Fundraising Success Stories

Many Lone Star Leadership Academy campers raise the funds to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy. We hope these success stories from past Lone Star Leadership Academy participants provide you with helpful ideas, inspiration, and motivation! Parents and students are always welcome to contact Education in Action to discuss scholarship and sponsorship opportunities and ideas.

Last year, more than 100 families shared their fundraising success stories with us. Click on the links below to see how they did it:

Young Entrepreneurs

David expressed an interest in the Lone Star Leadership Academy from the day he received the nomination packet. From that day on he knew that he was going to have to work hard to raise the money that he needed to attend this program. David explained that he had been nominated for the Lone Star Leadership Academy and requested any odd jobs that would be possible for an 11 year old. David had community leaders give him odd jobs in their businesses. He mowed lawns and did other yard work. Community members donated cans and scrap metal. Within a month's time, David had raised his tuition to attend the academy. It was a lot of hard work, but he did it.

He used money he earned over the years doing chores and earning good grades.

My daughter earned funds to participate by cleaning office spaces for a local company once a month. They gave her $200 the first time to clean really good and then $50 each month after that. She put the money in her savings account until the payment was due each time.

My son raised most of the money for the trip by working for his parents and grandparents. He applied the money he received for his birthday and his FFA project to the cost of the trip. He felt more pride because he earned almost all of the money it cost himself.

Tristan created his own flyer called Triscuiteen Rabbit Service and distributed it around the neighborhood. Neighbors hired him to water their plants while they were out of town and move trash cans to the curb weekly. A realtor had him hang door hangers to help market his business. He also helped a friend who lives on a farm for the day with horses and chickens and mowing the lawn.

Our daughter has generous family members that paid for her camp in return for babysitting and physical labor on an ongoing basis.

Sponsorships

Amber wrote letters asking for support from different people and they were surprisingly generous.

Clayton knew financially it was a stretch for us to pay for the camp. He decided to go the last week to take advantage of the discount. After that, he created his fundraising letter based of the template provided and added his own special twist to it. We went around our community to places we do business with and he gave them the spiel of the camp. He was very nervous the first few people he presented to, but as he continued, you could see his confidence grow. This process alone provided him with an experience that has taught him many lessons.

I simply asked co-workers and customers of they would like to donate.

In order to make this academy possible for my child, help from others was a necessity. My child took on the responsibility of being her own spokesman and requested personally the aid of those willing to help. In doing so she prepared herself for her meetings with other campers and faculty by speaking directly to those from whom she sought help, either by phone or in person, when possible. Being humble and appreciative helped her reach her goal.

All you have to do is ask - the worst answer is no. When the "business" didn't donate, some of the employees donated personally.

Last year my child solicited Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Cheniere Energy and other energy companies.

Letters to local businesses and family.

Leyla had sponsors to help her attend.

Logan sent a handwritten letter to our friends and family members telling them of the program and what he was most excited about. He was able to raise about half of the money needed for the trip. He was excited to receive checks and also notes written back to him in support of his adventure.

My daughter was able to get donations from her grandparents as well as a sponsorship from a local business to help with the cost of camp. She used the sample letter as a guide to reach out to the business. It was helpful because it explained the program.

My daughter went around the community and asked for donations. She typed up a letter and she spoke and explained what she was raising money for. In return they asked for her to put together a post-camp summary and/or video.

My student wrote a letter (by following the sample letter in the original packet) asking every staff member at her elementary school for donations. She included a labeled return envelope for donations. This was hugely successful, as she had over 25 teachers/staff make a donation.

Obtained an appointment with AMOCO Credit Union and presented her request and was awarded $600.

Our daughter did not want to place the burden on us to come up with the funds to send her to leadership camp so she set a meeting up with the President of our credit union and went to meet with him. She explained that she was nominated by her teacher and that she was looking for someone to support her efforts to learn more about leadership and how it could benefit her. The credit union was generous to support her and we were not out of pocket very much. It was great to see her determination and motivation for wanting to attend this event. This was an exciting time for her and she learned a lot. She even wants to look into participating as an advisor for years to come.

Our son began his leadership skills at time of admission to LSLA. Our son began searching for local resources in our community of local businesses, friends, and family members. He was successful in raising $725 to go toward his camp trip with LSLA. We were very proud of his beginning leadership skills and understanding the importance of reaching out to gain a better understanding of the resources that were utilized and to gain a bigger understanding of why particular agencies were not able to donate due to higher needs of others and learning the importance of helping. The donations that our son received, we feel, will lead him to understand the greater importance of giving back to others.

