(Here’s another “does anybody but me remember” question: Does anyone but me remember “give the an to Stan; he’s the man in the tan van” on Sesame Street? I tried looking up the image for the guy in the trench coat for this post, but I couldn’t find him from that skit; this was as close as I could get (and do be a dear and try to ignore the fact that it looks like Ernie is picking his nose, would you?)…)
I’m going to go out and represent CHS today at a book fair at our local Barnes and Noble. I’m dressed in teacher clothes, I’ve got a dozen balloons in school colors being blown up as we speak (I hope they’ll all fit in my car!), and I’m going to photocopy 50 vouchers with CHS’s donation number on them in the hopes that a lot of people will be willing to let a portion of their purchases be donated to our school.
I’ve asked about half a dozen kids to come and perform something at the store; one girl is going to “do” art right there in the store – she’ll set up an easel and sketch for most of the afternoon (I don’t know about you, but I find that impossible to not watch – whenever someone’s out in the open drawing or painting, I can’t help but watch for a while). Several kids are bringing their guitars, one girl is bringing a keyboard, and yet another is going to recite poetry. I’m relatively certain that the principal and the music teacher are coming, too, and they’ll probably play a set, as well. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
If this goes well, I’m going to make it a twice-yearly event for the school. I’m also looking into other similar fund-raising opportunities; one of our local pizza shops (which I adore!) does a “percentage of every bill goes to your organization” fundraiser, and I know that many of the big chains do this sort of thing, as well – Applebee’s is one of them, I think, and I know Uno’s does, because I’ve participated in it. I think that, especially in this kind of economy, people want to “get” something for their donations. Having a percentage of money you’re going to spend anyway go toward a cause you support feels like an entirely painless way of giving (because, really, it’s the company that’s doing the giving, but whatever).
The point of all this rambling is that I suspect there’s a great deal of advantage to be taken of these programs; it just requires the effort on someone’s (my) part to organize them. The Barnes and Noble gig was stupidly easy to set up, the coordinator at the store is awesome and, if this all works out well, I’ll be that much more inspired to do it again.
Wish us luck!