Raffle Benefits County Alliance; Group Advocates for Community Members
Monroe County, Pennsylvania, is a close knit community where everyone takes care of their neighbors and no one is alone. This is in part because of the Pocono Alliance organization. Member Maria Schramm said the Alliance, “links people in need to services in the community and also develops programs to support initiatives that benefit residents of the county.” The Pocono Alliance sponsored a 50/50 Raffle that was drawn at their annual meeting to report to the community. All proceeds are going to be used for the many programs the alliance offers.
The raffle was also a way of celebrating the 10th year that the Pocono Alliance has been helping the community. The Alliance has a great history that all started in 1996. “In September 1996, several community individuals attended a Welfare to Work conference sponsored by the Department of Public Welfare designed to explain the upcoming Welfare Reform Legislation, effective on March 3, 1997. At the conclusion of the conference a small group of Monroe County residents decided to organize a task force that would address the major barriers of those individuals who would be transitioning from welfare to work. In 2001, the name of the Task Force was changed to Pocono Healthy Communities Alliance to more accurately reflect the work and focus of the group. In 2002, PHCA received its 501 (c) 3 status. PHCA changed its name to Pocono Alliance in 2009,” the history straight from their website. You can see the Alliance’s current projects and member’s doings by checking out their Facebook page.
In order to sell the raffle tickets and continue to spread the word about the Alliance, Schramm and her colleagues used email, the seasonal newsletter they send, and word of mouth. Social media and the Alliance’s website were very useful in advertising the raffle. Schramm said, “Probably the most successful strategies were social media on Facebook and word of mouth as we conducted outreach efforts in the community.” The event was not planned by Schramm, but from previous experiences, her biggest piece of advice to others is, “the most important aspect of planning any event is to start planning early.”
The raffle did not raise as much money as planned, but Schramm and company are still ecstatic about the turn out and what the money will be able to do for their future programs. There was also coverage by a local media outlet, which can be found here.
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