Every fall firefighters in California risk their lives to battle wildfires. On top of this, the Covid 19 pandemic has made first responders more important than ever. As a way to show appreciation for the firefighters that serve us, CHEER members have decided to hold a fundraiser to raise money to buy gift cards for the firefighters that serve the San Fernando Valley community. Apart from showing appreciation for our firefighters we also hoped to get to know more about the local fire stations. The fundraiser was ran with two parts, a live online talent show through zoom and an online art gallery.
The virtual talent show was held at 7 pm on October 3rd with a total of 15 acts varying from dances to saxophone performances. The performers were given a choice of either performing live or submitting a video beforehand which allows for greater flexibility for the performer if they cannot make the talent show but would still like to contribute or if they aren’t comfortable performing live. Apart from the talent show, the art gallery was announced at the end of the event and is still available to view through this link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/180YNaavKJymC2Y5co8EssQP2PTmGaXKb?usp=sharing. A total of 12 pieces of art have been put into the art gallery.
Before the event a gofundme page was set up as a way to collect donations. After the event finished a total sum of $781 was donated by 31 donors. However gofundme charges a fee and after fees the sum was $748.74. Another donor was able to donate another $1.26 to round the final amount to $750.
Upon knowing the amount raised, the CHEER members organizing the event called local fire stations to ask for the amount of people working at each station in order to decide how to split the money raised among the local fire stations. The first station CHEER gave gift cards to was station 107 on Devonshire on November 23. A total of $150 in In-N-Out gift cards was given to station 107. The next station CHEER visited was station 87 on November 25 where $225 as In-N-Out Burger gift cards was gifted. The next day on Thanksgiving CHEER members visited station 18 on Balboa Blvd to give $175 in Starbucks gift cards. On the 27th another group of CHEER members donated $200 in Starbucks gift cards to station 44 in Simi Valley. Aside from the gift cards, artwork of those in the art gallery and letters written by CHEER members were also given to each fire station.
The Mid-Autumn Festival Fundraiser was overall a great way to bring together the community members of the San Fernando Valley and a great way to support our first responders. We would like to thank all those involved in the fundraiser including the donors, artists, and performers.