Cameraman filming a lipsync performance

A Fundraiser to Remember

article by Kristen Bartels | Community Engagement Coordinator at Relief Nursery

The fantastic sounds of song filled the living rooms of local families as many gathered virtually to support Relief Nursery’s Lip Sync Battle on April 7th. This beloved fundraiser is an energy packed event unlike any other in our community. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for young professionals to engage with community work through a unique experience, different from traditional galas.

All funds raised support an entire year of Relief Nursery Parenting Education (PE) classes which not only teach parents critical skills but creates a support system of other parents working towards the same goals.

We are proud to announce that, despite COVID-19 restrictions, we were able to raise $30,000 with the help of our generous supporters.

And we couldn’t have done this alone. This event is entirely volunteer produced with the support of Relief Nursery staff. It requires at least 25 partner organizations (teams, sponsors, in-kind service donations) and 150 volunteers (event help, participating teams and judges) to make it all possible. It was definitely a challenge to coordinate all 150 volunteers in a safe manner, but we kept health as a priority and had no COVID complications!

Initially the cost of production services was a barrier, but the Leadership Board stepped up to the challenge by learning the necessary skills and tapping their connections to fill technical roles. It was truly a community effort.

Normally, we would pack an auditorium full with an audience; however, a virtual event allowed attendees to engage in new and unexpected ways!  The chat feature made for great engagement, and we even added a new award: People’s Choice. The People’s Choice winner was chosen via polling by the attendees, not exclusively by the judges, like in the past.

It may have been an unusual fundraiser, and definitely felt akin to major TV music competitions, but it was absolutely a fundraiser to remember.

If you’d like to join the Relief Nursery family, consider volunteering on the Leadership Board, joining as a team in next year’s battle, or become a monthly donor to provide consistent and reliable access to support services for our most vulnerable community members.

About Relief Nursery:

Relief Nursery’s Mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect in our community. We do this by providing wrap around services to families that would otherwise struggle to provide a safe and stable home environment for their children.

Each year, Relief Nursery serves over 1,000 children and families in Eugene and Springfield. After one year in our program 97% of the families we work with don’t require any further reports to child protective services. This is astonishing given that the normal rate of success is only 50% amongst families without access to support services.

Our services include emergency respite care, counseling, parenting education, a therapeutic early childhood program, recovery support services, and many others. Our services are always offered to clients for free. We even provide transportation to and from services, a hot meal and childcare every time a family interacts with us to break down barriers.

Some Stats:

  • 100% of the families we work with are low income.
  • 50% self-identify as racially diverse (Latinx, Native American, African American, etc.).
  • We partner with local Native American Tribal Councils to bring services to Native communities. 12% of the families in our Outreach and Respite Care programs identify as Native American.
  • All of the families we work with are exhibiting at least 5 risk factors such as: recent homelessness, housing insecurity, a family member is experiencing a mental health issue, a parent recently, or is, experiencing domestic abuse by a partner, a child in the family has special needs or a cognitive delay, recent job loss, social isolation, etc.

These are truly the most vulnerable families in our community and our goal is to create a custom program around their needs and help them navigate those barriers until they are once again stable.

Published On: April 8, 2021
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