Keep your Coffee Break simple
If there’s one lesson that Nancy Lester has learned about Coffee Break fundraisers, it’s to keep it simple.
Nancy and her friend Indira have been hosting Coffee Breaks for the past five years with the Tillsonburg Lioness Club. They’ve learned a lot about what works for them and what doesn’t in that time.
The first year, they put out a mountain of sugary treats – but they were hardly touched. They also initially held their fundraiser at a church, but found that people really enjoyed the personal touch of having the Coffee Break at Indira’s house.
“We found that people just like to come, visit and donate. We felt to make it complicated was a little more confusing, and we felt the less we did was better, in our experience,” Nancy says.
It’s been surprising to her how well such as simple fundraiser can do. This year, their October Coffee Break raised $1,475. Was it hard work putting it together? “Not in the least,” Nancy says.
The Club uses social media to help get the word out. They get in touch with Facebook friends and send out emails. This year, they also had an article in the Tillsonburg News. Nancy finds reaching out online helps them draw donations from people who can’t attend the Coffee Break, but still want to help.
The Tillsonburg Lioness Club supports many causes, but raising money for the Alzheimer Society holds special significance for Nancy and Indira. Both women’s mothers had Alzheimer’s.
Nancy reached out to the Alzheimer Society shortly after her mother was diagnosed at 79. It was a confusing time for her. She didn’t always know how to respond to her mom, a smart, loving woman who became frustrated and sometimes angry as the disease progressed. Nancy wanted to know more about Alzheimer’s and how to handle it.
Through the Alzheimer Society, she began to meet with a support group and attend information sessions. She was also connected with a worker who was there for her every step of the way – for phone calls, home visits and support when something bothered or upset her.
“I have to say that I just found the support amazing. I can’t say enough about what they did for me,” Nancy says.
The Alzheimer Society’s Family Support Worker worker helped Nancy navigate her mom’s rapidly shifting condition, offering suggestions on how to deal with changes and what to say to her mom.
Hosting Coffee Breaks gives Nancy a chance to work toward a cure and raise awareness about the resources the Alzheimer Society offers.
“I think it’s a way we can help, and sometimes I think when you have somebody you care about with Alzheimer’s, there’s a horrible, helpless feeling of not knowing what to do,” Nancy says.
“I find, and I know my friend does too, by having the Coffee Break and raising money, it just gives us a sense that we’re doing something and we’re making a difference.”