What was it like organizing a fundraising activity for Greenpeace?

Earth day runWell, at first it seemed impossible: we had no prior experience with this type of event organizing and very limited resources. We didn’t know where to start; we didn’t have the know-how, guidelines, or knowledge of layouts to help make this happen. We hunkered down and held a series of brainstorming sessions which led to a lot of research work and late night conceptualizations.

Fast forward to a week after, and voila! The group had decided to do a fun run activity. Yours truly insisted on a theme for the event, so not long after that, the Earth Day Fun Run: A Family-for-Charity Event was born.

Everything was in place: the list of target sponsorships, projected promotional expenses, event schemes and all other organizing stuff. It was time to look for a beneficiary for our charity event.

January 23, 11:35 A.M.

We got a response from Tina Pedraya, Greenpeace Philippines’ Community Fundraising Coordinator, acknowledging our intent for their organization to become the beneficiary of our undertaking. We exchanged contact information and clarified some details regarding the event.

With a fast-paced system and dynamic personalities organizing the activity, things were looking up. The designs for the materials were coming in. The event invitations were already up on our Facebook page. There was no turning back!

There were some major considerations and a lot of criticisms and discouragements. We had to face the reality that weekdays are busy days for the core working group, which set us back in terms of the participants’ availability. We kept optimistic and shrugged the challenges off. We relied on people’s word of honor and took things at face value.

Then, just when we thought things couldn't possibly get any worse, a couple of event sponsors pulled out. Partners suddenly declined. Well, beggars can’t be choosers, anyway. Something told me that the possibility of cancelling the activity was imminent; it was at this point that the fear of not being able to pull this off set in.

However, despite the setbacks, the Creator up above made things happen in ways that only He knows about. Through sheer determination and the team’s willingness as a whole, we got  through it.

Earth day run

The first Earth Day Fun Run Activity pushed through last April 22 and was generally very successful, thanks to a group of generous and kind event partners that made this meaningful experience possible. Our sincere thanks also go out to the volunteers and participants that shared the moment with us that morning.

I can proudly say that the purpose of the activity was accomplished with flying colors. We
proved that in these trying times with climate change upon us, the spirit of volunteerism is still alive. There are still people who care enough to protect our planet, people who are willing to go a step further -- in spite of hardships and limitations -- to get involved and get active.

It was truly a wonderful experience for me to celebrate a global event filled with fun and contentment with my friends and family. I will forever treasure this accomplishment, knowing that, at one point in time, my friends and I were able to pull this event off. Cheers!

"We do not inherit nature; we borrow it from our CHILDREN.." ~Native American Proverb


AJ de Guzman is the organizer of Earth Day Fun Run 2013 in Pangasinan.