As I was reading the local paper yesterday, I came across an interesting article -- one that talked about starting a World Wide Rave. Now I admit, I have never heard this term before and it piqued my interest - and so I read on. The article announces the first ever "Timeraiser" to be held in Hamilton on May 9 - another concept that was foreign to me. The author (Jay Robb) goes on to describe that a Timeraiser is part volunteer fair, part silent auction and part night out on the town. Still sounds interesting....and so I read on. Apparently, Timeraiser events have been taking place in various cities across the country since 2004 and they have helped more than 230 non-profit organizations by recruiting 31,000 Canadians to volunteer 41,000 hours. As part of the process, they have also bought more than $230,000 worth of art from emerging artists. (The art is purchased with monies raised through corporate and community sponsorship.) So how does a Timeraiser work? You can find out more at http://www.timeraiser.ca/, but they way I read it, you pay $20 to attend the event. The art is on display and up for auction that evening. If you wish to bid, you bid not money, but volunteer hours (time). The auction's winner is the individual who bids the highest number of volunteer hours for the specified art piece. Everybody wins here. The artisan gets compensated for their efforts, the auction winner's can take home an art piece they love at no 'financial' cost (with the exception of their $20 ticket fee), and most importantly the non-profits get the help they so desperately need. How cool is that? Now, back to the idea of a World Wide Rave. Essentially, the only way that an event like this will work, will be if people attend it - and before you can attend it, you need to know about it. So, how can awareness be raised on a shoestring budget? Tell people. Word of mouth -- it's as simple as that. Remember the shampoo commercial years ago that claimed "she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on, and so on". A world wide rave is just like that. The biggest difference is, that by using the 'world wide' web as your delivery medium we can each spread the word to far more than just 2 people at a time. So -- help spread the word about the Hamilton Timeraiser, and blog about it (like I did), put it on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social networking site that you belong to - or simply send an Instant Message or Email to everyone on your contact list. Raising awareness for the Hamilton Timeraiser can really be that easy. Do your part to contribute to this World Wide Rave. Now Go!