Eating Out for a Good Cause

By Barbara Sattler

Barbara Sattler is on the Board of The Transverse Myelitis Association. While a city court magistrate in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara contracted transverse myelitis. She took four months to recover before returning to work and was later appointed to the superior court bench. Barbara retired in 2008. Since retirement, she has written three novels and has committed all her publications’ proceeds to the TMA. Barbara’s books are available for purchase on Amazon.com.  Barbara also has a blog.

Many of us think of fundraising as fancy dinners, silent auctions, golf tournaments and, of course, the walk-run-n-rolls. Those events are fabulous and generate lots of money. They also take lots of planning and time. For many of us, the thought of putting on an event like that is daunting.  For some of us, getting out of bed in the morning is daunting.

Recently, I had a much simpler idea that can be done by one person, although Julie Barry, a TMA member, and I did it together. My son Ben (and his partner) recently opened The Drunken Chicken, a restaurant whose specialty is chicken and waffles, and craft beers, but also serves a variety of chicken sandwiches, burgers, ice cream and waffles, mac and cheese, and funky appetizers.

Ben was willing to let us do a fundraiser there. Between 4 and 8 pm one evening, 25% of all sales were donated to the TMA. We also set up a table and gave anyone who came in a TMA bracelet and a brochure about the TMA. As one of my friends said, “Great idea, eat for charity.”

Julie and I publicized the fundraiser on Facebook and with individual invites to friends, book club members, and family. Facebook gave us the option of a donate button which allows people to donate immediately on the Facebook page (at no cost to the TMA or the Facebook user). Folks who couldn’t show up that evening sent donations through Facebook, by mail or in person.

This is an easy way to raise money. Little preparation. Lots of fun. Our family and friends attended, plus people who just came to eat and wound up learning about the TMA. Some gave more.

I was lucky to have a son in the restaurant business.  You can do an event like this with other businesses besides restaurants, such as a hair salon or sports business. If the items are higher end, you might consider a smaller percentage given to TMA. All you need is one person in business who wants to help.

As a reminder, if you buy from Amazon, sign up for Amazon Smile. It costs you nothing, but a small percentage of whatever you spend goes to the organization you specify which is, of course, the TMA.

Big events and gifts are terrific, but as many politicians have found out, small gifts add up.

Think people should hear about this?