Run For Education 2017 (Ada Zhong)

THIS AFTERNOON I VOLUNTEERED AT A HLFY FUNDRAISING BOOTH at the Run for Education, which is essentially a local event in which people can either walk or race a 5k or 10k in order to support the city’s school district. To be more specific, today was the day before the actual run, where all the vendors/booths are lined up in the area where registration occurs. People tend to walk around all the booths to take a look at what each vendor has to offer, and we were fortunate enough for some of them to come over and see what we were selling.

Bracelets and necklaces with motivational quotes.

Our selection of necklaces.

Medal hangers!

We were selling the above products in order to raise money for purchasing athletic shoes for low-income students in the Benito Juarez Elementary School and Oakland Carter High School. As we are a nonprofit, 100% of the proceeds were going to this cause! With this in mind, all of the HLFY members who attended were hopeful that we could sell a decent amount.

In the morning, Grace (president) and I had a cross country race, so our fellow members, Katie, Sophia, and Jennifer manned the booth. From what Katie told me, the morning started off relatively slowly, with very few runners going our table.

The poster outside our booth.

However, by the time Grace, Shannon (another fellow member), and I arrived, there were more people at the registration, and hence more people who came over to look at our booth. From what I could tell, the bracelets were especially popular today; many people only considered purchasing bracelets but not necklaces. This showed me that we could potentially expand our bracelet collection, as we have far more necklaces that we sell than bracelets.

“Believe” bracelets; we sold at least one of these today!

To be honest, standing in the sun (which we did in order to talk to more people as opposed to sitting under the booth’s shade) was not the most ideal of circumstances. But it was all worth it. In the end, we were able to raise 625 dollars! This money, in addition to money raised from previous events, will definitely able to contribute a significant number of shoes to the underprivileged students we aim to support.

Going from race to race this past year in order to sell our jewelry pieces has been such an invaluable experience for me thus far. Not only have I learned to interact with strangers, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve also learned what it takes to make an impact. Nothing could happen without the people who are willing to take a few minutes out of their day to look at what we have set up, and for that, I am more than grateful. It reminds me of a quote by Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Indeed, the considerable success we’ve had with raising money has come from lots of teamwork and kindness of strangers’ hearts. And now, within a few months, we will be finally utilizing our money for the low-income students we’ve wanted to help for so long. I’m extremely excited to see how the athletic shoes are received, and I hope that they will make a difference, no matter how small, in their lives.


Ada Zhong


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