Raygen was sponsored by family, friends, and the Methodist men of Mineola. She will be doing a presentation for her sponsors very soon.

She sent out 50 letters to family, friends, local businesses, and legislators. We included two letters of recommendation from teachers along with information about the program (including the website).

Sponsor letters to church members and family members.

We are very appreciative of the businesses that supported her and the future of our community.

We asked family and a couple of local businesses to sponsor Reagan.

We began our fundraising by forming a letter explaining what Education in Action was, the person who nominated her, and what she was going to be doing there. We sent out letters to local businesses and the Kiwanis Club. We then asked family members for assistance.

We received the nomination two months prior to the deadline and I didn't think I would be able to raise that money in enough time to meet the deadline. I talked with friends and family and his grandmother had a great network of friends that supported the cause. We utilized the sponsor letter that was provided and used very nice resume paper and his picture and handed it out to everyone we could and it worked out for us nicely. In order to further his leadership skills, I made sure Brian passed out the letters and spoke to everyone himself. He was very happy when we raised the money and went to the post office with me to mail off the packet.

We raised the WHOLE amount. We used the included sponsorship letter. We had to send out quite a few letters but we raised all the funds clear up to the last week to finish up.

You will be surprised to see how many individuals and businesses are ready to help support our youth. Jacobee was able to get out and talk to bankers, lawyers, contractors, and club members. They were very responsive when they found that he was in a leadership program.

Friends and Family

Money donated by his uncle's business.

My daughter got financial help from her family members.

My son got donations from friends and family.

My son got funds for this trip from his grandparents and parents. The letters and forms in the packet are what we used to get donations.

The trip was a gift from her grandfather.

Our daughter mailed out letters to family and friends asking for their support. She was able to raise most of the application fee by doing this.

She is a driven child. She really wanted to go, picked up the phone, and called everyone in her family. They know how passionate she is and how hard she works and they rewarded her for it!

She raised hers through personal donations from family and friends

We were able to obtain 100% family donations.

We sent a letter to friends and family and ended up raising all of the money needed to go to the Lone Star Leadership Academy.

Fundraising

I designed a donation card, kind of like a football square. Each square had a dollar amount and all the squares added up the cost of the trip. I asked family, friends, co-workers, church members, and teachers to donate to the cause and it went very, very smooth.

I purchased an Apple watch to raffle. I advertised it to family and friends. I used social media to communicate it with them. We also used PayPal and the cash app for payment options. We were very successful in selling the tickets rather quickly. Once tickets were sold, we recorded the raffle and posted it online for people see and announce the winner. The raffle helped pay for the cost of the full tuition.

My daughter baked cakes for fundraising and sold candy bars. Sam's had a candy bar fundraising box and she sold them in the neighbor hood with the families help.

My son sent letters to family members to raise funds to support his tuition.

My son sold lollipops to raise the money through Ozark Lollipop Company.

River helped make hot tamales and held a bake sale and a raffle for a Yeti koozie and 20 oz. Yeti cup.

Student raised funds by making and selling Mother’s Day baskets, body scrubs, Rainbow Looms, nail jars, baked goods, greeting cards.

We did a bake sale and sold at a flea market as well as our church.

We did Bingo with friends and family and raised $300.

Fundraising as a Group

The administration at Oak Forest Elementary was extremely supportive of this first group of students to attend the Lone Star Leadership Camp. They arranged a Family Movie Night with a movie screening outdoors in the school grounds on a Friday evening. The group of 12 students nominated by the school made posters for the movie night. Tickets were sold for a few dollars, with all proceeds going to the campers. A couple of hundred people came to the movie, surpassing all our expectations. All concessions (pizza, popcorn, sodas, candies, pickles, etc) were purchased by parents of the campers, and the students were in charge of selling concessions. Around half the cost of the camp was covered by this hugely successful event.

As a parent, I wanted to show my daughter that with hard work and dedication everything is possible. Six parents and I actively planned out community activities to raise funds. The community united to buy tickets for cookouts, raffles, and a Peter Piper Pizza lockdown party. In addition, many businesses were actively participating with our group, such as Ancira, and other retirement facilities. We are beyond thankful to our small town because many people were willing to help!

The kids from Shallowater Intermediate raised funds by organizing a snack bar after school for a week. Together they planned, asked the principal for permission, worked out all of the details, and manned the booth without much help from the parents. It was great experience for the kids.

Students raised money by doing a car wash and a Facebook bake sale. Great way to get everyone involved.

The Grady ISD group collectively participated in various fund raising events and was able to pay 100% of their tuition for camp. It was a true blessing that they paid for camp themselves. The experience taught them responsibility.

