Shop for a Cause
This holiday season, avoid the hassle of retail shopping, and help someone in need while you find the perfect gift from the comfort of your own home.
November is a busy month for Adrienne Wilkinson. She's finishing several projects, getting ready to start several more and also has a couple of appearances to make, including one in the UK.
But as her fans know, November marks a yearly event dear to Adrienne's heart, that is her most important project: her yearly charity auction.
What a lot of people are unaware of is the charity the auctions support.
A self proclaimed pack rat, Adrienne explains, "I've always saved my scripts, photos, call sheets, wardrobe, and anything else I treasured from various productions. I'm sure if I hadn't started these auctions years ago, that I would be up to my ears in memorabilia. It's actually been wonderful for me to be able to share these bits of my experience and my career in a way that helps others and where I know everything is getting a great home."
Adrienne founded her yearly auction in an attempt to help someone dear to her.
"Several years ago someone very dear to me was stricken with cancer and I felt helpless; there was nothing I could do to directly help with her treatment. I decided to at least help out in the ways that I could, and I started to help with the bills that were piling up.
"I realized that there were other people out there that would love the memorabilia I had collected and saved, as much as I had, so I decided to auction all of my memorabilia to support the cause. I auctioned off scripts, wardrobe, props and anything I could think of and it got a wonderful response from the fan community. The first year was such a success that I decided to host an auction each year to support someone in need."
With a determination to help, the next step was finding the people in need of it.
"It's amazing how many people need help. Once you start looking you realize help is needed all around you. I started out the first year supporting someone very close to me and since them I've been introduced to people through friends of friends to families and individuals that are such extraordinary people, going through extremely challenging times.
"We donate proceeds directly to the families to help them cover medical and living expenses while dealing with their health issues. Everyone needs a helping hand at sometime in their life, and hopefully this helps provide a light in an otherwise dark time for someone."
Sadly, finding a family in need isn't a challenge. For Adrienne it lies on picking only one family to help out.
"It's a hard decision each year because so many people need assistance, but I find that I always find a connection to someone special that needs a bit of extra help; someone that connects to me directly that I have a special bond with; a person or a family that could use a helping hand where I know we can successfully help. And finding someone that I have a connection with always helps me to dig deeper and look harder for items to donate.
"This year is supporting a beautiful family with five children where the father is suffering from cancer. I am honoured to know them and eager to help how I can. I hope our auction can lift a bit of the stress they are under and brighten their holidays through our support."
Adrienne is warmed by the continuous and surprising support of her fans. "I am always grateful and overwhelmed by the positive response and participation that we have by so many people over the years. I so appreciate the participation we get every year. We have a wonderful group of people that help support our cause, that includes people who help organize the auction, people who bid on items, people who donate, and people who help us spread the word!
"I have a wonderful team that help me with my website and they make the auction possible. And of course none of this would be possible without that wonderful participation of fans and friends. Thankfully, with all of this help I am able to gather and donate as much as I can and offer it up to fans and others for bidding."
This year's charity auction has over 1,000 items up for bid. Adrienne has highlighted several items to keep watch for (see sidebar), but she's keeping some special items under wraps.
"It's important that fans know we simply don't have the manpower to list every item immediately on the first day, so new items are listed daily for almost two weeks. So I recommend (and hope) that everyone check the auction list every day to make sure they are able to look through and bid on everything that may interest them."
The auction starts on November 28th. Remember to check the eBay listings daily for new additions!
Be sure to check out Adrienne's website for updates.
FINDING THE RIGHT CHARITY
There's certainly no lack of charities for a person to support, whether by volunteering or with donations. It can be hard to make a commitment to one charity when there's so many out there that need support in order to continue their work.
"I think the main thing is to work with causes that appeal to you directly," says Adrienne. "Things that interest you. While I help a wide variety of causes, I am always particularly interested in causes that help children and in causes that support animals."