When my daughter was in kindergarten, she was asked to talk about what her parents did for a living. At the time, we were residing in New York City, in a tiny two bedroom apartment across the street from the hospital where my husband worked as an obstetrician. My daughter proudly told her class of fellow five-year-olds at her public school that her daddy made babies for a living. (I can only imagine what the teachers were thinking!)
Then she told the class that her mommy was a superhero.
Not knowing our professions, the kindergarten teacher relayed this story to me at the end of the day. She verified that my husband indeed does “makes babies” at work, but could not imagine me in a cape and tights. So she asked me about my profession and I told her I was a fundraiser. I turned to my daughter and asked her what makes me a superhero. She said – in a very decisive way – that I raise money to help people who can’t help themselves, and that makes me a superhero. I have never forgotten that motivating story, and this sentiment continues to inspire me each and every day in my work.
One Year at WCA!
December 4, 2018 marked my 1-year anniversary at Westchester Children’s Association (WCA). It has been an incredible year! Prior to joining WCA, I had been a fundraiser in various organizations for the past 18 years. Raising money for causes that impact the world is a passion of mine. In this new role, I have been eager to learn the ins-and-outs of the problems facing children in our county. I have even learned how to differentiate the various organizational acronyms like WJCS, WCC, WCA, WCF (although I still need to look up a few from time to time.) Since my first day at WCA, I am excited to take on the challenge of fundraising for this advocacy organization when I come into the office.
Don’t tell anyone… but I am the luckiest person on our staff!
One of the best parts of being a fundraiser is getting the opportunity to go out into the community and meet with our stakeholders and board members. I love daily networking and recruiting donors especially, because I get to hear about their passions and what is important to them in their local communities. One of the most important things that I have learned in the past year is that there are many valid reasons why people partner with WCA. But, in the end, I have found that our supporters are engaged because they care deeply about our children.
As a fundraiser, and a mother of three energetic children, I am so proud to work for an organization that puts children at the top of our agenda. Throughout this year, I have learned that tremendous disparities exist in Westchester. Unfortunately, our experience shows that a child’s well-being still depends on their race / ethnicity, parental income, or zip code. Our organization leads the fight for every young person in our county to make sure that our children get opportunities to reach their full potential. Our children face complex and critical issues and we play a unique role in developing and promoting common-sense solutions to them. When our children do well, our entire community benefits!
We can all be superheroes
As I conclude my first year, I ask each one of you to commit to a small task – get involved in one activity at WCA.
Become a donor. Become an activist. Get involved in one of our campaigns. Together, we are defending our children, who are the most vulnerable members of our community. Looking for an easy way to make a difference? I am proud to share with you our newly launched monthly giving campaign called “Defenders for Children.” If every one of our supporters donated the equivalent of a cup of coffee once a month, our “Defenders for Children” campaign would be a tremendous success and have an enormous impact in our community. You can be a superhero to children in Westchester just like my daughter thinks that I am. Plus, for the first 100 persons who become “Defenders,” WCA is donating a Cubcoat to a child living in a local shelter. Cubcoats are sweaters that turn into stuffed animals, which is something a child who has been through a traumatic situation could definitely use.
Investing in advocacy is the best return on your money, because the impact is massive! Every time I speak with a supporter, I keep the image of my children in the back of my mind. I would do anything to ensure their success in this world. All children should have those supports, and that is what WCA works hard to do every single day. I would be happy to join you over that cup of coffee (or tea!) and get you excited about the advocacy work we do. I am certain that the stories I would hear from each one of you as we meet will inspire all of us here at WCA.
Happy holidays to all and have a happy New Year!
Connect with Rebekah via email at email@example.com or find her on Twitter @RebekahRaz