Have you ever been in situation in a group in which you had an ingenious idea, but you couldn’t find your voice or kept having your voice smothered by others? As one UNICEF student leader among the almost 800 clubs around the country, I know how difficult it can be to easily share successful events and ideas with other clubs since there are so many of us, and we are spread across thousands of miles. By highlighting an outstanding UNICEF Club and the details of a successful event that they have undertaken and have learned from, this interview blog is meant to be your voice! This monthly blog will feature different clubs from across the nation, and will hopefully not only encourage you with by being connected to thousands of like-minded individuals through your passion for UNICEF, but will inspire UNICEF Clubs like yours to share their story. Happy reading!
*Don’t forget! Step 1 in hosting an event is to get it approved by UNICEF USA through the Fundraising and Event form!*
Basic Club Questions
Q: Where is your club located?
Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose, California USA
Q: How many members are a part of your club?
Q: What year was your club was founded?
Q: What is the structure of your leadership team and if it was different previously, what changes have you implemented to cultivate a stronger team?
The Structure Of Our Leadership Team are as follows:
Prior to this infrastructure, we had an Outreach Coordinator. Their duties were to network with other UNICEF clubs in the Bay Area. However, we decided to change the title to be Media Director (also making the position for two people) to strengthen our social media presence.
This in turn allowed for us to have a new, functioning website for our members to visit if they missed our weekly meetings.
Q: How frequent are your club meetings? Your officer meetings?
We have weekly club meetings during lunch. Officer meetings are conducted every other week after school.
Q: Who/what inspired this event?
The annual Snowflake Ball event held in New York.
Q: What organizations and/or other clubs did you partner with?
We partner with other UNICEF clubs (both university and high school) in the Bay Area to put together our own version of the Snowflake Ball. As a collective, we are known as UNICEF BAY AREA.
Q: How long has this event existed?
As of 2018, this would have been our fifth annual UNICEF BAY AREA Snowflake Ball.
Q: When did the planning for this fundraiser begin?
Planning for this fundraiser began in November 2017.
Q: What kind of entertainment, food, drinks, etc. was provided at the event?
We always aim to showcase local talent; high schoolers from all over the Bay Area were given the opportunity to audition for the show. From singers to dance groups to bands, all the performers brought something unique to the table. Attendees were provided with a three course meal of salad, pasta, and mini bundt cakes, as well as water and lemonade for refreshments!
If you had any food and drinks at your event, did you get it donated? If so, do you have any advice in doing so or great places to recommend reaching out to?
The appetizers and entrees were cooked by us students, but ingredients and supplies were either provided to us for free or at a discounted rate by Restaurant Depot, a wholesale warehouse for restaurant goods. All desserts were donated to us from Nothing Bundt Cakes, a local bakery.
Often times, many companies are willing to support humanitarian causes in any way they can. And so, just by reaching out and explaining the entire premise of our nonprofit event, we were able to help both the company's philanthropic goals and our need for food for the event.
Q: How many people attended the event? Did this number match your initial estimates?
Roughly 200 people. This number exceeded our initial estimates, and we were grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response!
Q: How many people participated in planning this event?
Roughly 100 people participated in planning this event.
Q: What were a few highlights of the event?
The highlights of the event would come from the UNICEF Guest Speakers, the performers and of course, the attendees.
The UNICEF Guest Speakers always provide not just information, but most importantly an inspirational message that highlights how much UNICEF has done and what we, as a community of young people, must do to make another person’s life somewhere else better. Through the fundraiser and event form we were able to get a UNICEF Guest speaker, and make sure our speakers were approved by UNICEF USA.
The performers are always very talented and showcase how our community is a culmination of different cultures and interests beyond the typical singer or dancer.
The attendees are always a highlight because they not only make us, as the officers who organized the event, feel good, but most importantly shows the coming together of people, regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation. Even in the midst of the nation’s political hostility, we were able to band together for a night of service and positivity, which is truly remarkable.
Q: What were some challenges that you and/or your partner clubs have to overcome and how did you/they approach solving them?
Some challenges that we (including partner clubs) had to overcome was definitely communication and attendance. As a collective, UNICEF BAY AREA, we meet every other week on Sundays at San Jose State University. The issue with meeting at the university was both the lack of available seating and the commuting distance. Some clubs are in a different city, so it is more difficult for them to attend these meetings. Having said that, the location was chosen as it was closest to the majority of the participating schools in the collective and so, we made sure to keep up-to-date on meeting minutes and announcements on our Facebook page as well as making sure that Club Presidents kept the UBA Council up-to-date on the latest news on Snowflake Ball preparations.
Q: What advice do you have for other clubs that would like to host a successful event like yours?
Plan early and plan in detail! Complications will always arise, but the more you are able to gather information and execute on a detailed plan, the better you are able to handle such complications.
Venue, for example, was very difficult to book. We had an entire list of possible locations and roughly how much it would cost per venue. Not only that, but we also considered the time of year and what may be going on that could affect our likelihood of successfully booking the place.
Piedmont Hill’s Drama Department was preparing for their Spring Musical and so, that was a complication we had to work around with the administration, the drama department and the janitorial staff to find an open date on the Performing Arts building’s already packed schedule. Had we not known about the musical and asked for the space weeks before the event's planned date, we would not have been able to book the building.
A big thank you goes to Piedmont Hills for not only helping to organize an outstanding event, but also sharing the details with us! We hope that this interview blog will help you and your club plan your next event. Feel free to email Piedmont Hills if you have any questions! Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!