"I used to buy drugs in the rain. This ain't going to stop me!..."
More than 20 million children are infected with the epidemic of fatherlessness in our society. And that number is growing. We imagine a world where no child ever has to experience not having their biological father in their lives. Especially if the father is in prison.
Despite how much Choose to Change has accomplished, we've still got much work to do. Nearly 1 million people incarcerated in the United States are fathers and mothers. In response, we've attended many prison invasions, inspiring men such as Andrew Zapata and Rudy Cordova. We've seen families' lives changed such as Oscar Cruz who Pastors a church.
But what if we could do more?
How to Keep the Fight Strong
For 10 years of Choose to Change's existence, it has been supported by members part-time. But how many more ex-convicts' lives can we change to help end fatherlessness if we committed ourselves full-time?
That would allow us to get our message into more prisons, work with more families, and mentor more ex-convicts to help end fatherlessness.
So, on May 29th we invited the community to join us to help keep the fight against fatherlessness strong with our Choose to Change donation carwash.
Although we did have some challenges (more on that later), overall, our carwash was a huge success! Here's a recap of what happened:
We were able to raise $874!
HEB, Walmart, Advanced Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts sponsored our fundraiser.
We had over 25 Choose to Change Volunteers help us.
Fighting Fatherlessness Rain or Shine
Our goal was to raise $1,500 this May during our Carwash fundraiser. We opened up with Orlando Salinas leading the volunteers in prayer. Immediately, we had customers. People from the surrounding neighborhood and cars passing by were curious about what we were up to. As they were getting their car washed, we had an opportunity to share what our organization does and how we're fighting against fatherlessness.
In addition, thanks to HEB and Walmart we were able to provide refreshments as well as breakfast tacos as our customers waited.
However, our momentum was short-lived. It started to rain on us...
But despite the rain, people kept coming and getting their car washed. So we kept washing cars!
As the rain got worse, we started to wonder if we should pack it up and go home. But that’s when Orlando said it…
“I used to buy drugs in the rain with no wipers! I used to walk for miles, this isn’t going to stop me, we’re fighting fatherlessness… I ain't messing around, I’m going to the top!”
Inspired, we decided to make the best of it and continue. And what happened next reassured us that we made the right choice!
Coming Together in Our Community
As we continued to fundraise, Tailgate Party Pitcrew made everyone a smoked BBQ lunch. Meanwhile, people were still coming! At that point, people were stopping by to see what we were doing picking up a breakfast taco and donating.
But it didn't stop there! The generosity continued as the owner of Ruiz Sales became inspired by our movement. So he donated us crates of limes in support of our organization. Even the barbershop across the street, Urban Barbershop, joined in on the generosity by giving away free haircuts!
We want to thank all the amazing volunteers of Choose to Change who came out and helped us. We thank HEB, Advanced Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Walmart for helping us sponsor our event. We also want to thank Tailgate Party Pitcrew for helping us promote our fundraiser. And lastly, a huge thank-you to Oil Can Harry's located on 281 on Canton in Edinburg, TX for making our Carwash Fundraiser possible!
In the end, we were able to raise over half of our goal. And it gave our members the opportunity to share our nonprofit's vision and mission.
It's important to know that ANYBODY can help Choose to Change get our message into prisons, change families’ stories, and change ex-convicts’ lives to help end fatherlessness.
It's through storytelling, education, news, and advocacy, we are changing the narrative on fatherlessness due to incarceration, creating amazing change!
Let’s Make Change Together!
Take action! Donate to partner with us and help fight against fatherlessness due to incarceration!