Week 9: Remarkable Preparation

Tu Nidito’s largest fundraising event every year is known as the “Remarkable Celebration.” There’s a silent auction, dancing, and recognition of that year’s “Remarkable Moms,” a group of women from the Tucson community who have had grief touch their families and continued to make great strides. The event is always the Saturday before Mother’s Day, and preparation is in full swing. So while my internship is normally focused on the volunteer side of things, I have been helping out with the fundraising and financial part of Tu Nidito.

This means preparing the thank you letters that are sent out in response to every donation, a process that involves entering data into the computer, printing letters and envelopes, stuffing the envelopes, and then using a stamp machine to seal and stamp them. Our office has also been overrun by items that will be auctioned off, and I’ve been helping to move them around as they get into their final packaging. Finally, one seemingly pleasant morning it was discovered that the two spreadsheets that list the values of the auction items disagreed by about $150. After two hours of work, including lots of color-coding, I found the missing $150, resolving that day’s crisis. I felt like a brilliant, not-for-profit Sherlock Holmes.

This work is really different that my usual internship grind, and it’s interesting to see all the parts that go into financing Tu Nidito. Because I’m usually doing volunteer stuff, it doesn’t even occur to me that money plays such a key role in keeping the place running. Employing group coordinators, maintaining the facility, buying the food for PB&J with Love, and all the other expenses really add up, even with a workforce of 200+ volunteers working for free. It makes me incredibly grateful for all the people who support Tu Nidito financially, and I can’t wait to go to the Remarkable Celebration next Saturday and meet some of them!

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