin’s passion and honesty. And we knew the Oneicity tribe would want to hear about what Justin’s up to. If you’d like to encourage a young man who’s out to change the world, drop him a comment here. And of course, feel free to respond to Justin’s appeal and give a donation to help this selfless teen who has a huge heart for a great cause. He’s walking this Saturday, February 26 in Everett. And if you’re in the area, you can walk for the cause this weekend, too.

UPDATE 2/23/11: Mayor Ray Stephenson declared Saturday, February 26, 2011 Everett Gospel Mission Walk for Hope Day.

Hoots and Thomas

Hoots and Thomas

11 thoughts on “a lesson in fundraising from a 13-year-old”

  1. Justin, you are a wonderful example for all 13 year-olds out there who basically live for their videogames. I know how that goes because I also have a 13 year-old son who is more concerned about gaming right this minute than about the homeless who are once again snowed on tonight… I wish he was more like you. You will be in my thoughts and in my heart this coming Saturday, both you and your mom. I am awed by the example you give all of us, even the grown-ups. You really are one of a kind!

  2. “Just try”

    I think sometimes we as adults are not as willing to try.

    Maybe its the thought of one more commitment to our weekend or the skepticism we have built up that our help will not really make an impact to a problem so large and complex as homelessness. But you, Justin, have a way of making it sound so simple.

    “If you try to help others you will do a good thing”

    Well said Justin. You inspire me.

  3. Justin, way to go buddy! God’s excited about your love for His homeless children living around your community. Loving Him and His children is the greatest thing anyone can do. Please keep up your good work and keep telling others how important it is to love others for Jesus.

  4. Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike

    Justin(&Topper)– be very proud of yourself as we are so very proud of you. Your compassion, good will, and commitment to help others is wonderful. It is also such a very special way to help and be with your Dear Mom. Best of luck to you–we know you will do well!! XOXOXO!!!

  5. Hey Justin – THANK YOU BIG TIME for what you are doing. EGM is so lucky to have join them. Here’s a question for you (Justin) – can you tell about your service dog Topper?

    May you experience God with you at all times. If you seek him, you’ll see his fingerprints everyday.

  6. Woo-hoo, Justin! You’re such a fantastic guy, what an amazing man you’re growing up to be. I can’t wait to see what you do next in this or any other field- I’m sure you’ll be great! Can’t wait to see you soon! -Katja

  7. We at EGM are so excited to have Justin, his mom and hopefully Topper join us. What an inspiration to us all to…JUST TRY! For those of us working with the homeless, poor, marginalized, and downtrodden every day your efforts to reach our, serve, and love are so encouraging. We all need it and love that you give it.

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