Event: Front Yard Retreat
Would you like to have a women's retreat and reach out to your community? Do you have a front yard? Would you like to give away cash to the attendees? Belinda combined her desire to do all of these by hosting an event in her front yard! It was such a huge hit that they have already had another event with plans for more. Here is her story.
As I sat on my porch steps one day, I realized with all the changes in our economy so many women are struggling with stress, finances & life. God showed me like tiny grains of sand are all put together, we can help in a big way. So I thought to myself if everybody just gave a little, we could sure bless some women who might really need it right now. God gave me the vision to have women come to my front yard for an extraordinary experience that would be away from the typical inside setting.
I really want to help refresh women and remind them that together we can all help each other. This is very biblical. I love that Jesus was where the people were and He can be right wherever you are. It does not have to be anything fancy. Love and friendliness goes a long way when showing people Jesus. I hope you will see how easy it can be to have a big impact for your community by getting women from all over together.
- I asked ten of my close friends if they would get ten of their friends to commit to come and donate $10 per person for a cash give away. The winners could use the money to pay a bill, buy food, or take a mini vacation to de-stress and renew.
- We had business sized cards printed with the event information on them. I gave each one of my friends a stack and they were responsible to collect them prior to our event and submit their name and phone number. We had both cash and other door prize donations. Once the money was collected, they were given the card as a ticket for the drawing. Ladies were still welcome to attend even if they did not want to be in the drawing.
- Each of my ten friends assumed duties to help make sure everything was carried out on a good schedule and not overwhelming for one person.
- We all posted the event information on our Facebook pages and sent emails to get the word out to our friends.
- Two ladies created and made a beautiful sign-in table.
- Each woman attending was asked to bring her lawn chair and a cooler of personal beverages.
- We provided water and cookies only because we knew it would be too many people to do additional food, etc.
Donations and Door Prizes:
- As the buzz began, additional donations were made. We had a total of 66 door prizes, including a weekend at a bed & breakfast.
- The cash give away ended up being one $1,000 gift and three $200 gifts.
- "2nd Chance" (a local ministry supporting women coming out of prison) brought donated designer purses to bid on in a silent auction. The ladies loved this and over $400 was collected for this ministry.
- One of our local doctors donated money so that we would have thank you bags. It was nothing fancy, but it did include little useful goodies for each lady attending.
- Special singing
- Belinda's friend spoke on friendship
- Over 100 women attended.
- Women commented about how refreshing it was to be outside and somewhere different.
- Women reconnected with old friends and connected with new friends.
- Another front yard event has already been held a few months later.
- A team of women formed a ministry team to plan future events to reach their community, even though they all attend different churches.
When we all give a little, a lot can be accomplished together. When I first mentioned it to a group of three friends, only one at that time was willing to help. I decided even if they did not want to do this, I knew God had laid it on my heart. I would proceed to do as I felt led. I am so glad I did. It takes courage to do something that has not been done before, but well worth it in the end. So I pray this will be inspiration to act as God speaks.
Question: How has this article encouraged or challenged you?
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Belinda Cress is from Lakeland, FL.
You can view her blog at www.whathappenswhenyounotice.blogspot.com.
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