FAQ: When is Rachel coming to perform in MY town?
Yes this question is only second to “Why does Rachel have colors on her fingers?” With the ease and access that is now available through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook the frequency of questions along the lines of “When is Rachel coming to my town?” are putting the color-coded finger question to shame.
There is no quick and simple answer to the first question but, I will try… The answer is this- I am not on tour. I am not coming to your town unless YOU, or someone like you makes it happen.
Generally, it is an organization that brings me out to speak or perform for their conference, expo, workshop, or community event. If you are involved with an organization who is putting together an event and you want me there, have that conversation with the people organizing it. Put them in touch with us.
Sometimes it is an individual who makes it happen.
Two weeks ago Ronai B. raised $2,500 for her Signing Time Community event in Maple Grove, MN and she sold over $2,500 in Signing Time products that day. Her goal is to raise $3,500 next year so that the Twin Cities can count on an annual Signing Time event. (While I was in Minnesota we had a community concert, two story time events and I even got to visit Super Fan Gracie who has been in the hospital since last fall.)
Hey, I’ll go anywhere as long as the costs are covered. I’ve been from Fargo, ND to Abilene, TX and even Yucca Valley, CA three times. Remember my trip to Klamath Falls, OR? There is only one airport with one or two flights each day in Klamath Falls. Lisa D. put that trip together because she wanted me to speak to their Teachers and Special Ed. Dept. She was adamant that they hear my message about communication for all children of all abilities even though the Board told her they could not possibly cover my fee and travel expenses. So, Lisa held car wash fundraisers and sold the bulbs from her garden! She asked local business for donations of $1000 and when they said “no” she asked, “Well how about $500?” And if they said no she asked for $250 😉 Get the point? She ended up raising $6,000 for her Signing Time Event in Klamath Falls, OR.
This actually reminds me of a lesson I learned a few years ago. We had been invited to go to Ghana with Signs of Hope International. The folks at SOHI really wanted Alex, Leah and me to come interact with the deaf children at residential schools in Ghana Africa. I told them, as soon as we had $25,000 in The Signing Time Foundation we would go. I waited for more than a year and surprise, surprise… no one mailed us a check for $25,000! Not one person or organization in an entire year sent us a big fat check like that! See! I was right. We couldn’t go to Ghana. (SIGH) 😉
And shortly after that I was in a seminar about Money. One of our homework assignments was to ask someone for an amount of money that makes you uncomfortable and it needs to be for a cause you believe in. Yikes!
Before walking out of the seminar that night I knew who I would ask. I knew the amount that made me uncomfortable. I even knew the cause. We had a week to complete the homework.
Seven days went by and I hadn’t done it. I had almost dialed the number, but then I thought better of it. Hours before I was going to be driving to my seminar my sister Emilie called. “Did you do your homework? She asked. We were in the Money Seminar together. “No.” I said.
“I did!” She was excited.
“No way… who did you ask? What happened?”
“I was leaving the office and there was only one person there who didn’t work for us, so I knew he was the last person I would even see before our seminar, so I asked him. I asked him for a thousand dollars for The Signing Time Foundation so that you and Alex and Leah can go to work with deaf children in Africa and he said yes!”
Now, I wouldn’t say I am especially competitive with my siblings, but in the world of seminars and homework, I was not going to be one-upped by my big sister. I got on the phone and made my call. My plan all along had been to ask for $1000 for The Signing Time Foundation too. The homework assignment was not about getting the amount you asked for. The assignment was simply to ask. People could say “yes” or “no” and your assignment was complete.
One hour before my seminar began, I also got a yes.
Suddenly my eyes were opened! We hadn’t received any donations because we hadn’t asked! We hadn’t even told anyone what we were up to and what we wanted to accomplish and NOW we were two for two with little to no planning! I mean, Emilie just asked the last guy in the building!
The result was amazing. We kept asking. Some people said yes. Some people said no. They weren’t saying no to me. They weren’t even saying “no” forever. In fact one of the biggest, most embarrassing “nos” I received ended up funding a second trip to Ghana single handedly.
In a matter of weeks we raised the entire amount for the airfare, visas, vaccinations, ground transportation, food and board!
So when people say that they would love to have a Signing Time event but they could never raise the funds. I smile. Because I know they are right… you never get the things that you do not ask for.
For more information about creating a Signing Time Event in your community please visit The Signing Time Foundation.