Donor Feature: Anne, Rakesh, and Laura

Posted on: November 27, 2009 Posted by: Manin Oem Comments: 0

Donor Feature: Anne, Rakesh, and Laura

By Eric Boehling and Tyler Roy

We often have the fantastic luck to come across fundraising superstars—trip participants and outside advocates who combine their passion for development with a large dose of entrepreneurial initiative. We’d like to highlight some of the creative and engaging ways that many of you have chosen to raise money whilst simultaneously bringing awareness about PEPY to your friends and family. Thank you!

Taco Extraordinaire

Anne, a native Texan and PEPY Ride V rider, has a homegrown love of tacos. Alas, she now lives in a remote part of Japan, completely bereft of Mexican restaurants. Where others might have viewed this culinary dearth as nothing more than an unfortunate predicament, Anne saw a valuable opportunity.

A restaurant in her town called One Day Chef allows you to rent their space—about $10 buys all-day access to their kitchen and dining space. Anne and a few eager friends booked the venue, scoured the town for ingredients, and then set to cooking. After a bit of Facebook messaging, emailing, and good old-fashioned word of mouth, Anne and her friends were serving their Central American delicacies to scores of hungry patrons. The day was a smashing success and there were several requests for a repeat of the savory event. They ran out of food in under two hours, with customers clamoring for more of the exotic delight!

Anne is happy to comply with all the enthusiastic requests, and has planned another taco day. Building on the popularity of her first endeavor, she’s likely to raise even more money in the upcoming event. What’s more, she’ll also be selling (for a donation of $5 or more) packets of her homemade taco seasoning, which the satisfied customers say is tastier than anything found in the supermarket. What enthusiasm!

Philanthropic Footballer

For a British man, what could be better than watching a spirited football (soccer) match? ‘Playing in one!’ says Rakesh. Rakesh is also joining The PEPY Ride V and he decided to put to good use the sports enthusiasm of his friends and friends of friends (and so on) by organizing a sports day that featured a five-players-per-team soccer tournament. The footballers had a blast partaking in the adrenalin-fueled event, and in the process they donated and—equally important—learned about where their donations were going.

This creative fundraising endeavor was just the start for Rakesh. Using the enthusiastic momentum created by the football event, he created yet another donation-driven sports day, this time an indoor speed-cricket tournament of eight teams! Hiring the tournament locations was no sweat, Rakesh reports, as the proprietor gave a fifty percent discount upon learning that the events would support education in rural Cambodia.

But Rakesh’s acuity for motivating donor support is not limited to sportsmen. Past fundraising initiatives have included a bake sale at work as well as a movie night at a local pub. ‘You don’t have to have expertise to pull these events off’, Rakesh notes. He’s no pro in the kitchen, but a few friends were happy to help with the baking. And as for the movie night, not only did attendees donate to the cause, but the pub owner kindly provided free snacks to sweeten the event.

Pssst! If you like football (aka soccer!) as well and you live in Japan, you should join the semi-annual ALT Soccer Tournaments! Held in both Northern and Southern Japan, these tournaments are not only a great way to meet other sports enthusiasts (and novices alike!), but also support PEPY! A portion of the sign up fee goes to PEPY. Check out the tournaments here.

Hiroshima Live

Laura Graham, PEPY’s official representative in Japan, is always looking for ways to help us out. Her latest fundraiser — a live concert — was a huge success. Four incredibly talented guitarists, Darren Carter, David Ding, Jinda Lee Lehmann, and Justin Deming showed up and gave a live performance at a small cafe/bar in Hiroshima. The show brought down the house, and everyone involved had an amazing time while learning a lot about PEPY and our programs!

Laura and the musicians were able to raise more than $300 to improve PEPY’s programs, all while having a great time in a tiny space. Way to go Laura, and a big thanks to all the musicians, participants, and donors that joined the party!

Some Fundraising Tips

People often ask us for fundraising ideas, so we wanted to highlight these recent examples to show the range of ways our supporters have raised funds for PEPY. These three fundraisers didn’t just ask for money but also gave donors an experience they were looking for in return. Whether it is their first taco or a chance to play their favorite sport, these three PEPY supporters realized that their friends would appreciate the initiative they took to offer a valuable experience along with the opportunity to invest in education in Cambodia.

When fundraising, remember that people like to know information about where their money is going. We love it when people share information about PEPY’s programs as it helps to spread awareness about our work and also hopefully influence the attitudes of donors. If you need more information about our programs for an upcoming fundraiser (or for pure curiosity!), visit us at or reply to this email and ask us some questions… we’re happy to answer!

One final tip: don’t be shy when it comes to enlisting others for help. You will be surprised at how many people are looking to be a part of something worthwhile who will offer to help if you ask! Thanks for taking your time to support PEPY!