A night of hope - the fundraiser’s guide to #carveaheart

Fundraising Specialist Charlotte Tipping shares her fundraising ideas as she gets ready to #carveaheart on 31 October and raise money for children living in fear in countries like Syria and South Sudan. Like many children, Syrian refugee Khalid will be walking up and down streets with biscuits in hand on 31 October. But Khalid will be working, and for him this is something he does every night. Charlotte and our other supporters will be raising money for our programmes like the Child Friendly Space Khalid goes to when he isn’t working, for a chance to keep up with his studies and be a child again.

By Charlotte Tipping, Fundraising Specialist, World Vision UK

What are you doing for Carve a Heart?

I love any opportunity of getting together with my family and friends to have fun - especially as the nights are drawing in. On 31st October I am going to do my bit for Carve a Heart – by really trying to raise as much money as possible for children like Khalid. My goal is to have fun and turn Halloween - a night of fear - into a night of hope for children fleeing war and abuse.

Who doesn't love a Halloween party? Last year I had a great night in with a few girlfriends and plenty of prosecco as we worked our way through several pumpkins, carving hearts on all of them before placing them on the porch to greet the neighbourhood trick or treaters.

Instead of sweets, I even made heart-shaped biscuits, and handed these out with little slips of paper explaining the Carve a Heart campaign, complete with the text to donate information on them. As the children’s numbers slowly dwindled, parents came back looking for more biscuits, which we were happy to hand out in exchange for more donations. All in all, my girlfriends said it was one of the best Halloweens they’d ever had!

This year I’ll be doing something again – the story of Khalid, working in Lebanon as a Syrian refugee has especially touched me. He’s just 12 years old and out of school, selling biscuits on the streets with his brothers in order to earn enough money to support their family.

Here are just a few of my fundraising ideas for anyone else looking to get involved:

Fundraising Specialist Charlotte Tipping shares her fundraising ideas as she gets ready to #carveaheart on 31 October and raise money for children living in fear in countries like Syria and South Sudan. Like many children, Syrian refugee Khalid will be walking up and down streets with biscuits in hand on 31 October. But Khalid will be working, and for him this is something he does every night. Charlotte and our other supporters will be raising money for our programmes like the Child Friendly Space Khalid goes to when he isn’t working, for a chance to keep up with his studies and be a child again.

  • You could organise your own Carve a Heart party in your local hall, church or even your house. Invite everyone from toddlers to teenagers and charge a small entrance fee, then get everyone in the mood with pumpkin punch or mocktails.
  • Get crafty - Paint jam jars with orange paint, then pop in a tea light to add a glow to the event.
  • Go salty…Serve crisps and nachos in carved out pumpkins to eat with pumpkin-infused hummus. Mix approximately 200g of hummus with 2-3 tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree. Add a pinch of garlic salt, stir, then drizzle over with truffle oil.
  • Or sweet…Make some heart shape biscuits. I made mine from a shortbread recipe, used my heart shape cutter, then dipped them in an icing sugar glaze.
  • For the extra mile – my American colleague Kate is always talking about a pumpkin cake you can make. Simply bake two Bundt or Savaran cakes and stick the flat sides together. Make up some orange coloured frosting and lavish the sides to make your pumpkin, then dye some fondant icing green and shape it to form your stem. You could even cut out a heart shape if you dare for the full #carveaheart effect. (http://www.shugarysweets.com/2011/10/pumpkin-cake-with-chocolate-ganache or http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2013/10/pumpkin-cream-cheese-bunt-cake.html or cake pops - http://www.cleverhousewife.com/2015/09/pumpkin-cake-pops/ )

We’re running a photo contest online with the chance to win prizes, so please do share whatever you end up doing on social media using #carveaheart . I’m also on email and really willing to help brainstorm with you – please drop me a message at fundraising@worldvision.org.uk - I look forward to seeing what you do!

Every Halloween, World Vision UK asks families across the UK to ditch the scary faces and carve a heart in their pumpkins as a show of solidarity with children living in fear. Then we ask them to text HEART to 70060 to donate £3* and help support our work. This year, we're running a photo competition on Twitter and Instagram for the most creative heart - pumpkin or otherwise - shared using #carveaheart (full rules available here). There are also events across the country, including a pop up pumpkin patch at Covent Garden, an alternative Halloween night for youth in Peterborough, and a pumpkin carriage rolling into Manchester Piccadilly in time for your morning commute. Whatever way you get involved, we’d love to hear about it.

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