Monday, May 11, 2015

Reflection

This overall 20 Time project has been a unique experience.  Every Friday, I was given an opportunity to work on something that I care about, my swimming fundraiser.  Personally, I think I wasted that class time on Fridays.  I did not waste the project opportunity, just the valuable class time that was granted to me.  Because of this and the overall outcome of my project, I have learned an important lesson.  What you put in is what you get out, and my effort was not nearly enough to accomplish what I set out to achieve at the beginning of this project.  My fundraiser has somewhat come along, but I am almost positive that if I used all the resources available to me, like the class time on Fridays, my fundraiser would have already happened.  Now, if I want to make my project a success, I need to use my own time, which isn't that big of a deal, except for the fact that it leaves the outcome of the event in jeopardy.  I hope to make this fundraiser happen sometime in the summer or fall, but I can never be certain that I will be able to get around to it with my busy out-of-school schedule.  What I've taken away from this whole experience is simple, never take anything for granted.  At the beginning of the year, and for the majority of the year, I, along with probably most of my classmates, thought "so what we get every Friday of the school year", not realizing how valuable that actually was.  Now, after all of them are gone, I realize that those Fridays were basically what made the project unique.  You don't realize what you have until it's gone, and I had the greatest opportunity to make my project a success with Friday class time, but I wasted it.  If I could do this project again, I would have done it right and used the Fridays.

Monday, April 20, 2015

20 Time Talk

It's been a while since my last post, and I probably haven't gotten as much done as I was expecting.  I slacked off a little, but thankfully, I can now do my fundraiser in June, rather than May.  This will give me ample time to advertise the event to Gators swimmers and contact local businesses for sponsorships.  So that's what's going on with my fundraiser, but since the end of the year is approaching, I'm supposed to start shifting the topic of my posts to my 20 Time Talk.  The presentation must be at least seven or eight minutes long, and it's supposed to be about what I learned from doing this year long project.  I haven't failed this project, and I'm 99% sure that I'm not going to, so my talk isn't going to be about what I did wrong.  It's obviously going to be about what I learned, but I'm not exactly sure what I learned.  Over these next few weeks, I'm going to have to figure that out, and I'm going to have to keep working on my fundraiser.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fundraiser Approved

Last week I presented my fundraiser to the Grosse Pointe Gators board of directors, and they approved of it!  They thought it was a great idea and are very excited to see what I'm capable of.  They agreed to provide help in the areas where I requested it, but made it very clear that the majority of the responsibilities would be mine.  They also said that the event must take place early in May, which is a little bit earlier than I anticipated.  Now that my idea has been approved, I can start working and preparing for the fundraiser.  In my opinion, my most difficult task will be be getting sponsorship's.  In order to raise maximum funds, I thought it would be a great idea to reach out to local companies and ask for donations.  The Gators have a long list of sponsors from past meets, and I will take a look at that list and decide which ones to contact.  I've got a lot to do and a limited amount of time, so these next few weeks are really going to have me busy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fundraiser Presentation

These past two weeks have been great in terms of progress.  I completed the outline that I mentioned in my previous post and have prepared to present it at the board meeting on Monday.  The outline is three pages long, making it very thorough and in depth.  It explains every aspect of the fundraiser in great detail and contains many specifications.  I originally made a one page outline last weekend, but my dad said it needed much more description.  He said I needed to establish my responsibilities and the club's responsibilities, so I did just that.  I made it clear that everything I am capable of doing will be my responsibility.  In doing so, I will have much more control over the event, making it as much of my own as possible.  Upon presenting my idea, and hopefully being granted permission to do so, my project will really start to take off.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making Progress

I've made some good progress over the past two weeks, largely due to the fact that we had no school for an entire week.  I was able to meet with my friend that I mentioned in my previous post, and he agreed that he would help me with the fundraiser.  We agreed to organize the fundraiser for the same charity that he helped over the summer, Detroit Swims, an organization that teaches Detroit children water safety and swimming skills.  My dad was already planning on using this charity for the fundraiser, so he reached out to a spokesperson and they will be present at one of the upcoming board meetings for the swim team we are holding the fundraiser with, the Grosse Pointe Gators.  He told me I need to come up with a written outline or presentation for the meeting, so that will be my primary focus moving forward.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Planning

Over the past two weeks, I've begun to plan my fundraiser around the new idea I discussed in my previous post.  Last summer, my friend organized a similar fundraiser with our Country Club of Detroit swim team.  Parents made donations for this charity called Detroit Swims and in return, my friend organized a fun little relay meet for the team.  He made balanced teams and even came up with a lineup of events.  This whole fundraiser was simple, fun, and a huge success.  I've been talking to my friend, and he said he'd totally be willing to give me some tips and answer any questions I have in planning my fundraiser.  He did such a great job, and with his help, hopefully mine will be even better.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Little Plot Twist

Recently, my parents have been trying to convince me that my idea isn't the best in terms of fundraising.  Their arguments have mainly revolved around the fact that a few participants isn't going to cut it if I want to raise a decent amount of money.  Even though I really like my original idea, they're completely right.  Since both my parents are very involved with the Grosse Pointe Gators, a local swim team, they suggested that I do some sort of fundraiser involving the entire team, which has over 200 swimmers.  My dad, who is the president, thinks it's a great idea and has no doubt that it can be a success.  A couple of possible ideas that they suggested include a relay meet or practice meet, both in which a small registration fee is charged to every participant for donation.  Also, since the Gators are a pretty big club, my dad said I could even create merchandise to maximize funds raised.  All in all, I think their idea is a lot smarter in terms of raising funds.  From now on, I am going to be planning my project around this idea.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Past Month

Over these past four weeks, I haven't necessarily done as much work on my project as I had planned.  I wanted to complete an outline of the fundraiser and present it to my coach, but I just never found time to do either.  However, I did spend some time thinking about which charity/organization I would like to possibly collect donations for.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is one of my options.  I spent some time looking around their website (www.afsp.org), and the thing that grabbed my attention most was their "Out of the Darkness Walks".  I believe I recall someone organizing one of these for their project last year, and it is basically the same concept as my idea, as money is collected in form of donations.  The only difference is mine is swimming and this is walking.  Considering the similarity of the two, I think it would be very possible to get the attention of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for my project.  Regardless, I would love to collect donations for this foundation that deals with such an important topic.
Another foundation that I have really been leaning towards is Special Olympics.  If you aren't aware, Special Olympics is an organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics is very important to me, as I know many people with intellectual disabilities.  Over the past few years, I have volunteered to help and coach Special Olympic swimmers. Working with these great people has really made me happy and definitely changed my perspective on life.  I love what Special Olympics does and I don't think there is a better way to show that love than collecting donations.
There is still plenty of time to do more research and decide on a foundation.  I will most likely end up having to choose between three or four.