The Power of Telling the Story: How we made $1850 In 20 minutes

May 28, 2016

We’re leaving for summer camp soon and still have lots of money to raise.

Our YL team told kids and parents “Do not let money keep you from going to camp. Pay what you can and we’ll commit to helping you raise the rest.”

We’ve spread mulch.

Cleaned a fence.

Held an Ultimate Frisbee tourney.

Sold doughnuts.

Built trophys.

Organized files.

Washed cars.

Cleared brush.

Pressure-washed driveways.

Flocked houses.

Pulled Weeds.

Mowed lawns.


Painted walls.

It’s been exhausting, but incredible. I’m not sure there’s a better type of contact work than camp fundraisers. Raising money alongside your middle and high school friends to help them get to camp is uniquely bonding. It communicates love through action. “I want to spend a week of my life with you so badly that I’m willing to sit beside you and pull weeds to help get you there.”

We’ve typically been making $10/hr, but in the past week we made $1,850 in just twenty minutes!

How? By telling the story.

Yesterday after church I was talking to a couple I don’t know super well. They asked what I’d been up to lately. I told them our YL team had been working with kids all weekend to raise money to help get them to Young Life camp. To my surprise, the husband replied, “You know, I actually met Christ at Young Life camp 25 years ago. Thanks for what you’re doing for those kids.”

We talked a while longer and I left super encouraged. It makes pulling weeds feel worth it when I imagine my high school friends getting to share the same story with someone in the year 2041.

I honestly wasn’t even thinking about that couple donating any money towards camp, but last night at 11pm I found an email in my inbox that made me cry like a baby.

I didn’t want to say this out loud at church, but we would be happy to cover the cost ($925) of one of your kids going to camp. I know what it can mean in the life of a high schooler, so we would be honored to contribute.

Totally unexpected. Blown away. God provides.

Earlier this week something similar happened.

I sent a Facebook message out to guys I’ve taken to YL camp in the past. It essentially said, “Fellas, remember the best week of your life? In a month I get to take another group of high schoolers to Colorado for them to experience it as well. We still need to raise a lot of $ to help us get there. If you want to donate anything, that would be sweet.

I only heard back from one guy, but he called on Monday and said he wanted to cover the entire cost of a camper.

That night I was able to call a high school guy who needed money to help him get to camp and tell him the good news.

Thanks be to God!

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