Tag: fundraiser

Feature #2 of our New “How To” Series

“How to” …make a difference: fund-raise while tailoring to your interests!

As RJI has been extending our reach, we have been making plans to build our staff and bolster our annual curriculum updates. This type of organizational development allows us to provide excellent prevention materials to schools that are relevant and poignant, able to offer real prevention and lasting change. Here is the hard truth: we cannot do any of this growing without funding! In this season especially, we are encouraging everyone who wants to protect our nation’s youth to join our fund development effort.

Fundraising is not arbitrarily asking for money through gritted teeth, but rather inviting people into something they can be proud to be a part of. You are the bridge between donors and the good/meaningful work they want to put their dollar to.

No matter your experience in fundraising, you can be a part of our effort to garner support for RJI’s work! Dig deep into your background and your interests and pinpoint what it is you are good at, and what makes your heart skip a little faster with excitement. These passions and talents allow you to offer something unique to the mission- do not let them go to waste! Below are a couple of examples, but feel free to create your own, with all proceeds going to RJI. -If you love to cook, host a dinner party! Invite your friends and let them know that the proceeds benefit the Prevention Project program for teens! Charge for entry: only 15 friends at $30 a head raises a quick $450!

-If your passion is “DIY” crafts, buy some art supplies or old curious and repurpose it into something beautiful to sell to others!

-Do we have any exercise guru’s? Plan a day to lead a large group exercise class,  and advertise the Prevention Project to friends and community, accepting a donation of any type for class admittance.

-Have a special event coming up?  Celebrate your special occasion with us! We’re launching a new opportunity where you can invite others to celebrate with you by donating to RJI for your special occasion – your birthday, anniversary, holiday gift, graduation, mother’s day, father’s day, etc.! EVERY gift makes a huge impact in the lives of students! The image above is yours to use (or email us if you would like a larger size image), if you so choose, and you can link directly to our website in your ask: https://richmondjusticeinitiative.com/donate/

Thank you for helping us reach more students by raising funds in a way only YOU can!

Pictured above: Use the graphic above (or email us if you would like a larger size image) on your special occasion to raise awareness and funds for the Prevention Project!  Creativity is endless – how will you make a difference?

Fundraising: Partner Spotlight

Shopping and Making a Difference. Though these two concepts aren’t always found side by side – they are when talking about Fair Trade and this fundraiser!

This past month, Ten Thousand Villages hosted a two-hour fundraising shopping event, with a total of 20% of the proceeds donated to Richmond Justice Initiative. Thank you Ten Thousand Villages! While at this event, RJI staff and volunteers shared with shoppers about RJI, human trafficking facts and prevention, and how to get actively involved in the prevention and eradication of human trafficking!

One of the shoppers that day was a pre-teen named Grace. She asked us what RJI was raising awareness about. I quickly but carefully crafted an age-appropriate response, as I wanted it to resonate with her, but not frighten her. I briefly explained to her what trafficking is and about some of the methods that traffickers use to lure teens (as the average age of entry is 11-14 years old); she responded with the most impactful and touching question of the day: “I only have $.75 in my bag; can I donate it all to help?”

Humbled and inspired, I told her that her money would be going to help a very important cause. She smiled and hugged the Vicuna stuffed animal that had just been bought for her at the store.

Richmond Justice Initiative has partnered with Ten Thousand Villages Richmond, a Fair Trade Retailer, for several events in the past years. Our two organizations share many purposes in common, including anti-human trafficking. One of the principles of Fair Trade Certification is to ensure that no child or forced labor is used in producing goods. This means that whenever you shop Fair Trade, you can be certain that the source company went through a rigorous certification process that reflects 10 different principles. Because of this, RJI commends Fair Trade certification standards and other ways that businesses go to lengths to ensure no forced labor is used to produce any part of their products. This is why staff from both RJI and Ten Thousand Villages, among other organizations, also serve on the steering committee for Fair Trade RVA, a movement to get retailers and organizations in Richmond to carry Fair Trade products so that Richmond can be recognized as a ‘Fair Trade Town’.

