Life under lockdown #8

Ava May (1)

A fundraiser’s perspective – from one of our young supporter’s Ava-May

At the beginning of May we were contacted by the Malik family whose (now) 8 year old daughter, Ava-May, was determined to make good use of her time during lockdown and fundraise for charities who were helping people during this crisis. We feel extremely thankful that she picked Stripey Stork as one of her two chosen charities, as well as NHS Charities Together.

She kept herself busy at the start of lockdown by planning a full schedule of fundraising activities – from a cake sale extravaganza on VE Day, to a TikTok dance challenge, sponsored bike ride, homework goals and quiz master assistant. An extremely full week for Ava-May and her family, who wholeheartedly embraced these challenges and to date have raised a total of nearly £2,000 plus gift aid, that’s nearly 1,000% of the target! Here’s the appeal page, which details all of the different activities she undertook in her fundraising diary. There’s still time to support her efforts here

We couldn’t have been prouder of this mighty young lady. We were sure to show her the ‘Stork love’ by sending her one of our well-deserved virtual medals, as well as a personal thank you letter from our mascot Stripey.

We were also keen to hear from Ava-May (and her family) on what was her motivation behind such an extraordinary accomplishment and ask her to share any tips with anyone looking to take on a similar challenge of their own. Here’s what they had to say…

1. How did you first hear about Stripey Stork?

Ava-May: My Mum had told me all about them. I’ve even been to their place before to drop off clothes and toys which I no longer need. I love that they are going to children who really need them and it makes me feel less sad saying goodbye to them.

Mum: When Ava-May was a baby I realised how lucky we were as a family, so when she outgrew her clothes, toys, cot etc. I wanted to give them to a charity that would be able to pass them onto families who would benefit from them directly. I rang other organisations such as local women’s refuges, but none had room to store such items. A little bit of ‘Googling’ and I came across Stripey Stork. We’ve been passing on items ever since.

We’ve also been supporting Stripey Stork for some time now, through our family business Celtic Contractors (a Surrey-based commercial interior design and construction company). I found out they provided extra support to local families in need over the Christmas period through Santa Stork and our business has been involved in this campaign ever since. On the back of this, we’ve been approached about other fundraising ideas, for example my Brother Jon (Managing Director of Celtic Contractors), has ran Run Reigate twice for Stripey Stork.

2. What inspired you to choose Stripey Stork as one of your charities to support?

Ava-May: I wanted to help them because I’m a child and Stripey Stork is a charity that helps children.

Mum: I’ve thought about the children being helped by Stripey Stork a lot during lockdown – those who don’t have a garden and lots of toys to play with at home. For many, myself included, we can treat our children with a new toy to keep them entertained or as a reward to help motivate them. It’s easy with the click of a button through sites such as Amazon, but I realise this is a privilege which many don’t have, especially during this crisis.

3. Which fundraising activities did you enjoy the most?

Ava-May: I really enjoyed the dancing and bike ride challenges – I love doing these anyway, so they went really quickly and I felt great after.

Mum: Baking the cakes was a nice bonding time for me and the kids (Ava-May’s younger brother Reece was a great help too) and one that I will treasure forever!

 

 

4. Were there any surprises along the way?

Ava-May: We met a lot of neighbours we had never spoke to before, including a lady who turned 95 the day before our cake drop.

Mum: It was so lovely to meet our neighbours and we were blown away by their generosity. We still can’t quite believe the donations they made. The comments that the children received were so kind. Ava-May also received letters through the door on the day of the cake delivery which she will be able to treasure.

I also received some lovely emails from people at work, it made me feel so proud reading them all, along with the letter and the medal she received from Stripey. After I shared what she had done on social media, a few people I hadn’t seen in a very long time asked for the link so they could sponsor her, which again was a really nice surprise.

5. What would you say to other children who were thinking about raising money for charity – any tips or things to avoid?

Ava-May: Do challenges which you enjoy! You will need to put a lot of effort in if you want to raise lots of money. But don’t give up as it feels great after you’ve finished, knowing you’ve help so many people.

6. Can you share a reflection on this time during lockdown?

Mum: More family time together is definitely something we’ve all enjoyed. The simple things like going for walks and discovering places we didn’t know we had on our doorstep. The kids are no longer asking “when will the trampoline park or soft play be open?” and love going for walks in the woods. I hope we continue to do things like this regularly after lockdown is over.

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What a little superstar she is! Not one to stop there, she enjoyed it so much she’s already asking when she can do more fundraising. She’s also really keen to pay us a visit once it’s business as usual again and spend some time at our warehouse helping to sort and pack donations. Maybe she can be our ‘Chief Toy Tester’ for the day? We were also really pleased to hear that Ava-May has been enjoying our Stripes4Stripey countdown activities throughout June and the whole family will be wearing stripes for the day on Thursday 18th June to support out latest campaign. Knowing how she doesn’t do things by halves; we can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

If you’ve been inspired by Ava-May, take a look at our Virtual Fundraising blog for some ideas on where to start.

We’d like to thank Ava-May and her family for their support during the Covid-19 crisis, and for being such great supporters of Stripey Stork.

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