Members of the Greenville community rallied behind a social media fundraiser to raise $6.5K in support of local military veterans in need.
GCMSA President Donna Frazier was inspired by our previous #MakeTheCut fundraiser, for which then-President Erica Kelly pledged to drastically cut her long hair if she met a fundraising goal for her charity. Since Donna was already growing out her hair, the GCMSA decided another #MakeTheCut campaign was the perfect event. It was simple, had no overhead costs, and couldn’t be canceled or postponed due to community health concerns. The event would raise money and awareness for the local YMCA Food Relief Program as well as the needs of military veterans in their community.
#MakeTheCut also included incentives to encourage people to contribute to the cause. Local businesses gave items to be raffled off biweekly during the campaign, which ran from Labor Day to Veterans Day. During the last week of the campaign, donors were able to vote on three new hairstyle choices for Donna. The GCMSA’s social media guru, Shanna Walker, made sure that all the posts were informative and well-timed while still being eye-catching and humorous. Committee Chair Keri Dille created a webpage that explained the mission of the fundraiser, processed all contributions, and explained how to earn raffle prize entries and votes for the new hairstyle.
At the #MakeTheCut finale event, GCMSA members packed over 200 food bags and presented the YMCA Food Relief program with a check for $5,000 as well as $1,500 in gas gift cards donated to the campaign by Spinx. The event was featured on the local news TV station, where Donna unveiled her new, dramatic “almost pixie” haircut!
YMCA of Greenville began efforts to help relieve local food insecurity in 2020 when schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Eastside YMCA Development Director, William Coates, the Food Relief Program has since grown from providing bags of food for 30 families to now over 200 a week. The program is staffed by volunteers, funded by grants and donations, and delivers food to families in hotels, homeless veterans at the VA Outpatient Center, residents at the Gateway House, and other families identified through Greenville County Schools, Upstate Warrior Solution, and Alston Wilkes Society.
GCMSA members were seen packing food bags in the WYFF News 4 Veterans Day segment that the GCMSA helped organize on November 10, 2022. Notes from Riverside High School art students were included in each of the food bags, thanking veterans for their service to our country.
The GCMSA wishes to express their gratitude to Spinx, Greenville County Medical Society, Sara Chouinard Smith of Alice + Clove Salon, Cottage Grove Vintage, and Greenville ENT for their generosity in helping to make this campaign happen.