Adam Cooper is one of the many volunteers who visit and serve with Green Light New Orleans from out of town. He first came to New Orleans in 2012 through his high school’s alternative winter break trip. Adam volunteered in various community service projects around the city. Of these projects, he was most struck by Green Light New Orleans’ free energy efficient light bulb program. He was inspired by the organization, their mission and ability to create both an immediate and long term impact on the community.
Adam returned to New Orleans on the similar trip two years later where he volunteered with Green Light through the garden program. When Adam returned to New York he didn’t stop thinking about volunteering in New Orleans. In the midst of his busy life as a high schooler with cello and soccer practice, he still decided to support Green Light from afar.
Last Spring (2015), Adam organized a Ping Pong tournament as a fundraiser for Green Light. This was not an easy task! Adam went to the office every lunch period for months to obtain permission for the event. He advertised through fliers and social media. He hunted for ping pong table donations. In the end, all of his hard work paid off. Not only did he raise awareness of Green Light, the tournament raised enough to sponsor the materials for two garden builds.
Adam had no idea how popular his idea to start a Ping Pong club at his school would be. When over 80 kids showed up to the first meeting, he realized that he “could do something more with this.” Recently inspired by his trip to New Orleans, he decided to use this as an opportunity to raise money for Green Light.
After months of preparation, the big day finally arrived. Adam managed to get three Ping Pong tables and 64 participants. There was a suggested donation of $10 per team. The tournament got competitive, especially when two “very unskilled” freshman made it to the semi-finals by default. In the end a deserving team won first place. Those who excelled received prizes from Green Light T-shirts to pins.
What does Adam recommend for others who want to help fundraise for Green Light New Orleans? “A unique idea and persistence”. Here are four easy steps to create your own fundraiser:
- Come up with a fun idea – A Ping Pong tournament was just unique enough to interest Adam’s classmates to participate. Think of an event that you and all your friends would want to go to!
- Reach out to Green Light with your goal – we can provide support and prizes!
- Advertise your event (and tell all your friends) – Adam recommends lots of posts on social media. We can help with this part!
- Have fun, and be sure to document you experience to inspire others!
And of course, don’t forget to remind people that by participating they are helping out a nonprofit with a strong environmental impact!
Wherever you are, a fundraising event is a fun way to get people together and make an impact. Adam plans on hosting another fundraiser tournament this winter for Green Light New Orleans. If you are as inspired by our mission as Adam, follow his advice and start your own fundraiser! Contact Becka at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Check out (and vote for!) Adam’s entry to the Super Service Challenge for more information: