What a Hot Dog Fundraiser Taught Me About My Coworkers

This blog was written by Freddy Hunt, Oneupweb’s director of SEO & Content Marketing. Connect with him on LinkedIn!


It’s not easy asking your coworkers to donate their hard-earned money. After all, they come into the office to make money, not to give it away.

I was recruited by my brother-in-law to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the year campaign. Our team’s goal is a steep $100,000. I personally pledged to raise $5,000, which I knew was not going to be easy. You see, most of the team is based in Columbus, Ohio (my hometown). I live nearly 400 miles north in Traverse City, a solid seven-hour drive from the fundraising events happening in the heart of Ohio.

man grilling hot dogs
Freddy grills some hot dogs outside the Oneupweb office.

LLS Fundraising Cookout

Early on, I knew I’d have to host a fundraising event on my own. I settled on a cookout benefit. My father-in-law gave me the idea after hosting a hugely successful pizza party to benefit an LLS campaign four years prior. But since I don’t have a giant wood-burning pizza oven in my backyard, I went with hot dogs. I love hot dogs. And as it turns out, so do my co-workers.

I quickly whipped up a flyer out of a cookout-themed template I found on Canva. I posted the flyer to Slack, making it very clear that donations are not required but greatly appreciated. There was a strong reaction – I think it may have been the mustard pun. 😉

My incredible wife helped round up all the ingredients for the cookout. The menu included all-beef Hebrew National hot dogs (my #1 favorite). We had fixings for Avocado Crunch Dogs (avocado + potato chips + Sriracha) and Jalapeno Popper Dogs (jalapenos + cream cheese + mustard). I also painstakingly provided ketchup, because I guess there are some people who like ketchup on their hot dogs?

I spent about $70 on all the food, napkins and plates. With about 40 employees working in the office, I figure maybe 20 people would be hungry for hot dogs. I was honestly expecting to break even, maybe collect $100 in donations.

two hot dogs on buns with chips and potato salad on a white plate
Two tasty looking hot dogs on crispy grilled buns! All for a good cause, too.

Boy was I surprised.

The first donation to hit my jar was a $50 bill. Next, I received an online donation for $100! The donations kept coming in all morning, during lunch and even after. At the end of the day, we raised nearly $400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. While it may be a drop in the bucket toward a $100,000 goal, the fundraiser taught me a lot about my coworkers.

I learned that they’re as good-hearted as they are hard-working. You see, I lost both my parents to cancer. My sister-in-law is a childhood Leukemia survivor. For me, cancer anything is personal and difficult to talk about. The amount of support I felt from my coworkers was overwhelming. Sure, we love hot dogs at Oneupweb. But 47 hot dogs later, I know we love each other even more.

Thank you, Oneupweb, for all the support!


Every donation counts! Donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society today! And if you do, swing by the Oneupweb office and I’ll cook you a hot dog.

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