Youth Volunteers Participate in FCSN Annual Fundraising Gala

By Isabella He, FCSN Voices Youth Reporter

For the 2020 FCSN fundraising gala, youth volunteers were invited to participate in fundraising and for the event for the first time in FCSN history. FCSN school clubs at UC Davis, Irvington High School, James Logan High School, Piedmont Hills, and BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, and Mission San Jose High School helped fundraise for FCSN. We are excited to announce that UC Davis FCSN Club is our top contributing FCSN school club this year and our winner of the $200 prize!

Dear UC Davis FCSN Club officials and members:
I would like to congratulate you on winning the $200 prize as the top FCSN Club team for the FCSN 2020 Fundraising. There were a total of 6 FCSN Clubs from different local schools who participated. UC Davis FCSN Club won both awards for “Most Funds Raised” and “Most Members Participated.”
This is the first time FCSN youth volunteers were invited to help in the annual fundraising and were invited to join FCSN 2020 Gala. FCSN values young volunteers’ involvement, not just in working with our special needs individuals, but also in understanding FCSN’s operations, culture, and spirits. FCSN hopes the fundraising and the Gala experience, along with all other volunteering experiences at FCSN can benefit you as you move on to build a bright future for yourself, and in turn, benefit the community at large.
Congratulations again! Hope the prize can help your club grow, and work with FCSN to help special needs individuals and their families to find love, hope, respect, and support! 
Linmei Chiao, Director of FCSN Volunteer Support Department
Isabella He, Leader of FCSN Clubs

Here is UC Davis FCSN Club’s story:

Firstly, we would like to thank FCSN for the opportunity to write about our experience fundraising for the FCSN gala! We are incredibly proud to have raised a total of $657 for FCSN and its cause. 

The board members at FCSN (UC Davis) have all had their own unique experience fundraising and each member has provided his or her own testimonial regarding the experience.

Erica Chiu (President)- It was a new experience for everyone since this was my first time fundraising online. We knew that it would be difficult to encourage people to donate to our cause, so our board decided to create an incentive for people by using a “bingo” method where if people donated a certain amount, they would be able to cross out a box on the grid! We even shared the method with our fellow FCSN clubs. Our response for the fundraiser was great, and we really think the bingo incentive worked well. We’re super proud of being able to win the prize for raising the most money for FCSN. We hope that we can continue to raise more funds for FCSN so they can do even greater things for the special needs community!

Ember Hung (Vice President): Although I had no prior experience with FCSN, I was enthusiastic to join and take part of establishing a branch at UC Davis. For an entire school year, way back before coronavirus, I was assigned to a classmate with special needs. I learned to collaborate with him with an abundance of patience, establish a reward system, and how to understand him as a person and a friend. Remembering how challenging that was to do in person, I hope that through FCSN, I’ll be able to help more children with special needs and volunteers succeed during these tough times.

Sasha Afroz (Financial Officer): When I first heard about the fundraiser, I was initially thinking of ways it could be done online as we couldn’t have bake sales and other in person fundraising methods. The fundraising process was interesting to do online because we didn’t have the ability to gather together and raise awareness. However, it was amazing to see how we were able to utilize social media to raise funds for an important cause. Creating a fundraising page, informing friends and family about FCSN, and posting on Instagram were amazing ways to contribute to the cause. 

Julia Pan (Public Relations Officer): It was really exciting to be able to participate in hosting the FCSN fundraiser and give back to the special needs community by raising awareness and growing support. I have volunteered within the special needs community since highschool and it is an honor to be able to contribute positivity. I can’t wait for more opportunities to further support children with special needs through volunteering events and fundraisers!

Ayushi Ambekar(Public Relations Officer): The prospect of volunteering, at first, was quite intimidating since we couldn’t conduct the fundraiser in the traditional way. Yet, I was quite determined to help FCSN in any way I could. The process was incredibly fun and in general a very rewarding experience! 

John Falcon (Secretary): I have never been heavily involved in a fundraiser before. That is until I became secretary of UC Davis’ FCSN club and needed to step up as a leader. I wanted to do some good for the organization by spreading awareness about children with special needs while simultaneously fundraising money. Our club decided to host our own fundraiser where each officer posted an informative cover on our social media pages which explained what FCSN is and why we were raising funds for the nonprofit organization. We also posted a bingo sheet that displayed the different amounts of money that people can donate. To my surprise, my bingo sheet was filled up within a few hours, so I decided to post another one which also filled up completely! I am so appreciative of those who donated and am grateful to have been helped raise money for children in need

Catherine Chen (Creatives Officer): We came up with the idea to make a bingo board as a fun way to fundraise. It was a super-effective way to reach out to a lot of people to donate money and raise awareness for special needs kids. I feel like it is super important for programs to still be available and running for the special needs community during the pandemic and it is really cool to see our online communities support FCSN!

Isa Asuncion (Social Media Coordinator): To fundraise for FCSN, our board members decided to utilize our social media platforms. We created bingo sheets and an informational graphic on the mission of FCSN to post on our Instagram stories which was super effective in spreading the word to family and friends, and it made the donation process easier. I’m so proud of our club for raising funds to help support FCSN! I know this support will help the organization continue its programming, which is especially important during these times of uncertainty and isolation. 

Gia Han Dang (Social Media Coordinator): For fundraising for FCSN, it was quite hard to get people to donate, but the experience of letting people know about what the club aims to support was good. People saw my posts for donations, and some people reached out and asked about the club. I believe that I did my best to educate people about the special needs community, and fundraising was just the beginning to what our club has to offer.” 

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