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Carny

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First, if this would be more appropriate in another section, please move it rather than delete it. I wanted it to be seen and lessons learned could apply to "for profit" ventures.

I recently volunteered to supply labor and materials to plumb a new house for a family that was in a car accident. The mother died at the scene, one son lost vision in one eye, and her daughter Lauren reportedly died four times on the way to the hospital but was revived. Doctors said she wouldn't live. Then they said she would never walk or talk. I don't know what they're saying now, but she's walking, talking, and writing. Not well, but she is. You can check out a news clip here: Family Struggling To Make Mannford Home Ready For Girl Disabled - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

They have an old rundown doublewide trailer with no AC and a leaky roof that is not suitable for someone in her condition. We are going to build a 30' x 50' steel building so she can have a clean healthy place to heal. A friend of mine is doing all the HVAC work but we are still short on funds to cover other materials. I think we can cover all the labor.

Besides taking care of the plumbing I've taken it upon myself to help raise money and awareness for the project. So far they have an account at a lumber company in a very small rural town that people can donate to and they are having a yard sale with donated items. The news clip says a there is a church that is taking donations but I haven't found any info on that. These people are doing all they know how to but I would be surprised if they raise anywhere close to the funds needed.

I'm setting up a facebook page and I'm working on a video to help solicit donations. The girl's father set up a paypal account to accept donations. I have a handful of questions so far:

1. Her name is Lauren Byard and she needs a sanitary place to live. Any ideas for a project name better than "Bring Lauren Home"?

2. Can you help me come up with some compelling copy for a facebook page description and a website? (I think I'm going to just add a page to the website for my plumbing company)

3. Can someone help with the video? All I have so far is a bunch of pics from facebook, text messages, and the news clip. I'm willing to go take more pics and video footage if needed. I'm into photography so I think I could get some decent shots.

4. Is a paypal account the best way to accept donations?

5. Is there anything else I've left out that I should do?

I think $40,000 would cover everything which doesn't seem like much if we can come up with a good "campaign".

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

I know this may not be in line with the typical post on this forum, but for me at least one of the things I'm looking forward to being able to do the most is give back once I've hit the fastlane. Right now I'm unfortunately I'm only able to give my labor and really trusting that I'll at least be able to personally raise enough to cover the plumbing materials I've committed to.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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I moved your thread to the PEOPLE forum.

Your cause would be PERFECT for an IndieGoGo campaign -- it makes it easier for people to view the cause and contribute.

Indiegogo: An International Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money

Or

Medical Fundraising: Raise Money for Medical Expenses & Medical Bills

These really can help funnel contributions and make it easier to spread the word.

Not sure which website would be best for medical needs, but I know GFM has a special section for that. (Linked above.)

Once you establish one of these pages you can link to the page here -- once you do that, you can count me in for $100 for the cause and well wishes for the young girls' speedy recovery. :)
 

Carny

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I'm looking at Indie Go Go now, thanks! I thought it was mostly for creative projects so I didn't even consider it. I'm researching how to start a campaign now. Before I officially kick it off I'd like to run my copy by everyone here for feedback and refinement.

And thank you for the offer of the donation MJ!
 

Carny

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I'm setting up the indie gogo campaign now. What do you think of the title and short description?

Build Lauren a Home

Her mother was killed in a car accident. 12 year old Lauren spent months in the hospital. She defied the odds and pulled through. Now she needs your help.

I've gone back and forth on "now she needs your help" or "now she needs a home". What do you think?

I went with "your help" because the title already says she needs a home and I wanted to try to be more engaging with potential funders. Am I looking at it the right way?
 

LibertyForMe

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I feel like you ought to put these exact word into the copy. This is really good.
The mother died at the scene, one son lost vision in one eye, and her daughter Lauren reportedly died four times on the way to the hospital but was revived. Doctors said she wouldn't live. Then they said she would never walk or talk. I don't know what they're saying now, but she's walking, talking, and writing. Not well, but she is. You can check out a news clip here: Family Struggling To Make Mannford Home Ready For Girl Disabled - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |
 

Carny

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Here is the long description for the igg:

This girl needs a sanitary home. We can give it to her.

On April 10, 2013 the Byard family was in an auto accident. The mother died at the scene, one son lost vision in one eye, and Lauren reportedly died four times on the way to the hospital but was revived. Doctors said she wouldn't live. Then they said she would never walk or talk. I don't know what they're saying now, but she's walking, talking, and writing. Not well, but she is.

