Last year Collective Soul agreed to work with us doing a Comfort Doll photo while they were in town, and we were able to do a pic of the entire band one night, develop it into an 8×10 glossy and have the band autograph it the next night – the photo did very well, bringing in $200 dollars; our single highest auction in our short 3 yr history.
This year, the band and their mgmt graciously agreed to do another Comfort Doll photo with us when they breezed through town again. The entire band and their road manager were so generous with their time it was incredible. Not only did we get a photo of the entire band holding 2 Comfort Dolls, but the band/mgmt allowed us to spend the time taking a single shot of each band member with his own Comfort Doll. We were also able to have each photo autographed just recently, when the band came back through town in support of their new Self Titled (Rabbit) album, just a few weeks ago.
Collective Soul is the only band to date that has been featured in auction more than once, and one of the few bands who have autographed photos for us and donated ‘swag’ (well used drumsticks from Cheney Brannon and a song lyrics sheet). Its incredible to work with people who have done previous Comfort Doll photos for us -more often than not our first meeting is a rushed affair; usually less than 5 minutes to snap a few shots and explain to all band members what the Comfort Doll is all about and what will happen with the auction etc. To be able to work with a band the second time is more relaxed and the guys have more fun mugging for the camera with their dolls 🙂
We auctioned the 6 photos (5 band members and one full band shot) just last week and had great response from Collective Soul fans on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and the band’s Official Website fan forum. The bidding in the last 20 minutes was fast and furious as people tried to secure their bids as being the winning one! Dean Roland (rhythm guitarist) tweets personally on Twitter and he visited and tweeted in the last half hour of our auction – which drove bids up too! (Thanks Dean!)
The results are tallied: after expenses (ebay, paypal, postage, photo developing) we have $400.00 in donation money and have gone to the World Vision Gift Catalog to ‘shop’. It was a hard choice to try and use it to do the most good for the most people, or use it for big ticket items – we’ve sort of tried to do both. Some of the bigger ticket items will benefit an entire community which in turn will positively affect the kids living there. This is our list:
$50 – Supply a classroom with books, art materials, pencils, paper, notebooks, rulers and more. North American companies have already donated many of these supplies–so your gift will multiply 11 times to ship and/or purchase needed supplies.
$30 – 3 Soccer balls -kids need to play and in many parts of the world children use rocks and sticks or balled up plastic bags as toys.
$50 – Irrigate Systems – Irrigation systems improve water use efficiency and help communities achieve food security during periods of drought. This gift will help provide struggling farmers with needed supplies such as pumps, pipes, sprinklers, emitters, rainwater harvesting tanks, lining materials for canals, and more. Your gift will also provide training and assistance in the proper design, construction and maintenance of systems for sustainable irrigation management.
$75 – School Feeding for 50 children – Without proper nutrition, children can’t learn. Your gift will help build and stock school kitchens and dining halls to provide nutritious lunches to 50 little ones in a rural school for an entire month. It could be their only healthy meal of the day! Because of donations from the World Food Programme, your gift will multiply 5 times in value to help children
$100 – Immunize a Community – Every year 1.4 million children die needlessly from diseases such as measles and polio that are easily preventable. Your gift will help provide enough immunizations to protect an entire community — and save lives!
$100 – Stock a Medical Clinic -Provide basic medicines to children and families in impoverished areas of the world where hospital and health clinic shelves are often bare. North American companies have donated basic medicines like antibiotics, antimalarials, de-worming drugs, vitamins, aspirin, bandages, syringes, bed nets and more. Your gift will multiply 13 times to ship and/or purchase the needed supplies. Stock a clinic and help a community.
Many of these ‘gifts’ multiply many times over due to donation help from government agencies and other business’ generosity. We’ve split this money between health, education, clean water, and giving kids the chance to just be kids (soccer balls).
We hope the band is pleased with what we’ve been able to do on their behalf – and we thank them for their amazing generosity of time. Thanks to, to all who bid on the items – I wish everyone could have won a picture of their favorite band member. Thanks to the winning bidders for holding out for one more bid and a HUGE thanks to all those who helped spread the word about this auction to their friends, especially those ladies on Twitter who literally shouted it from the roof tops 🙂 This is our most successful band auction ever!