Today, my third annual raffle to benefit Summer Search: Philadelphia opens. My friends and readers have come forward with an impressive selection of prizes. FYI: in past years, prize donors have been so generous, that nearly everybody who enters wins a prize!
First of all, let me tell those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Summer Search about this terrific nonprofit organization. The basic idea behind Summer Search is that there are many kids who have the potential to succeed in life but are struggling just to get by due to difficult family circumstances and poverty. Summer Search works with schools to handpick a group of high school students who have the raw potential to succeed, then provides them with all kinds of help: mentoring, tutoring, advice on picking and getting into colleges, help in dealing with the grinding day-to-day toll that living in a dangerous neighborhood takes on a young person. One critical part of the program, which starts in a student’s sophomore year and extends into their college years, are the two summer trips that each participant takes.
These are perspective-changing experiences — an Outward Bound hiking trip, building wells in South America, climbing a mountain in New England — and for many Summer Searchers, it’s the first time they’ve left Philadelphia, let alone gotten on a plane or stayed in a tent. These experiences show the kids the wider world and help them understand what’s possible for them, while building self-reliance, self-confidence and independence.
The statistics for Summer Search are impressive:
An average of 50% of low-income students do not graduate from high school, and 90% don’t go to college.
Of the participants in the Philly program of Summer Search, on average 99% graduate from high school, and 83% are on track to get a college degree.
The Philadelphia office has helped 4700 students and this year, has about 150 students in their current programs. Of these students, 90% will be the first in their family to go to college.And 80% of the alumni surveyed also volunteer to give back in some way, by volunteering or working for a social cause, creating a ripple effect in their community.
Providing the kind of one-on-one services that Summer Search gives is not cheap. (Summer Search commits to providing each student in its program six-plus years of mentoring, counseling and other services — one reason for its tremendously high success rate.) This is where my lovely and generous readers come in. I have assembled an amazing array of prizes from people in the fiber world. For each five dollars you donate to Summer Search, you will get one “ticket” or chance in the raffle. A five dollar donation gets one ticket; twenty dollars gets four tickets; and so on. I’ll put all the tickets in a hat and draw winners the first week of October.
Here’s how the fundraiser works. You donate directly to Summer Search Philadelphia by going to this link AND (this is important!) selecting the Philadelphia office (it says “Designation” and you tick the Philadelphia oval). Then email a copy of your online receipt to me at c.sulcoskiATattDOTnet. To be eligible for the raffle, you must make your donation by October 3rd, at midnight. Please note that the end of Summer Search’s fiscal year is September 30th, so if you can squeak out your donation before the first of October, that’s a big help for them. (But as long as you donate by October 3rd, you’ll be in the raffle!)
For each five dollars you donate, you’ll get one chance to win a prize. And my friends in the yarn industry have been amazingly supportive by offering prizes. Here’s the list — but check back, because in previous years, additional prizes have trickled in:
1. A $100 gift certificate to Black Bunny Fibers.
2. A copy of my new book, Lace Yarn Studio, as soon as I have a copy in my hot little hands to give you. (The expected publication date is April 2015, so this particular prize won’t ship until sometime in late April.)
3. A box of knitting and crochet books, including a copy of Sock Yarn Studio signed by me, that will give you plenty of wonderful patterns, information and inspiration.
4. A free subscription to the next round of the Black Bunny Fibers/Brooke Nico yarn club. (We expect the next round of the club to begin in February 2015, and you will be treated exactly as one of the paying members.) This is a $160 value!
Chianti: month 3 of the first round
5. A free Craftsy class taught by most excellent teacher and designer Patty Lyons — and Patty was generous enough to offer TWO of these, so two different people will win!
6. From fabulous designer and yarn maven Kristin Omdahl, a skein of her new Bamboo So Fine yarn!
7. Author and designer Stephannie Tallent will send you your choice of one of her Wild West e-books, full of terrific patterns inspired by the west.
8. Designer extraordinaire Barb Brown has offered up PDF downloads from her Ravelry store: five (YES — FIVE!!!!) winners will get their choice of three of her patterns.
9. The bodacious Andi Smith is giving one lucky winner a PDF copy via Ravelry download of her fantastic ebook Synchronicity.
10. I am touched that Sharon F, a blog-reader and one of the winners in last year’s raffle, is so supportive of Summer Search that she is offering a skein of Bad Amy yarn from her personal stash!
11. Designer Mary Beth Temple has offered a prize, UPDATE a copy of her Arm Knitting book and another book!
12. Designer, teacher and author Donna Druchunas will give one lucky winner a boxed set of her new journal, Stories in Stitches.
13. I am also touched that blog-reader & dyer extraordinaire Betty Murphy will provide a winner with a skein of Moose Manor Handpaints yarn — lovely stuff!
14. Ditto for being touched and so appreciative that Heather H Sbis offering Tsarina Tsock yarn as a prize!
15. The wonderful Ancient Arts Fibre Craft will provide a prize of a skein of yarn and pattern to go with! Caroline’s a great dyer so you’ll really love this one!
16. Hunter Hammersen, author of so many wonderful books, including the new volume of her Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, which I will review on my blog soon, is offering winner’s choice of any of her e-books, to THREE different winners.
YOWZA! And my deepest thanks to all of the prize donors. I couldn’t do this without your generosity and support.
If you’d like to offer a prize, please leave a message in the comments or contact me on Ravelry (my ID is blackbunny) or FB or wherever you can get me! I’ll be updating the prize list if more come in, but as it stands, this is already a fantastic array of prizes. My deepest thanks to all of those who are supporting Summer Search.
May the odds be ever in your favor.