Written By: Danielle Napear

I’ve always considered myself a creative person and I know that I am my best when I am with people. I knew that I love community, having fun, and seeing people smile. I’ve turned to many outlets in my life to use my creative vision and love for people in an impactful way, and there’s two avenues I’ve felt really click- entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

When it comes to giving back, I owe so much to the mission of Operation Impact that’s lit a fire inside my heart. I’ve been blessed to serve on the creative team for over a year now and work a bit “BTS”, while also using my creativity and love for writing into effect to spread the heart of OI through social media. Whether it’s casting vision with the other volunteers on our team, curating an IG reel, finding the perfect words for a caption, or being in front of the camera making a hype video, I’ve had so much fun helping to spread the mission!

Now that it’s fall and the holidays are approaching faster than we know it, I am SO excited for our biggest initiative, Operation Holiday Impact! I’ve been part of this campaign since its inception in 2017, and I am blown away at the growth over the years. Serving with OI has helped me realize that my gifts can be used in new, creative ways, particularly in fundraising. Turns out, I LOVE coming up with unique ways to get people excited about OHI (and Operation Impact in general) and bring people together to raise money for a good cause.

The good news is, you don’t have to be a super extrovert like me, or even feel extremely creative to create a fundraising campaign or help others get involved. Here’s some ideas I’ve implemented so far, or others to try out:

  1. Cook food or bake some sweets to sell to family or friends (always a big hit!)
  2. Raffles! I put together a couple of men’s and women’s “health and wellness” baskets to raffle off at a grand opening event for a local business this past week, and people loved it! **P.S. this is a great way to get local businesses involved in the mission of OI too. Ask business owners in the area if they’d be willing to donate anything to raffle off and use the proceeds for OI (plus this helps them get their brand out there and helps YOU get the Operation Impact mission out there.
  3. Hold a fundraiser event at a local bowling alley, laser tag, roller skating rink, etc. with your employer, church, community, or beyond. Many of these places host fundraising events and LOVE sponsoring events, where a % of the ticket money goes towards the cause.
  4. Organize a tournament (i.e dodgeball, kickball, basketball) with your friends at a local gym/field, or even a board/card game night, and have every person donate $5-10 to play and BAM, you have a fun day of friendly competition for a good cause!
  5. See if you can host some kind of event with or through your job to raise money. A few years ago, I got permission from my boss to sell lip glosses in October to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness month. We were able to organize a happy hour after work at a local restaurant that agreed to give 10% of the total bill to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Whatever you choose to do, no matter how big or small, have fun with it! I’ve learned that people are only as excited as you make it — passion is contagious, so lead with positive energy, and people will want to know what you’re a part of, who you’re connected to and join along!

Thank you to our co-founders and board members for casting the vision and paving the way so that my vision can be stretched, and purpose released.

-Danielle Napear