As our regular followers know only too well, we have been in fundraising mode pretty well full time since 2015 when we decided to follow our dreams and build a womens’ shelter in Ghana for victims of domestic violence and their children.

Fundraising is new to us and not something that we ever anticipated being involved in and we have learnt a lot of lessons along the way.

A big lesson was our recent raffle. We had the brilliant idea of raising the final needed $22,000 to complete construction, fit out for the building, bring in electricity and running water and do much needed yard work via a raffle. We thought we would post a raffle and be flooded with ticket sales and celebrate the success. We planned to sell 1000 tickets at $25 each, use the $5,000 to pay the winners and the rest would be a walk in the park.

It was one of the hardest things we’ve done since beginning the shelter (apart from the shipping container disaster) to be honest. We flooded friends and family and their friends and family via social media and after it consuming our every waking and sleeping moment our raffle closed on Friday 12th October at midnight.

In the end we sold 257 tickets which raised $6425, after we deducted the amount to hold the raffle (we decided to use a third party platform as we knew most sales would be from friends and family and wanted to be completely removed from the process) we received $5835.95, meaning we had proceeds of $835.95.

That made us very happy as there was a point when sales were slow that we worried that we were going to have to pay the prizes from our own pockets, thank goodness that wasn’t the case.

However things got even better from there:

Our first prize winner of $4,000 was Stephanie Pascale, the Manager of Goodwill Blackwood who are a great support to us with the clothing that we regularly ship to Ghana. Stephanie and her husband have generously donated $1000 of their winnings back to us.

Our second prize winner of $750 are two dear friends, Nicole and Rob Smith, who have supported our work with regular donations of soccer boots and jerseys (check our Facebook page for a beautiful video of some of these being donated) and they have very generously donated their entire winnings back to Aussieghana Relief.

Our third prize winner of $250 is another dear friend Aylee Affotey. Aylee is married to Odai, a talented musician who was born in Nungua, Ghana and they have multiple projects of their own with people they support in the community. They plan to use the winnings to pay for the education of one of the girls in the Nungua community.

So from the bottom of our hearts, we wish to express our enormous gratitude to everyone. For your raffle ticket purchases, your donations, your shares, your words of support and opportunities to share our story.

Shanton is in Ghana right now and I will soon share another beautiful story of how our community has helped a local man.

Shanton and Rae-Anne and the Aussieghana Relief Committee.