On any given night, a rock concert at a San Diego nightclub is not an uncommon event. But when Jamie Schau and her team of volunteers at the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross decided to host an event combining entertainment with a worthy cause, the result was pitch perfect.
Jamie Schau, international caseworker for the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross, helped raise $2,500 for the Measles Initiative.
Flyer for the ‘Rock 2 Eradicate' fundraiser to support the Measles Initiative
Jamie discovered the Measles Initiative when she began working as an international caseworker at the San Diego chapter and stumbled upon some promotional pins on her desk.
"The concept of saving a life for one dollar was just so alluring. I really wanted to help," Jamie recalls. "I soon realized that the Measles Initiative brought together the staff and really sparked a lot of interest."
An Idea is Born
Jamie and two Red Cross volunteers, Amanda Cropper and Anita Altarejos, began looking into creating an event to raise awareness in the San Diego community and build support for the Initiative.
"Anita approached this project with a young adult crowd in mind, and ‘Rock to Eradicate' was what she came up with," says Jamie.
That's when the hard work began.
In order to throw a successful event, Jamie and her team reached out to businesses, venues and entertainers in the San Diego area.
"The San Diego community was very responsive and encouraging as a whole. We managed to get two excellent DJ's and a band to play at no cost. We requested donations for our raffle. We even had an amazing venue agree to host our event free of charge." says Jamie. "The response from the community was incredibly uplifting," she says.
In total, the event cost only $300 to put together, and it raised more than $2,500 for the Initiative. The turnout was overwhelming with more than 800 attendees from the San Diego area.
Months after the event, Jamie has come to appreciate the measles fundraiser even more, and the importance of engaging young people with the Red Cross.
"Being able to give back to the international community and have fun is an extraordinary experience," she says.
Organizing the event was a learning experience and Jamie now tries to pass on these lessons to new volunteers. She reminds volunteers to think creatively and stay positive.
"My advice is to bear in mind that it will be hectic, and you will be turned down, but in the end things do come through," she says. "People are helpful, and they care about the meaning of this Initiative as much as we do."
The Measles Initiative is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally. Launched in 2001, the Initiative—led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization—provides technical and financial support to governments and communities on vaccination campaigns worldwide. To date, the Initiative has supported the vaccination of more than 500 million children in 50 countries helping reduce measles deaths by more than 68% globally and 91% in Africa (compared to 2000). To learn more or make a donation, visit www.measlesinitiative.org.