28 June 2014

How $56 was turned in to $421 for Bennett

This was my view a few weeks ago when I agreed to Skype with my friend Lani in Illinois.  She wanted to share with me how much her friends and students had raised for find a cure for Bennett.

I was sad that it was too late at night to have Bennett join us on the Skype call.  But, it was *such* a treat to get to see some of the faces who cared enough to give to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on behalf of Bennett.

Lani is a Resident Counselor (RC) at the Illinois Math and Science Academy, a residential high school for students gifted or talented in math and science.  Each year, Lani encourages the students in her building and wing to do something philanthropic.

Last year, she encouraged her girls to donate to finding a cure for Bennett promising she would meet what they raised.  Lani and her girls were able to raise
 $100 for Bennett's Brigade.

This year, she took it a step farther, asking others to match what she raised and she ended up raising more than 4 times that amount!!

Lani is the Resident Counselor in building and wing 1506A.
This is how Lani turned $56 to $421, in her own words:
"Instead of just challenging our sister wing, this year I decided to bring it to my RC staff. We have a Facebook group, so I posted a link to the video for them to see.  I asked a few personally, as well, if they could help in any way, even if they couldn't match the full $30. 

Then, I talked to a couple other people out side of my staff to see if they would be willing to match my girls up to $30 as well. 

I had one friend whose sister had passed from CF and said he would match up to $100 and another who after hearing the story said he'd match up to $50I shared this all with the girls and the challenge was on.

In the end, we ended up collecting $56 in my wing alone (20 of the 24 high school girls donated at least $1.00).  Plus my match, made us close enough to $100 that my friend gave us the full $100 and my other friend gave the $50. Then I had 3 friends match the $30, 1 gave $40, another $20, one $15 it was amazing! 

Then, I visited my aunt one day and shared with her what I was doing. She was so touched she took out her check book.  Her check is for $18 which is the Hebrew number for life. Gifts are often given in increments of $18 for bar and bat mitzvahs in the jewish culture. 

I thought it was so perfect and touching for her to pick that amount to donate for Bennett." 

This past week I had a rare opportunity to thank Lani in person when she came for a visit to Dallas.  She shared again with me how it all worked how and then she said, "I wish I had done this last was so easy!!"  I loved seeing the grin on her face when she shared her delight that raising money for someone else could be so joyful and easy!  I thanked her from the bottom of my heart for her willing to ask others.  She reminds me how powerful telling Bennett's story and asking for help can be in raising money for a cure.  I am so very grateful for Lani's determination and willingness to do this for a little boy she still hasn't had a chance to meet.  

Thank you, Lani (back left in the green shirt).  Thank you also to (in no particular order): Kristy, Michele, Stefanie, Bella, Simone, Annie, Shruti, Sachi, Angie, Ella, Ashu, Binita, Greeshma, Eveline, Joanne, Vivian, Shelly, Claire, Sue, and Phuong, JD, Jonathan, Eric, Shemika, Lauren, Dale, Jack, Kavita, and April and well as Lani's aunt, Debbi (not pictured)! :)

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