No Helium, No FundraiserWritten by Jacqueline Skarda
We all may feel a little inconvenienced by the world-wide helium shortage.
But for a North Platte organization that uses it to fundraise, it's much more serious.
The signs of Valentine's Day are already filling the air at the Rape and Domestic Abuse Program in North Platte.
But one thing isn't... helium.
“When we checked with our regular supplier said some florists are driving 1-200 miles away to try to get one or two tanks and we go through an average of 9 or 10 tanks a year so that's just something that is not going to be a reality for us this year,” says Joni Matson, Director, RDAP.
For over a decade you could purchase a balloon from RDAP for your sweetheart during Valentine's Day.
Last year's fundraiser netted a record $8,000 for the shelter.
But a worldwide helium shortage is deflating one of their biggest fundraisers.
“That goes into our general operation funds. It basically helps pay for the bills at the shelter, the utilities, everything we do to provide the services for that is what we raise money for throughout the year,” says Matson.
The funds are even more important because of a routinely full shelter and more people in need of RDAP's services.
But hope isn't lost.
The new Anticipation of Hope Gala last fall helped to fill up the $6,000 void from the canceled fundraiser.
“We also got contacted by Wendy's Restaurant and on February 11th from 5-8pm in the evening they are going to donate 15% of all profits back to our program so that will help a little bit. We also have the Walk a Mile in April, which is our regular fundraiser so we will be doing that,” says Matson.
Things are not up in the air for RDAP.
They will continue to find unique fundraisers to fill the void of their deflated tradition.