3. Spring Break
Two of the Albanian-Aid founders are from Miami. Having lived there for years, both of them knew exactly how crowded Miami gets during the month of March. For our spring break, we decided it would be an excellent idea to go down to Miami and continue fundraising in Miami Beach, where the largest crowds were. We quickly packed up, left Gainesville, and drove down to Miami. We wanted to begin fundraising as early as we could, so that same night we arrived to Miami (at 2 am), we decided to go to Walmart and buy goods we could easily sell: snacks and drinks. We bought lots of bags of chips and lots of water and sodas. Overall, we spent around $100. We were ready to begin fundraising the following morning.
Our main goal was to carry the cooler full of drinks and the chips around the beach and approach people. However, we found that not many people were interested. Also, it was hard to carry the cooler in the sand since it was very heavy. Instead we decided to walk around Ocean Drive and approach people walking around, explaining the purpose of our organization and once again, asking to make donations (any amount they could) for any drink or chips they wanted. We began fundraising at 10 am and did not stop until 4 pm. After hours walking in the heat and unbearable blisters under our feet, we decided to stop the fundraising event. We met lots of kind people willing to donate, as well as people who did not believe in our cause. Nonetheless, our hard work paid off in the end. We were able to raise around $300 due to the generosity of people. We were not expecting to raise as much money yet lots of people were very kind to us.
We had a lot of leftover drinks and chips with us. Considering the homelessness in Miami Beach, we decided to give away what was leftover to the homeless people we encountered on the way back.
Special thanks to Patricia Llamos for taking the time to help Albanian-Aid succeed. Without Patricia, we would not have been able to raise as much money as we did. She was pivotal in our efforts to raise money during this time.