By Laura Walls in You're New. What's Next?
I was at my child ambassador team leader's house when I saw it. A clear plastic tote filled with everything she needed for her Hope Sunday at a local church. It was my first event and I was trying not to miss any details of how she made her ministry work. She explained her tote's contents and it went something like this:
1. Picture Folders of children needing sponsors
You can order them at http://volunteers.wordvision.org on the tab marked "Picture Folders."
How many should you request? A good rule of thumb is to estimate the size of your audience and aim for no higher than 10%. If it's a large festival setting, my personal recommendation is to not go higher then ten. In my experience, too many can be overwhelming to people, especially in that type of busy setting but ask your leadership team member for their recommendation.
Also, did you know that you can request picture folders from a specific country or of a particular gender? As you're filling out the picture folder order form, look to the right where it says, "Notes." You can make any special requests in that space. In addition, be sure to have your "Cause" page set up prior to your event. If you don't have a child from a country that a donor is looking for, then you can use your phone, tablet, or laptop!
You'll want a tablecloth for most events - generally black, tan, or orange work well. A table runner is a nice touch, too. My team leader had a couple of inexpensive options that she picked up from a fabric store - one for a South American theme and one for an African look. She varied the look of the table based on the region the church or event was focusing on.
3. Letters and pictures from your sponsored child
One of the most powerful stories you can share is that of your relationship with your sponsored child. A great way to store that correspondence is in a three-ring binder using page protectors. Potential sponsors will love to see it! Be sure to share with them that they will hear from their sponsored child "letter for letter."
Haven't been a sponsor for very long? Don't let that discourage you! Read your World Vision magazines or look online for stories of the impact of sponsorship and share them.
Bring a handful of pens for filling out the sponsorship cards.
5. "How a Community is Transformed" brochure
This brochure will help you explain World Vision's development model. Because they are expensive to print, I'd recommend taking yours to an office supply store and having it laminated.
6. Display Board
A trifold display board purchased at your local store can be a great way to catch someone's eye as they walk past your table. You can see examples of other child ambassador's displays and find World Vision images and logos on the volunteer website on the Resources tab under "Sharing Sponsorship."
(Keep in mind that if you're outside, the wind may be blowing and a standing display may not be practical.)
7. A Small Map or Globe
This will make it easier when the inevitable question like, "Where is Burundi?" comes up.
8. Sponsorship Brochures
I keep these in my tote underneath the table to have available upon request. If I put them on top with the picture folders, then people have a tendency to just take a brochure and walk away, rather than connecting with one of the children represented there. But every now and then, someone only wants a brochure so I like to have them handy. They are also available on the volunteer site on the picture folder order form.
9. Post-It Notes
I use these to write little notes for the picture folders based on the child's story inside. I write things like, "My grandma works hard to take care of me!" Or, "I love to climb trees!" Or, "My dad is a teacher!" Just little things that will help show the individuality of the child and help the sponsor make a connection. I don't generally write them on every folder because that can be a little overwhelming. I'll pick a few and, if they are sponsored, then I'll add little notes to a few more! I also use them if someone requests that I hold a picture folder for them while they think or pray about it.
10. The Hole in our Gospel
This book has touched a lot of hearts and it's great for starting a conversation!
11. A Bowl for Candy
It's totally optional of course but a great way to bring people over. Plus, you might want some for yourself, too!
It took me a little time to get my tote's contents together but once it's filled with these items, then hosting an event is easy! I can just order my picture folders online, grab my tote, and go!
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.