Timeraiser; a Look Back, a Week Later

On September 23rd I attended the coolest charity silent art auction”fundraiser” event I have ever seen. To be truthful, it was not a fundraiser, it was a “timeraiser.” Instead of bidding money for the original art items up for bid, the attendees bid their “time.”

How it worked was that early in the evening people met with a variety of non-profit agencies and made a list of the organizations that they were interested in volunteering their time to. Then the silent auction began. People could move around the Yaletown Roundhouse and look at the artwork that was being auctioned off. All the artwork was created by local artists who were fully compensated for their work by the corporate sponsors of the event, in this case, WestJet was the sponsor.

Timeraiser; Shoe on Bike
Timeraiser; Shoe on Bike

The artwork above is an example of the creativity that was up for auction.

The non-profit agencies who participated were from a variety of fields. One of the agencies that caught my eye was the Take a Hike Foundation.

Timeraiser; Take a Hike
Timeraiser; Take a Hike

This agency was looking for volunteers to work on a myriad of projects. One of the simplest ones, but a very time consuming project that they needed a volunteer for was organizing the hundreds of photos that are taken while the students are out hiking.

The Take a Hike Foundation works with at-risk youth “to blaze a trail, a positive path with positives outcomes.” Students in the Take a Hike program often struggle with issues such as drug and alcohol addiction, physical and mental abuse, criminal activity involvement, low self-esteem, depression and or trauma.  Take a Hike provides struggling students with the opportunity to blaze their own trail – a trail that involves hiking and surviving in the wilderness. The trail that the students blaze will hopefully be a trail that will provide them with survival skills for life.

At any rate, once the students and teachers return from a hike they have hundreds, if not thousands of digital photos that need to be sorted and organized. That was one of the volunteer opportunities that I heard being discussed while visiting the Take a Hike booth.

As the evening progressed, people met with as many agencies as they could to find out who they might be interested in volunteering with. I am not sure if the Take a Hike Foundation managed to find someone to help organize those thousands of photos but I do know that the Timeraiser organizers were hoping to raise a total of 5000 hours of volunteer time. At the end of the night more than 6800 hours were raised, an astounding number of volunteer hours.

I love the creativity behind this idea. Anyone can organize a fundraiser, but the raising of volunteer hours? So completely novel and original. I can hardly wait for next years event! I will be sure to volunteer to help out next year’s event.


  1. Hey Stacey,

    I know a lad who was told to “take a hike” by the Take a Hike folks … for some very good reasons, I believe. However, reading quickly through your post I see that “Take a Hike provides struggling students with the opportunity to blaze….” I’m thinking if the lad knew this to be one of the goals of the organization, he might have managed himself a little more appropriately and been able to stick around. ;-P

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