My child was part of nine children from her school attending various weeks of the Lone Star Leadership Academy camp. They held a fundraiser (movie night open to the public) at their school and managed to raise over $300 per child to help defray the cost of the camp.

The school came together twice for plate sales. They were successful. Unbelievable support from staff. We had donations and sponsors as well. Full support from principal and teacher.

The school had a fun raffle to raise funds just like last year.

We raised money as a group in bake sales, a car wash, and Jean days for teachers.

The students had a few different fundraisers including a car wash, a school dance, and a snack sale with the help of teachers and parents.

GoFundMe.com

Bridget used GoFundMe.com as her only source of funding. We were so humbled and amazed by so many friends and family that wanted to help Bridget reach (and ultimately exceed) her goal.

In order to for her to go funds had to be raised. Her social studies teacher set up a GoFundMe account. The GoFundMe was one account for three students. She raised just under $2000. She was given just over $800 because her family had given the most. Her dad and I paid the rest.

I told Jayelyn she could attend the camp if she raised at least half the money herself. I helped her put together a simple GoFundMe campaign and video to send to family members. We raised about $600.

My daughter raised half of her tuition by using a GoFundMe account for relatives that were out of town that wanted to help the cause.

My son went to Gofundme.com and wrote out any essay explaining what the Lone Star Leadership Academy is and what all the kids would be doing this summer. He also explained the type of classes he is taking in school and what outside programs he attends.

She raised funds on GoFundMe.com. All donations were from family and close friends.

My daughter created a GoFundMe account with detailed information about the Lone Star Leadership Academy.

We created a GoFundMe account and asked for donations from local businesses, friends, and family. We collected enough to pay for our camp expenses.

We created a GoFundMe account.

We created a GoFundMe account for my daughter's fundraiser to attend camp. We also created a Facebook group page to post updates on the fundraising, announcements from Lone Star Leadership Academy on her acceptance, and pictures of the fun time she's having at camp.

We made a video and created a GoFundMe account and mailed the link to her closest family in a handwritten note.

We set up a GoFundMe account in order to raise the funds for our daughter to be able to go. My husband and I knew that we did not want our daughter to miss out on this opportunity because we did not have the money. Our daughter makes it known to people that she meets that she is very eager and focused on her education and does not want anything to stop her.

We used a GoFundMe account and were very successful. My daughter was nervous at first that we may not be able to raise enough money, but after all the support from family and friends we were very overwhelmed!

We used GoFundMe and raised $600.

When Christopher first brought the letter home letting us know that he was nominated, we were a little concerned about raising the funds. As a one income family, it is a little hard to think about paying for a camp that was going to cost what it did. We thought about it and realized that his education and learning experiences were not something you could put a price on. We posted on Facebook that he was accepted and we wanted to send him. Within one week we had enough people rally together to donate items to have a garage sale. With everything that we were able to sell, we raised over half of what we needed. At that point, we realized that Christopher was going to get to go, no matter what it took. We created a YouCaring.com fund as well. It was amazing to see the look on his face when we told him we had enough for him to go!!!

Organization Memberships

Christiana was very fortunate to obtain funds from our church as well as from members of the Baptist church her father attends.

We received a $300.00 gift from my VFW Auxiliary.

She received a donation from our church.

Scholarships

My daughter submitted an application for a scholarship with the school district.

Education in Action's Group Discount

Only used school group discount, which was appreciated!

Combining strategies mentioned above

Tristan created his own flyer called Triscuiteen Rabbit Service and distributed it around the neighborhood. Neighbors hired him to water their plants while they were out of town and move trash cans to the curb weekly. A realtor had him hang door hangers to help market his business. He also helped a friend who lives on a farm for the day with horses and chickens and mowing the lawn. We also reached out to community organizations using the sponsorship letter provided and set up a GoFundMe account. We taught him that if he really wanted to go that he would put the effort in like leaders do to get the results and be able to participate!

Crae worked with four other Lone Star Leadership Academy students and hosted a concession stand at youth soccer games during the fall to earn money to attend. He also refereed soccer games for younger players. In addition, he submitted a request for support to his school's PTO.

We passed out flyers we made up, contacted local businesses, sold candy bars, set up a You Caring fund and shared on Facebook, and made jars to be placed at businesses for donations. We raised all of his money and the deposit for next year :).

We got donations from family. We also had a bake sale which raised a lot of the funds needed.

We raised funds by setting up a GoFundMe account. We also received donations from a local Lion’s Club chapter and from family and friends.