The truth is, we can all make a difference. If you are inspired by Grace’s story and would like to make a difference as well, donate here to make an impact and write “Inspired by Grace” in the notes to seller section.

Written by: Jessica Willis
Richmond Justice Initiative Prevention Project Manager
Fair Trade RVA Steering Committee Member

Partnerships & Giving to a Cause

Richmond Justice Initiative is a faith-based organization. We value prayer as our recognition of our complete dependence on God. We believe in His provision, making way for all of our needs, in order to do the work of justice He has called us to. We are thankful for many individuals, organizations, and companies in our community and around the state of Virginia and beyond who have stepped up and supported RJI’s efforts in donating their time, energy, fundraising, or donating directly to our organization! This month we want to spotlight two organizations that have used their creativity to fund-raise on their own for RJI.

New Creation, a partner organization that fights human trafficking in the Shenandoah Valley, partnered with a local high school student to create the Light the Night 5K for his senior project to help raise funds for RJI’s signature teen anti-trafficking curriculum, Prevention Project program to be in schools in his area! The student led event had around 125 participants that enjoyed a walk/run around the beautiful campus, along with prizes donated by local businesses, giveaways, and a DJ dance party. The event was very successful and they have already had multiple students offer to lead the project next year. When raising awareness and funds in your community, Sabrina Dorman of New Creation says, “I would encourage youth to get involved, their passion and energy is contagious.

Ashley Topping, of Wells Fargo Advisors, Innslake Office, had personally been aware of and involved in the fight against human trafficking. When she became part of a group at Wells Fargo Advisors called IMPACT, she used the opportunity to educate her co-workers about human trafficking and the work RJI was doing in the community. When she made her team aware of the issue, there was an abundance of support to get RJI as the approved charity for their Spring Basket Fundraiser. Ashley said, “The topic may be uncomfortable to talk about, but if people don’t understand what is going on, how can they stand up to fight against it? The amount of people I was able to inform during our fundraiser week simply blew me away. There are so many who just have no idea what is happening, not just all over the world, but right here in our city.

During the Spring Basket Fundraiser, each department selected a basket theme and put the baskets on display for one week. Team members were able to purchase tickets for $1.00 to place in the basket of their choice that they would like to be eligible to win. At the end of the week, one name from each basket is drawn and the baskets are delivered to the winners. All the money raised from the raffle ticket sale is given to the chosen charity. RJI is honored to be the charity they chose this spring.

We have heard from and trust many of you would like to start your own funding campaign to support RJI. The power to help end human trafficking is in your hands and this is a great way to be creative and use your talents make a difference, and above all to serve the Lord. Please contact us at info@rvaji.com or check out or Action Menu for more ways you can raise awareness and funds at the same time to fight human trafficking in your city! You can also be a part of fundraisers that are currently being planned:

Hope Thrift Fundraiser, August 9, 10am-5:30pm

Chipotle, Eat for Change, August 11, 4-8pm

Amazing Raise, September 17-18

Broad Street Mile, September 20, 11:30am

Be sure to check out future features about fundraisers and donations, as we highlight them in upcoming newsletters!

By: Alisa Feliciano | RJI Volunteer

Chopstix Social Fundraiser Huge Success

Thank you so much for everyone who made it out this last Wednesday night for our Social Fundraiser at Chopstix. We were able to raise funds for RJI’s work and bring awareness to trafficking in Richmond. The manager of Chopstix was so happy with the business that we brought in that he invited us to have a fundraiser every Wednesday of March! So if you were unable to make it out this past week don’t worry you have three more chances to come eat some delicious Asian cuisine, support RJI, and educate your friends and family. You can find the events on our calendar or on Facebook.

By the way, the gyoza dumplings and edamame are delicious!