Olivia Elkins recently went on a trip with us. While in Honduras she got to visit the Grand Farm in La Coroza. She found out we were officially launching our Grand Farm Campaign on October 1, 2018 and decided she wanted to be part of the story. Olivia used her career as a hairstylist to host our first volunteer fundraiser on October 12. Her Girls’ Night Out Event raised over $2,100 for La Coroza! We are sharing her story with you today!
Visiting the Grand Farm
It was a Thursday, and we were told our team was going to have to split up into three different cars. There were protests happening, and we had to take “the back roads” for safety which meant traveling down lots of dirt roads, squatting to miss the branches and crossing through one very questionable river. I remember volunteering to get in the back of the truck and stand for the ride along with at least 10 others. My new friend, Lucia brought a portable speaker on the trip so, we blasted music and sang our hearts out as we cruised through the back roads of Honduras! You would have guessed we were all lifelong friends as we bonded throughout the adventure.
We were en route to the Grand Farm which we were excited to see. Once we got there I remember thinking, how incredibly gorgeous the place was! Darwin started sharing the story of the Grand Farm, and what they are believing for the future of La Coroza. He continued to share how they rent the land so, they can’t invest into it how they would like. We all saw Darwin’s heart that day while he was expressing how much this land meant to the village, and if they weren’t able to purchase it, it would make it very hard for them to find more land. Looking back, it was the next moment that it just makes you both humbled and proud to be surrounded such amazing people.
We all grabbed hands and decided to pray. We prayed long and hard. Some shed tears and some expressed later how their hearts were aching in that moment, wishing they could snap their fingers and bless the people of La Coroza. My new friend, Bridgette pierced my heart and those with us that day with her prayer, “Lord break our hearts for what breaks yours”, and I was just overwhelmed by her words. I instantly thought, I have to help, and I decided then I was going to commit to helping H&H raise the money for the Grand Farm. Seeing the farm that day, seeing what a difference it makes for the people in the village and knowing what a great country I come from, I had faith we could make this happen!
Connecting her passion
When I got home I instantly started brainstorming about what I could do to raise money and tell people about the Grand Farm. Then doubt set in and I started thinking “I’m only one person, I can’t make that big of a difference” so, I prayed about it. I felt peace about continuing with planning a fundraiser and came up with the idea for a Girls’ Night Out. I work as a Stylist at a salon and thought what a great place to host a fundraiser. We had never had an event like this nor a fundraiser but maybe it could work. After all, everyone loves getting their hair done! So, I sat down with my boss and pitched the idea about hosting a Girls’ Night Out event all to raise money for the Grand Farm and she said yes! That night, I was reeling with excitement. There was a fire in me that had me so excited to plan a fun night, and it would benefit the people of Honduras.
I started reaching out to anyone and everyone, asking if they would like to be a part of this event or give. Let me tell you right off the bat some of the people I was so excited about said no. No’s are not fun to hear, and they are definitely discouraging! But God had a bigger plan, and He pushed me to the people that said, yes! This was my first event that I have ever planned, and I was so nervous, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off! My original goal was $500, “realistic not too big, doable” is what I told myself. Then I prayed. I then had two people willing to match the first $500 making it $1,500...WHAT?!? I couldn’t believe it, my good friend Ally encouraged me, why not shoot for 2,000? In my head, I kept thinking, that might be too much, I don’t think I can do that. The week leading up to the event, customers were coming up to me saying, “I’m so sorry I can’t make it, here’s a check” and “Hey girl, I wish I could come, but can I give you cash now?” which was something I wasn’t expecting! We ended up SELLING OUT that night. A woman even walked in and asked “hey what’s going on in here, can I do it too?” We tallied it all up, and I was stunned.
So as I said before, my event was a Girls’ Night Out event, so we did just that! With the purchase of a ticket you got a complimentary shampoo and style, but that’s not all we were doing. I got two local boutiques to come set up shop, and we had raffle prizes! We had a total of 8 prizes all donated by local businesses. We served wine, Generous Coffee and had a few appetizers. We had a blast, we laughed, we shopped, we got our hair done and all for H+H. That night we went over our goal of $2,000, and it was overwhelming the love I felt that night. It was amazing to witness my small town community coming together for something that meant so much to me. I went to bed thinking about Darwin and how passionate he was and how his story impacted me, how our prayers that day on the farm were coming to life.
don’t give up
I learned a lot of lessons during this process, one of them was if you don’t ask, you will never know. So, I want to encourage everyone that will be thinking about or in the midst of planning a fundraiser, doubt will try and creep in and derail you from doing something amazing. What helped me was surrounding myself with people who were going to lift me up and be encouraging during the process. It can get a little lonely doing a fundraiser, so don’t be scared to ask for help. We can all make a difference and put our stamp on the world, no matter how big or small every bit counts.
Olivia, we are thrilled with how you used your everyday life for purpose! Every time you talked about the event, invited people, and worked with other business, you raised awareness about H&H and the Grand Farm. Your event created space for people to invest in the future of our Field of Dreams! Thank you!
If you’re interested in hosting your own event or fundraiser, we’d love to chat with you about it so it can be as successful as Olivia’s! Please fill out this interest form and one of our Fundraising Campaign Managers will reach out to you! You can also check out the other fundraisers we have going on right now on our events page.