Brickset member kevbags is hosting a charity raffle benefiting hospitals from across the world. For £1, you can buy a raffle ticket for one of many hard-to-find Lego prizes. Check out Brickset’s forum for details on how to enter.
If you want a Mr. Gold minifig but don’t want to give your money to someone trying to profit off their luck, you can bid on one offered by the BrickBrats family on eBay with 100% of proceeds going to the American Lung Association in California, which has provided services and support over the years to their son with asthma at no charge. This is a great story of one of the good things brought out by the highly coveted Mr. Gold.
The fourth annual Creations for Charity raised $9,300 in our most successful year yet! Not only did we top our previous record in the amount raised, but we also expanded our distribution to two countries outside the US including Chile and Croatia. Thank you to all who contributed to brighten the holidays of so many children!
2012 was a busy year for the fundraiser. We sold over 100 custom creations, which was a huge improvement over the previous year. The results were in part due to our new introduction video that helped bring in new participants by explaining what we do. We used the video to kick off our fundraiser and to raise additional funds on the crowd funding site called Indiegogo (but we weren’t nearly as successful there, after all Lego is a niche hobby). Through Indiegogo we raised almost $900.
The biggest part of our success still came from within the Lego community from the participation of both veteran and new Lego fans. Our new option for reimbursing builders the cost of making their creation also helped increase the number of donated creations from people who were able to donate just their time. To everyone who contributed a creation to our store, even if your creation didn’t sell, we are very grateful for your efforts to help. Selling these creations on our Bricklink store accounted for over 83% of our income this year. The rest came from Indiegogo and other monetary donations we received.
Finally, I’d like to thank the other 6 coordinators for taking time out of their holiday season to hunt for Lego deals and donate the sets they purchased. Our new overseas distribution coordinators made especially memorable donations when they were able to donate the sets directly to the children in an orphanage in Zagreb, Croatia and a school for underprivileged children in Santiago, Chile. You can read about their donation experiences in the posts below.
The Future (this may be you!)
Each year Creations for Charity takes many hours each week to coordinate from September until the end of the year. As much as I enjoy running the fundraiser, sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to fit the charity into my medical school schedule. Although I plan to continue the charity for as long as possible, I am looking for help from those who share strong enthusiasm for the cause to either maintain the Bricklink store or keep track of our money as a treasurer. If you’d like to help one of those two ways, please contact me for more details via the contact form.
When I envisioned the concept of Creations for Charity in 2009, I had no idea it would engage people to raise thousands of dollars each year to buy Lego for underprivileged children across multiple cities and countries. To all who participated in Creations for Charity, I thank you for starting and maintaining a tradition for the Lego community to give back.
My name is Tomás and I was in charge of the distribution of the sets here at Chile. For the ones who don’t know where Chile is, it is located in South America. This is the second year I participate in this noble cause. Last year I decided to just gather funds so that the organization could give even more sets to those who need them but this year I decided to take it a step further and I brought the C4C spirit here to Chile.
With the help of Nannan and ALL of you guys a total of 71 sets were donated to the Cristo Vive foundation. Just like in Croatia we don’t really have a national program like Toys for Tots so I went off and donated the sets to a school that is run by the Cristo Vive foundation. This school is where almost 200 kids with low resources come to learn and discover the great things about life. It’s not like a school where you go in the morning and leave in the afternoon, no. They go there and stay pretty much all day there.
What’s nice and touching about this organization is the fact that they give children a better future even those with disabilities. Kids who suffer of mental or physical problem also come here and they are treated with a lot of love. When I told the organization that I wanted to give them LEGO sets they got really happy. As you may all know, LEGO is super fun and can be used to spend a good time with your friends but most importantly it stimulates creativity. I am sure that the kids will make good use of the sets to both learn and have a wonderful time.
Thank you all for being a part of this great organization. You have no idea how happy you have made many kids here in Chile. I am looking forward to this year’s Creations for Charity to see how we all get together and make this world a better place.
I hope you have a nice year and see you this December!
