What happens when your organization’s only fundraising event of the year — one that annually provides vital funding to ministries and organizations that desperately need it — is met head-on by a global pandemic that has shut down all sorts of things, especially large crowded festive dinner and dancing events?
Do you just shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, I guess we won’t have one this year — and we won’t be able to help.”
If you’re FUMCFW’s chapter of United Methodist Women, led this year by UMW President Sarah Harris, the answer is found in rolled-up sleeves, dusted-off thinking caps, sparked imagination, stoked ingenuity, and of course, in these COVID days, ramped up technology.
The result? A virtual UMW fundraiser auction, Celebrating UMW: 80 Years in Fort Worth, the online form of this important annual tradition, now all online, chock full of entertainment, fun, and great items to bid on — from the safety of your own sofa.
“We had a meeting last May to talk about what we can do,” relates Sarah Harris, UMW President. “We considered other options, like a drive-in concert — but we had so many donated items — what could we do with them?”
Sarah says that in August, after meeting with the FUMCFW communication team — (masters of “I think we can figure that out!”) — she thought, “Oh my gosh this is really going to happen!”
“We knew so little about how to do this and who was going to do what. I knew that this was Joy Brandon’s area of expertise, so we invited her to join us, and pressed her into service. Not only did Joy bring past UMW President’s into the project and interview them for the video, we were able to meet some of these amazing women for the first time.”
Lisolette Bowman, who cataloged, photographed, and did voice-overs for the auction items adds, “It was important to let people know where this money was actually going – and to help them learn something about the organizations. We wanted to include videos about each one because they are such worthy causes. She continues, “We could not have done this without the communications department of our church. They brought a whole new level of skill and it really helped bring this event together. We hope people will enjoy the video, be inspired by what they see and decide to contribute.”
This successful event raised more than its goal of $5,000, and more donations are still rolling in to benefit a number of wonderful causes that serve women and children in need. It’s not too late if you’d still like to make a donation! Go to umw.fumcfw.org/give. Our UMW thanks all who participated and supports them in the wonderful work they do.