Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bite Back!

I recently became a Compassion Advocate (more on that at a later time, I'm sure).  Do I feel inadequate?  Reference Moses--You sure you picked the right one for this job, Lord?
For my first official event as an Advocate, I decided I might have a yard sale.  One problem--I live alone, and therefore, didn't really have enough "stuff" to make a good yard sale.  Someone on OurCompassion suggested I ask friends for donations, so I posted a request on Facebook.
To say I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends is a vast understatement.  I was amazed at all that I had for the sale.  Of course, that meant a lot of work organizing and pricing (and I'm a perfectionist, so that was fun), but because I had to work four ten-hour days the first three weeks of August, I actually had the day before the sale to organize.  I still didn't get much sleep.
Then there's the little issue I have of anxiety.  I'm really quite afraid of talking to people I don't know, and having a yard sale meant talking to people all day long.  Yikes!  But I put that in the back of my mind and went on with it.
I decided to give the proceeds to Compassion's Bite Back program.  My goal was to raise at least $200.

I raised $200.

I've never had a yard sale before, but I've been told that's a pretty good profit.  Our weather in Virginia Beach had been in the 90's that week, and we'd had a lot of smoke from the Dismal Swamp fire in North Carolina (that stuff can choke an elephant), but the high temperature on the day of my yard sale was only in the mid 80's with an amazing ocean breeze blowing across my screened-in porch, where I held the sale.  No smoke.  No heat.
I'll admit, I was quite nervous when I spoke with the people, and there was a steady stream of people from before 8 AM until noon.  I'm sure they didn't notice my anxiety, but I sure did!
God clearly had His hand on this event.  For the weather to suddenly be so good, for so many people to graciously donate items, to be able to reach my financial goal . . . it was all awesome.
I have only two regrets--no one sponsored any of the five children I had available, and I now have enough stuff to have about 12 more yard sales!
But the important part is that the profits from the sale can buy 20 mosquito nets, and since on net can protect a family of 4 from mosquitos and potentially malaria, that's a potential of 80 people helped by my sale.  That rocks.
I had some Bite Back stickers.  One lady told me she would put that on her car because, "we really need to get rid of the mosquitos in Virginia Beach."  Okay, so she didn't quite get it, but at least that sticker's out there traveling the city.
And with that in mind, here's a video from Compassion that will help you to realize the severity of the malaria problem and the importance of the Bite Back program.  (If you'd like to contribute, let me know.  You'll be saving lives.)


  1. Thank you for sharing this video - I think I will do the same! I also love your idea of the garage-sale to raise money. I think I may do a fund-raiser with my students; get them involved in something worth while for a change... シ
    Again, thank you!

  2. I've had yardsale fundraisers, and oh my goodness, that is hard work! With all that stuff left over you should give yourself a couple weeks to recover and have another one! (especially if everything is already organized/labelled...thats most of the work :)

    Anyways, that is absolutley amazing that you are helping up to 80 people, and you know, helping get rid of all those mosquitos in Virginia Beach. LOL

  3. Hahaha! That's great, Rebecca. Ironically, I just heard the mosquito sprayer drive by.
    Gena, great idea. I heard of a teenager who's an Advocate who had a bake sale before school to raise money for Bite Back.