TFish's booth sat a few steps away from the entertainment stage where bands performed, dragons danced, and firecrackers kindled. With signs on both sides of the booth, many people stopped to stare and read the signs. As soon as they stood their reading, we knew that they were interested. They would stare long enough to read each short sentence and try to understand TFish's mission. TFish member would grab a brochure and walk over to the people to explain to them TFish's goals.
The main fundraising was focused toward Sahaya International. Posters displayed before and after pictures of how a typical house in Vietnam would change with $1000. As soon as those attending festival understood that coloring a fish would help fund and build this house, they were more than happy and willing to color a fish. Children were immediately drawn to the booth and really enjoyed coloring their fish. Some children would return to the booth and point at their fish on the banner with pride and big smiles on their faces. However, not only were parents coloring and interested in TFish, people with various ages all came to the booth to learn more and contribute.
This festival had visitors from all around the world from Seattle, Washington and Sydney, Australia to TFish's very own Los Altos, California. Not only was TFish bringing awareness to the area, but to people all around the world. The willingness of each person at the festival made it very easy to share and speak about the goals. Even when we told individuals they did not need to donate and coloring a fish was already a great help, they would donate. People would search in their wallets for any change and money to donate to TFish. At one moment in the midst of a chaotic table with many children, teenagers, and adults coloring a fish, a man walked up to the booth, told me he had a donation, and handed me $40. We spoke to every person for only a few minutes, but we still managed to get people to understand and want to help.
Throughout the two days, 356 fish were colored, raising $356 dollars for Sahaya International. However, there was also additional donations that greatly contributed to the cause. The willingness of the individuals to listen to us and help is why this festival was very enjoyable. Many TFish members who attended the festival said it was their favorite. We brought awareness about our NGO's, and we were able to tell visitors about our story and allow them to not only care, but help in various ways.