This is my third year of participating in Creations for Charity, but my first year of being one of the coordinators. This way, we went international, including Croatia and Chile in the donations. I live in Zagreb, Croatia, and me and Nannan decided to make our donations to a small orphanage on outskirts of Zagreb. It is a home to 33 elementary school children. Here, we don’t have a national program as Toys for Tots in the USA, so I made the delivery by myself. I bought the sets from our local LEGO distributor, and they also offered a small discount when they heard that it’s for Christmas donations (thank you Prodis LLC). I’ve decided to buy each kid a personal gift, rather than donating the bricks to the institution. It’s Christmas after all. I got City and Dino sets for boys, and Friends sets for girls. We mixed as many different sets we could, so they could get different gifts, and later play together, or exchange between themselves if they liked something else better. For the remaining amount we bought a couple of LEGO board games and one Mindstorms NXT 2 set for their computer workshop. There are after all, kids up to age 14 in the home, so we thought that would be an ideal gift for their age group. I arrived there on 20th December. It was a beautiful and touching moment. They already had their Christmas three set up in the lobby, and we laid down all of the presents beneath it. When kids arrived back from school, I gave each one their gift. It was rare for them to get something really for themselves, and they were really happy. Once they unwrapped the gifts and seen that it were LEGO, they were even more thrilled. I think this was the first time for most of them to play with LEGO bricks. I stayed a while, and helped the younger ones built their models, and then left with a huge grin on my face.
Thank you all for participating in this noble cause, and congrats to Nannan for his organizational skills and for this beautiful idea. I hope to continue to contribute in the years that follow.
Thank You So Much!
I have to tell you – one of the highlights of my year is participating in the Creations for Charity event! It is such an honor to be part of an event which brings smiles to so many children’s faces across the world! I am amazed at the kindness and generosity of so many LEGO fans – that we were able to raise $9300 and having sold over 122 creations and items is a tribute to everyone who helped make this possible!
After we start selling the donations from the BrickLink site, we are tasked with finding the best deals that we possibly can on LEGO products. All of the Area Coordinators, and Nannan especially, start searching and watching stores (and online stores) for great discounts on LEGO products, and when we find various sales we share those with each other. We also used the website ToysNBricks.com as a great resource for watching for sales.
From my experiences this year, I think the biggest challenge lies in the fact that sales this year on LEGO were very limited. I am certain that I speak for my fellow Area Coordinators, in saying that nothing is more exciting than getting more LEGO for your money’s worth. As my colleague in Michigan stated, we generally try to watch for 30% or more off of LEGO themes and 25% or more off of licensed themes.
As I started receiving the LEGO products I purchased for CfC, I kept them in storage under my Christmas tree – it was a great daily reminder of how much we are able to give to Toys for Tots!
I thought it might be nice to put a face with the name – and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to have my couch loaded up with LEGO products!
Well, as you can see in the above picture, there were a LOT of LEGO sets to deliver to Toys for Tots – the LEGO themes included: Lord of the Rings, Marvel Super Heroes, DC Universe Super Heroes, Ninjago, City, Atlantis, Star Wars, Monster Fighters, and Friends, and included all different sized sets from Stocking Stuffer to Full-out-amazing-superawesome-gift-of-the-year-present with sets like Lord of the Rings Mines of Moria!
There were so many sets, that they almost didn’t fit into the trunk of my Mustang (which surprisingly has a large amount of storage space), but I managed to fit them all in my car!
I made my dropoff at one of my local Chicago area warehouses, and while there I met two former Marines who were busy making preparations for the toy distribution! They were really great guys to talk to, and I ended up staying around for about an hour just talking with both of them! The most exciting thing about my dropoff though – until I brought my carload of LEGO to this site, they had NO LEGO products to give to kids! It made me so happy to know that a lot of kids were going to be able to get LEGO sets for the holidays, that otherwise would not have! I think Frank (one of the two former Marines) said it best – his favorite part of working for Toys for Tots is on Christmas morning when he see’s his grandkids opening presents, and he knows that there are thousands of kids across our area who at that moment are experiencing the same joy and excitement because of what we do.
Those kids holiday celebrations were possible because of you, so Thank You! Whether you bought a creation, sold a creation, managed Creations for Charity behind the scenes, were another Area Coordinator, or just shared the Creations for Charity Event with your friends and family – thank you for making this a success!
I am already excited for what 2013 will bring for Creations for Charity!
What a privilege to be involved with Creations For Charity yet again this year. I am thrilled, not only with the whopping $9300 raised through sales, but also with the number of donations we received from such a varied group of talented builders.
The process for me each year has been pretty much the same. Once the donations start rolling in and are listed for sale, I start scouring the internet, and local stores, for ‘decent’ Lego deals. Often the local chains will have better deals (and more frequently) that the national chains.
