While we think that setting up a Silent Aution should cost no more than the price of a few pizzas, we realize that even that can be too much to ask sometimes ... 

Become a Grantee by telling us your story: For whom are you raising funds and why are you passionate about it? Write us your personal story, what touched you, what could you do with the money that is raised. And who knows - we might donate Pearl Bids to your cause. 

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If you become a Grantee, your story will be published here. Feel free to change the names in your story.

Pearl Bids was happy to support U-Turn Academy with their February 18th event, Chair-ity. Read their story and see if you don't agree that this is a charity well worth supporting.

From U-Turn Academy.....

Here’s just one example of a youth who has tremendously benefited.

Two years after completing the program, Jordan carries a 4.0 GPA, holds a part-time job and has been drug-free since attending the U-Turn Academy!

Volunteers for Youth’s U-Turn Academy was established to reduce school drop out rates by offering a classroom setting for students serving long term school suspensions from any of the 9 school districts in Rogers County. A safe, supervised environment is provided with academic assistance from a certified teacher, support from a para-professional and a positive influence from a law enforcement officer. In addition to remaining current on their school work, students receive wraparound services including counseling, mentoring, family activities and community service project opportunities. The U-Turn Academy allows students to successfully reintegrate back into their schools upon completion of the program.

Due to the Office of Juvenile Affairs no longer having the capacity to fund this extremely valuable program, the U-Turn Academy is currently without a funding source and may now be forced to close its doors.

What does this mean for the students? Studies have shown that approximately 80% of students on long term suspension either drop out of school or engage in delinquent behavior. These young people will most likely be unsupervised, without instruction for their schoolwork, and may not have access to a caring adult mentor &/or counselors to address the issues that caused their suspension.

What does this mean for you? If these students’ behavior is not addressed and corrected they could begin their adult life in jail, addicted or both and usually without a high school diploma. The costs to our communities, when invested in higher jail populations, substance abuse programs, increased crime rates, government assistance and needs of the unemployed, are far greater than the funding necessary to sustain the U-Turn Academy.
The U-Turn Academy has a proven track record of SUCCESS:
- Over 90% of the students served successfully complete the program & return to school
- Approximately 90% of students improve their GPA after returning to school
- Nearly 90% of students do not re-offend

We are actively fundraising to keep this incredibly valuable program running.

Perhaps Jordan, the former U-Turn Academy graduate mentioned above, says it best: “The U-Turn program acted not only as a guide for me but also a support system. Before the program, I was regularly using K2, alcohol and any pill I could get my hands on. I’d always been determined to succeed in life, but had developed terrible habits that could’ve eventually consumed me if I’d not had the opportunity to attend U-Turn. …the U-Turn program made an everlasting positive affect… They helped me realize that I am worth more than how I was living and that there really are good, caring people in the world. Without having attended the program, I believe I would have struggled with my demons for a much longer time and would not be as strong of a citizen as I am today. I hope that this program will live on to help shape young lives like it did mine.”

You can learn more about this great program at: www.volunteersforyouth.com



We have been running silent auctions for almost 20 years. It started with the Harvest Festival at our local elementary school. We raised $100 here,.. $1,000 there... and suddenly we were talking real money. After a few years we raised $12,000 - $14,000 dollars for the Arts and Music programs at our kids’ schools. When our kids became part of The School of Environmental Leadership, we were running silent auctions, renting bigger venues, and raising even more money.

The first two years we managed with an Excel sheet and printed bid-sheets using Word. But last minute changes were needed, the market value changed, the starting bid was too low, the sheets started to look inconsistent and unprofessional… updates kept springing up. These last-minute changes made the whole process hectic.

We looked around for a company who made Silent Auction software, and we found a few but many had limitations. The software was old, not intuitive, and taking a class was imperative just to get started; also it was expensive ($500 PLUS 9% of earnings). For our event, that would have been $1,800 that would NOT go to the students’ education. We only wanted to spend the price of a couple of pizzas... So we decided to write our own software.

After using Pearl Bids for a few years, it occurred to us that other people could also benefit from what we had created. During the next few years we re-wrote the software to make it simpler to use and to include more reports. We then added Accountant Reports, Sign-in Sheets, and we integrated Pearl Receipts in Pearl Bids. This allows you to email invoices using a PayPal button. In the years the followed many features and enhanced functionality has been added.

Now, we hope that YOU will enjoy using Pearl Bids, and that you will raise a lot of money for your cause.


Ward Bouwman
President, Pearl Bids


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