I’m from Seattle, Washington, and although I haven’t lived there for some time, I consider it home. I received my B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and an M.L.S. from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since then I have worked in libraries in Tennessee, Indiana, and Oregon, and am currently Head of Instruction and User Services in the Doe/Moffitt libraries at the University of California, Berkeley. My job consumes much of my time, but I take every opportunity I can to break away and travel. I am a collector of books, a genealogy researcher, a sci-fi fantasy geek, and an avid hiker. Like my fellow travelers to Haiti, I found the journey enriching and inspiring, and will continue to contribute to the amazing work being done there to support Haiti’s children.
Meet Jennifer Dorner
Where are you from?
What made you want to go to Haiti?
I resisted my impulse to travel to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, recognizing that without medical or other specialized training, I would not be of much assistance. The project being organized by Random Acts is a chance for me to contribute to a project that is substantial and sustainable.
What are you hoping to take away from this experience?
The joy of sharing this amazing experience with like-minded people, the opportunity to meet Haitians and learn about their country, and the personal satisfaction of making a contribution to the recovery effort.
How did you approach the task of raising $5,000 in donations?
I sent a personal email to everyone I know and kept people updated on my fundraising progress on Facebook.
What are a few of your best fundraising tips?
Make it clear the fundraising is for the project, not for your expenses; explain what their contribution is for and how it will make a difference; and thank people publicly and personally (I posted names of contributors on my blog and Facebook and also sent personal notes of thanks). I was also helped out by friends on LiveJournal who offered to write fanfiction in exchange for contributions, raising almost $1000 on their own.
Can you offer any words of encouragement to those still working towards their fundraising goal?
I’ve seen a lot of creative fundraising efforts on LiveJournal, at helpthesouth.livejournal.com and random-auction.livejournal.com. What worked best for me, though, was the personal appeal to friends, colleagues and family members.