Today’s blog post is written by one of our Connected Hearts families, Jenn and Jeremy Ting. The Tings became part of our adoption funding program in 2020, and we had the pleasure of working with them to raise funds to adopt their daughter. The Tings had one of the quickest and most successful fundraising efforts we’ve seen. They have graciously written step by step how they raised all of their funds. The Tings are currently fully funded and waiting to travel to Thailand to adopt their daughter. We would like to thank Jenn and Jeremy for taking the time to share their story, and help families who are in the adoption process. We know many adopting families will be blessed by their article. For families interested in applying to our adoption funding program, please click here.
When we decided to adopt internationally, we knew God would provide if we followed the path He was guiding us on. We also knew we had to take action and work hard for our future daughter to have a home. We'd do anything for our children currently in our family, so we took that same attitude when it came to finding the funds to bring our next child home. We hadn't been matched yet, but knew with adopting from the program we chose the fees would roll in quickly. In order to raise these funds, we would need the support of family and friends, so we spread the word before our home study was complete or our match was finalized. In our heart, we already knew she was our daughter and it was time for us to rally for her. While it was too early to apply for grants, we hopped right in with fundraising.
Through God's promise and grace we raised $35,500 for our adoption in less than 5 months.
Before the breakdown of funds raised, a few tips for all fundraisers:
God created us to be in community, allow your community to help you.
Use social media to share what is happening with your fundraising and process. Give regular updates to your social media friends. Even if they don't donate, they love seeing your story.
Share your financial stewardship! That's right! You don't have to share your income etc, but sharing that you are also living frugally while accepting donations helps your donors feel like their money is well needed and taken care of.
Do your research! These are the ways that we raised funds, but many adoptive families have written blogs about how they raised funds, you might come across an idea that you also have a talent for! Connected Hearts Ministries has helped so many families. They are there to help you with tips for any fundraiser you have! We were so thankful to have their ideas for our garage sale and puzzle fundraiser.
$6,700 in Items Sold:
We don't have a lot of "stuff" but we knew that a lot of people do so we partnered with our community to use it for God’s glory!
- $5,743 came from our garage sale.
We posted for item donations in our church group pages, local mom's group Facebook page, and the Nextdoor App. People were so happy to help by donating their items but we had no idea how all these little things would not only join together to make one huge sale, but also meet a lot of new people who had their own stories of adoption. We made sure people knew it was an "Adoption Fundraiser Sale." Hundreds of dollars from the sale came as donations. Make it fun and include your friends/church or your garage sale loving family to help! We ended up having a mini kid's-stuff sale spontaneously for a day the weekend before as we had so much and it was more time effective than using Marketplace to sell individual items.
-We were also gifted the play structure at our church to disassemble and sell! You never know what will come your way when you start sharing your mission!
- We sold t-shirts through Fund the Nations, which was fun to be able to wear at our garage sale. They were an excellent organization to work with but we only made $300 on that fundraiser. Often people would rather donate funds instead of buying a shirt.
$15,800 in Donations and donation type fundraisers:
When we partnered with Connected Hearts, we were so thankful for a platform that our friends and family could use that had an obvious mission for adoption. From the beginning we shared our Connected Hearts Ministries link at the bottom of every Facebook post we made about our adoption progress or story. I know people loved having the link handy instead of searching for it. People are busy too, so they forget and seeing it again is the perfect reminder without continuing to ask for donations. For example, when we shared our official match, we added the link, when we were home study approved, we added the link. Keep the word out :)
- $3,873 Puzzle Fundraiser.
One of our favorite fundraisers became our Thailand puzzle. With our CHM launch on their Facebook page we decided to do a puzzle where each piece was worth a $15 donation, the cost of a meal out! People could sponsor one or many pieces. When they sponsored a piece or more we wrote their name on the back of the piece. It took about 2 weeks to have all pieces sponsored. Again, we used social media a lot for this, sharing the progress of building the puzzle to keep it in people's mind and specifically each person who donated. We treasure this fundraiser as so many names now hang on the back of the puzzle hanging in our daughter's future room. People love to help and feel a part of your journey!
-$6,430 in Direct Donations. Before and after the puzzle fundraiser, by just sharing our CHM link we raised $6,430 in pure donations. We were so amazed by how so many people we hadn't talked to in years were following along and donated.
- $2,600 from our church sharing. Even though church sure looked strange with covid while we fundraised, we knew that our church family would love to be a part of our daughter's story. Our church's story telling team made a video about what God was doing in our adoption. While not as many people saw this video as we thought due to covid, it was a blessing to be able to share our heart for adoption with the church.
- $818 from HaoBaoBao Coffee! This sweet family are long time friends of ours so when they started out helping other families we were happy to have their support! Rather than need to sell coffee on our own and take on extra work, they work hard at their coffee business and donate part of their sales to a new adopting family each month.
-$2,083 from Giving Tuesday! Yep, it is a thing! After all the spending and consumerism after Thanksgiving many people are looking for a way to give back. We used Facebook to create our Giving Tuesday fundraiser page. Keep the page active with comments, updates and inviting all your friends to join! Facebook will keep your fundraiser active for 10 days, but we raised these funds in the first one or two.
We didn't realize how blessed we'd feel by such a community of people joining together to help bring our daughter home. Did I say it yet, people love to help you when you share your heart and story! That doesn't mean you need to share your child's story, share your love for your child and how thankful you are for everyone's support.
$13,000 in Accepted Grants:
Once our home study was approved we began filling out applications for 6 different grants. The ones we applied for and received: Brittany's Hope, Show Hope, Little Biscuit, Pure Gift of God, and Holt Special Needs Project Grant. We also were so blessed by Lifesong for Orphans, but we were already fully funded.
We hope this article helps another family make a home for another precious child. We've been so blessed by other family's wisdom on our journey as well as Connect Hearts Ministry and are always happy to help other families. Feel free to reach out to us through Connected Hearts Ministry. - Jenn and Jeremy Ting