Many times there are deals to be found online that cannot be found inside actual stores. There are a lot of things to be mindful of, including shipping charges (free is great), state sales tax, are the ordered items available for in store pick-up, etc. We also have to watch dfor inflated prices and check the original MSRP. Something might look like a good deal at 25% off, but if the list price is already 20% above the Manufacturer’s Suggested Sale Price, it isn’t really a deal at all. We generally try to find 30% or more off of Lego themes and 25% or more off of licensed themes. Sometimes this is very difficult because the Toys For Tots deadline here in West Michigan in ten days before Christmas. As a result, I cannot afford to take advantage of ‘last minute’ sales deals.
As the sets start piling up in my apartment, I keep them set aside in a closet or extra bedroom. In previous years I have gone directly to the T4T drop off at my local Marine Reserves office. This year, however, due to my schedule, I made drops at local businesses with T4T drop-off bins. I would go in and top off the box with Lego sets. At one Panera Bread location, the box was empty. The place was completely packed, and not a single toy in the box. So, my girlfriend and I filled it completely with Lego.
After dropping off the last of my donations, I simply sit back and see what the rest of the buyers were able to find. This year we have gotten quite a haul! I look forward to seeing how much Lego value we got for the amount of money we actually spent.
Finally, I want to say thank you. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes at Creations For Charity who manage the sales and handle the publicity, to the numerous builders who donated their time and resources and money to create and ship creations, to the people who generously bought those creations or donated directly to our fund, and to you, for reading this, because if you are reading this, you are interested enough and care enough to be a part of what we are trying to do.
Remember, giving children the gift of Lego is not something that is limited to the holiday season. Lego teaches children engineering, physics, creativity, math, and problem-solving not to mention much more. We all know children who need that type of inspiration. Even the smallest sets can make a world of difference. I encourage you to be inspiring to a child. Be a Lego hero.
I eagerly look forward to 2013!
Merry Christmas from Creations for Charity 2012! Here is the collage of our donations in 6 locations this year. Please check back soon for the wrap up posts from each of our coordinators.
The Spirit of Giving
As a kid, getting LEGO for Christmas was something I looked forward to with great joy and anticipation. I would spend a great deal of time staring at catalogs and wishing for anyone of them to be by the fireplace on Christmas mornings. On those mornings, opening a box of LEGO was a magical experience and memories that I will cherish for a life time. I signed onto this charity because I hope to create the same feelings I felt in children who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
My strategy was to wait on a really good deal and pounce on it! Unlike the previous years, this year’s sale was slow. However, during Black Friday, I seized the opportunity to buy sets that were 40 to 50% below MSRP price! Below is a photo of some of the sets that were going to be donated. I am pleased to say that this year, we had a nice selection of themes to give out.
This year I have again distributed the LEGO sets to the 3 Children’s Hospitals located in the greater DFW area (Legacy, Dallas, and Southlake). With LEGO being so coveted at the hospital, you’ve no doubt created fond memories like those I’ve felt on Christmas mornings. Thank you for your selfless acts of generosity. I also want to thank my fellow CFC2012 teammates for their effort and hard work.
Happy New Year everybody!
We have leftover ornaments from the 2012 fundraiser and would like to sell them at their actual cost of $5. If you want to buy one, you can send money via PayPal to email@example.com and I will ship your ornament right away ($8 total for US and $12 total for non-US locations). Please include “CfC ornament order” and your name in the subject line as well as a shipping address. These ornaments will not be available after 2012, so get one to show your support!
The 2012 fundraiser is over and we raised $9,300. We beat our previous best record of $9,035. Please continue to check back for updates and photos of our donations before Christmas. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success!
Meanwhile, you can take a look at all the items that were sold this year.
As you’re doing your holiday shopping, please think about buying something from Creations for Charity to help the kids. There is only 1 week left in this year’s fundraiser and all the items from the store are reduced to minimum price. Over $6,000 have been raised so far. If for some reason you’ve been holding out on buying a creation, now’s the time to act!
Less than 2 week left in Creations for Charity and we still have over 100 items for sale totaling in value of another $6,000! If we only sell half of that we would reach a new record. The builders have certainly outplayed their part this year. For as little as less than $10 you can purchase a creation!
There’s 3 weeks left of the fundraiser, and there is an unprecedented number of custom Lego creations currently for sale thanks to the numerous donations that have been coming in from the fans. With $5,000 raised so far, there’s a good chance for achieving a new record this year. Take a look at our store (where you can commission a life-sized bust) or Indiegogo campaign.
Don’t forget there’s still time to donate a creation!