We started our fundraising journey by setting up a GoFundMe account. After that we went to our local chamber of commerce to get names and addresses of local organizations to whom we could send sponsorship letters.

Kaden raised funds to help pay for his camp by creating a GoFundMe account, selling items on 5Miles and OfferUp apps, and babysitting a four year old boy. The family ended up liking Kaden so much that he is now their go-to babysitter!

Kylie raised funds by asking friends and family to donate to her camp cost in lieu of birthday gifts, holding a car wash, doing odd jobs, and babysitting.

Nathaniel set up a GoFundMe account and used social media to spread the word. He also organized a garage sale at our home which raised approximately $180 in additional funds. We as parents decided that if he raised half we would provide the other half, and he was able to collect approximately $650.

Our son held a number of bake sales in order to raise funds for his camp experience, but he was also fortunate to have the school's PTO donate a good portion of his tuition. They made their decision based on his exemplary grades and helpful attitude at the school campus.

Our son sold smoked briskets and pork shoulders. He created a flyer, contacted people for sales, and recorded orders. He assisted his father in smoking over 300 lbs of meat in one night! The following day, he delivered and collected money. Many people were so impressed with his "professionalism" that they donated extra for his trip. He was able to offset about two-thirds of the cost of registration and preparation for the trip.

More inspiring stories, straight from the campers!

“Five other kids went with her, so they raised the money as a group. First they asked for public donations. They asked their school and they also put buckets out in stores explaining why they were raising money. Then they asked companies for donations. They asked, probably, almost every company in town! Finally, to raise the rest of the money they held two or three bake sales, but they didn’t sell regular things you would find at bake sales. They got creative and sold things like sausage wraps and tamales, which were crowd pleasers! In doing all that they raised all the money.” - Carolina S., Navasota Junior High School, Navasota ISD

“When I got nominated and received my letter to go to this program, I quickly showed my parents and we were all very excited about it. My parents were proud of me and said unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be able to go because of the expense needed for the trip. Meanwhile, I wanted to go so bad my parents said I needed to see if anyone in my family could donate. During that time my school teacher Mr. Bronson and my school’s Campus Instructional Coordinator helped by showing me different ways to raise funds so I wouldn’t give up. Little by little I got money and eventually I raised it all in about two weeks. So my advice to anyone who can’t afford it at the time, never give up and always believe that you can do it. I will always be thankful to my parents, my teacher Mr. Bronson, and my school’s Campus Instructional Coordinator Mrs. Seidensticker for all their help and support. - Melanie Y., Huppertz Elementary School, San Antonio ISD

“In order to go to the Lone Star Leadership Camp, three other students and I got 50 donators to donate blood for Travis Middle School in Amarillo, Texas at the Coffee Memorial Blood Drive Center. For having that many people donate blood, we won $2,200 for the trip. We also got Amarillo National Bank to donate money to us. My science teacher, Mrs. Kari Snow, got us a donation, but only if we worked at a Thrift Store/Women’s Center. We had to sweep, clean shelves, organize items, and put items on the shelves. We worked and helped other by getting money donated to us. We got more donations from other companies for us to go to a camp that was education and fun.” - Tasia W., Travis Middle School, Amarillo ISD

“I drew up a letter and sent it out to family and close friends. I cut grass and babysat. I also did extra chores around the house. My biggest job was house-sitting and pet-sitting. I was very busy this summer. With my extra money I was able to buy my brothers and sister a gift and they were very happy. I would like to thank my science teacher, Mrs. Mayeck. I had a great time. Thank you to all the staff at Education in Action.” - Michael C., Flour Bluff Intermediate School, Flour Bluff ISD

“Our son was able to raise funds in several different ways. First he was able to utilize the sample letter provided by Education in Action and, with a few content changes, submitted the letter to several potential contributors. The first businessman whom we presented the letter to immediately wrote out a personal check to cover the entire amount of tuition. We determined that hand delivery of the letters directly to the intended recipients was an essential portion of the fundraising process. Letters were dropped at receptionists’ desks and no responses were ever received. Our son’s second fundraiser was selling food and beverages outside of a local Wal-Mart. We were able to raise nearly $500.00 in four hours to offset the cost of transportation to and from the D/FW area from deep south Texas. The only problem encountered was that each Wal-Mart interprets their national policy differently on fundraising activities. At one we displayed the Education in Action logo at the booth to show the purpose of the event. A second Wal-Mart did not allow the fundraiser because only one child would benefit from the event. In addition, the school announced our son’s participation in the program on two different days on the school television station and ultimately he received more than $100.00 in donations from various teachers and parent volunteers.” - Walter M., Hudson Elementary School, Brownsville ISD