Lauren has been in the hospital since the accident, but she will be released soon. Her recovery is nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately the family's home isn't suitable for someone in her condition. There is no air conditioning (an absolute necessity in OK), the roof leaks, there is mold present, and it's in poor overall condition.

The local community has offered help. We plan to build a 1500 square foot steel building with living quarters to provide a clean safe environment for the family. The plumbing, HVAC, and some materials have been donated, as well as most of the labor needed, but it's not enough.





What We Need

We are still in the very early planning stages but $40,000 will at least get close to completing this project. Right now the two main things needed are concrete and the building itself, approximately $9,000 and $16,000 respectively. The remaining funds will go towards finishing the interior.

If this campaign is successful and goes beyond what is needed for the home the remaining funds will be used for any medical equipment she needs and the rest for the family to live on. Her father James hasn't worked since the accident because he's been at the hospital with Lauren.

They will be living with James' mother until the house is built. She has a small two bedroom house so things are going to be cramped and uncomfortable. This family has been through such a horrible tragedy and really needs our help.



Other Ways You Can Help

Obviously money is what we really need to get this going. If you can't contribute monetarily please spread the word. Just a simple facebook post or tweet could lead to this getting funded. Share it any way you can.



Thank you for your support!


I haven't officially launched to igg campaign yet, I want to make sure everything is right before I go live. How does it look? Should I change or add anything?


I also made a video from pics the family sent me. Lauren - YouTube

And set up a fb page: https://www.facebook.com/bringlaurenhome


Thanks for the help so far and if you have any other ideas please let me know!
 

Carny

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She's been practicing writing in a notepad. I was thinking of offering a sheet from her notebook (maybe framed?) for anyone that donates over $100. Would that be an incentive?

I also thought about getting some canvasses and have her paint on them and maybe give those with a $500 donation.

Again, I'm open to suggestions.
 

cautiouscapy

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Horrible event, horrible event; but putting it in clinical terms - "the mother" - makes it easier to distance yourself from it, doesn't tug at the heart strings quite so much.

I think the first paragraph would be a little more emotive if you changed the wording: e.g:

"Lauren's mother died at the scene and her brother lost the vision in one eye. Lauren reportedly..."



Well done for doing the work on this. Even as it stands the campaign is gathering momentum by your action.
 

LibertyForMe

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I think the copy sounds really good. I think the incentives that you mentioned would be special.

I am trying to think of how to get this thing a bigger audience... maybe you could create a custom video specifically for churches that lasts maybe 5 minutes. The video could show Lauren to help build an emotional bond; and it could do a walk-through of her current living conditions. Then, you might show the plans for the new home, or show the steel frame or build site - the purpose being to illustrate what could be.

Lots of churches do 'love offerings' where they collect money for people who need help. If you could get a couple churches to show your video at the beginning of their service or something; I think you would get a lot of traction.

I will mention the cause to some people at my church.
 

LibertyForMe

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For me; the music in the video cut off abruptly at the 1:13 mark. Maybe fade it out instead of an immediate cut.

But other than that, the video was good.
 

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For me; the music in the video cut off abruptly at the 1:13 mark. Maybe fade it out instead of an immediate cut.

But other than that, the video was good.

I think the music stopping was to signify the moment when her life changed. The moment of the accident, and, then, different music for the recovery.
 

Carny

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The indie go go campaign is live!

Build Lauren a Home | Indiegogo

Please pass this on even if you can't make a donation.

Liberty, I messed with the audio for probably an hour. It works fine on the movie maker software, but when I save it for some reason it just cuts off.
 

Carny

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I think the music stopping was to signify the moment when her life changed. The moment of the accident, and, then, different music for the recovery.

You are right about the change but I did want the first song to fade out followed by a few seconds of silence. It doesn't fade much though, just kind of stops.
 

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Keep it up, push the marketing, get press releases out there. Don't forget to add your Perks to the IGG page, even if it's just a simple "I give a damn and want to help as best I can." Without any specific perk in return.

It's not much, but here's $50 to add to the starting funds.

Good Luck :)
 

Carny

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Thank you dezzamondo!

I will check out the copywriting forum too, good idea.

Mj, could I talk you into starting a thread on this forum to get some attention for this?
 

Carny

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We've raised almost $300 which is good but I was hoping for more by now. Where are some other places I could promote this?

Facebook has the option to pay for advertising do you think it would be worth it?
 

Carny

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I will talk to some people at church about it tomorrow; hopefully I can garner some interest.

Thanks! Even if all they do is share it on facebook that will help.
 

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Carny

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They don't meet the requirements for Habitat for Humanity, but I am going to call them and see if they can give me any advice or contacts that may be able to help
 

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