By Sarah Steinberg
2013-2014 TGI Fellow and Co-Chair of TGI Teen Campaign Phoning
Resist the purchase of an App or two. Donate babysitting money. Teens call teens to ask for money.
It all sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? But this winter, I, along with my co-chairs of the TGI Teen Campaign Phoning, Logan Flax and Maddie Braman, after weeks of planning, led a room of teens in making calls for the 2013-2014 TGI Teen Campaign.
We held the TGI Teen Campaign phoning at the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center’s teen lounge where about 60 teens from JVC teen leadership programs STAC (Students Taking Action for Change), Diller, TEEN and the JCC’s teen program J-CORPS helped TGI in calling teens in the Baltimore Jewish community asking for donations for the TGI campaign. We needed as much money as possible to help the three causes we predetermined. Our money would help benefit people with eating disorder, as well as lung cancer research and Baltimore City education. Many of the TGI fellows have deep connections to these issues so our work is very meaningful to the TGI cohort.
Before we could start the calling, the focused teens went through exceptional training with professionals and lay leaders from The Associated. Next, every teen in the room made generous donations to the TGI campaign. As a role model, I donated $20 that night to the campaign. With the benevolent donations of our teen volunteers, we were well on our way to our goal and only needed $2,000 more!
At first the results were slow. Some teens were frustrated that calls went unanswered and teens said no. But after a while, the momentum built and the pledges started coming. One teen spoke so eloquently to a family about the TGI that they donated $500! While the dedicated team continued to call, the pledges kept pouring in. It was so exciting to see everyone’s faces and cheers each time we raised more and more money!
In the end, we beat our goal, and are continued to get more and more donations. The positive vibes in the room at the end of the night were electrifying! We were all so happy to help people less fortunate than us, and to learn new skills. The TGI Teen Campaign Phoning was a huge success and we are excited to reach our goal this year.