Silent Auction to benefit Cry Africa
I’m holding a silent auction to raise money for Cry Africa, the Assemblies of God World Missions/USA (AGWM) organization addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa (http://cryafrica.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/). All proceeds from the auction will be donated to this ministry.
For the items I am selling visit my Webshots Album:
Please e-mail me your bid at [email protected] or by sending me a message through MySpace/depressiontribe.org. All bids must be time stamped before 12:01 AM, March 1st, 2007. Winners will be notified via email with their final cost including shipping. Payment methods in order of preference are: Paypal, money orders/cashier’s checks, personal checks, cash in person (cash for Houston, TX area only).
1. Why are you doing this?
The items I was originally going to donate to the Williamson (NY) Come-Unity Center until I heard that my fraternity was going to host a silent auction this semester. I offered to donate the items for the auction but they have not told me either way if they wanted them or not. Since I had these items posted on Webshots for a while so the Philanthropy Chair could take a look at them I decided to try and hold a silent auction of my own.
2. Why is this auction to benefit Cry Africa?
My original intent was to somehow split the proceeds between the Williamson Come-Unity Center, the City Mission in Cleveland, OH, and the Star of Hope Mission in Houston, TX. However, if I opened it up to all my MySpace friends this would include people who live outside northwestern Wayne County, Cleveland, or Houston. After all, why would someone in Florida or California want to give money to a homeless shelter in Houston when they have local homeless shelters? Then I thought about giving it to Habitat for Humanity to help Hurricane Katrina victims rebuild, but though the website I did not see any way to earmark donations for rebuilding New Orleans. So I finally decided upon a group benefiting AIDS/HIV victims in Africa.
3. What is your interest in helping the people of Africa?
After about 200 years of the slave trade and another 200 years of colonialism Africa is on the bottom of the global pecking order. The AIDS/HIV epidemic is only making things worse. Getting HIV in the industrialized world is pretty devastating. First of all, it’s not a matter of *if* you will die but *when.* Then you got to deal with all the shame of having an “acquired” disease. Finally, you need a combination of drugs that cost $400 or more a month to control your disease, all of which you may have to pay out of pocket because your health insurance company just dropped your coverage. Now say you are in Africa living on less than $1 USD a day. How are going to afford all the drugs you need, if you can get them? What if almost everyone else in your extended family was dead or dying–and that was your only support system? That’s why I want to support this charity.
4. So how does a silent auction work?
You place your highest bid without knowing who else bid on that item and how much they bid. Whoever placed the highest bid at the end of the auction wins that item at the price they bid.
5. Now on eBay, I bid *up to* my highest bid. What if the second highest bid was significantly less than my bid?
If you win, you pay what you bid plus shipping, no a penny less. This is *not* eBay, and it’s to benefit a *charity,* so please be willing to be generous.
6. How much will shipping cost?
For those in the United States I will ship using a Priority Mail Flat Rate box, so the shipping will be $8.10. This may not be the cheapest option, but it will allow you to get your item quickly (2-3 days) and simplify things on my end. For the few of you outside the United States I will deal with on a case-by-case basis.
7. Why do I have to pay before I get my item? What guarantee do I have that I will get the item?
The way eBay and every retailer that I am aware of works is that the buyer pays the seller before the seller ships the item. As far as me actually given you what you paid for, you will just have to trust me. If you can’t trust me to do what I said I will, don’t bid.
8. What will you do with any unsold items?
Most likely I will donate them to the Williamson Come-Unity Center like I originally planned, unless it’s the hockey calendar or the Jeff Gordon car. Those two items I’ll see if I can sell to a sport memorabilia dealer in the Houston area.
9. Why do you have so many pairs of women’s boots for sale?
Choose which answer you want to believe:
a.) I have a fetish for women’s boots.
b.) I used to volunteer at the Williamson Come-Unity Center’s clothing store in high school, and that was one thing we seemed to lack, women’s boots. Last year I reduced my income tax withholdings. In December I was a little concerned that I withheld too little so I wanted to minimize my chances of paying a penalty by taking the legal maximums on itemized deductions. I went on eBay and kept an eye out for clothing sales to find women’s boots dirt cheap to donate to the Come-Unity Center.
10. Can I get a tax receipt for my item?
The way I’m going to make the donation is to collect all the payments and make one lump sum payment to Cry Africa. Therefore, I cannot get individual tax receipts from Cry Africa and send them back to you. Keep your own records and talk to a tax advisor if it fits within the IRS rules.
11. Wait, if you are going to make a lump sum payment from your account are *you* going to claim it as a deduction for 2007?
No. All I’m going to do with the tax receipt is scan it and post it as a way to say “Thank You” to all who participated. “Together we raised X dollars to help AIDS/HIV victims in Africa.” Then I’m going to throw it away.
12. So I make checks/money orders payable to whom?
Make them payable to me (Joel Scheuer). I’ll make one lump sum donation from my account.
13. How do I know you’re really going to donate my money to Cry Africa?
The honor system. Again, if you don’t trust me to do what I say I will do, don’t bid.
14. What if I want to know more about Cry Africa or make a donation without bidding on an item?
Visit their website: http://cryafrica.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/. For online donations go to: https://secure2.ag.org/contributions/detail.cfm?LedgerID=217AB0B9-7B0E-415E-A290-74611B5C81A5
15. Why do you keep on calling it AIDS/HIV?
Because AIDS and HIV are not the same. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). When someone is HIV+, they tested positive for having antibodies for the Human Immuodeficiency Virus. However, it may be some time after first being exposed to HIV that a person develops the symptoms of AIDS.
16. Will you do something like this again?
Depends on how this one goes. If the response is good I might consider doing another one. I really do want to raise money to help the people of New Orleans, but I also want to make sure the donation is going to New Orleans and not being spread out regionally or globally.