Recently I visited a boutique in another beach town. I was hit coming in and out by a kids gymnastics group who was raising money. The kids ranged in ages 5 to 10. I slipped by them the first time but coming out was a different story. They cornered me asking for a donation which I was happy to do but thought... don’t I get a handstand or something for that donation? Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t do a handstand if my life depended on it. I would give myself 2 black eyes if you get my drift. But what happened to singing for your supper?
On the drive home I couldn’t help but think about how we raised money for things when I was young. Car washes and bake sales and lemonade stands. Good old fashioned lemonade stands. Heck, at 7 years old I was out in the neighborhood selling girl scout cookies door to door. My mom had us trained to be little Amway people early. Once I hit up the neighborhood, my grandma would take me to her office, the capitol building. 22 floors high and I hit every one of them peddling the girl scout cookies. And sometimes we would time it right and Senate or House of Representatives would be in session and they would add to the orders. Our dining room smelled like a cookie factory when the cookie boxes were delivered.
Then I went on to Young Actor’s Theater for a couple of years. With each show that was put on we were tasked with selling ads for the program that would be distributed at each performance. My mom sat me down at the kitchen bar and gave me phone book, told me to turn to the yellow pages and start calling. I just started cold calling places and told them what I was doing and what I was looking for and for $25 each I think I got about 20 ads.
But I cannot forget the funniest thing I ever remember making and selling. My great grandmother lived in a nice retirement apartment complex and she taught me how to needlepoint using those plastic forms. She taught how to make just one thing. A cigarette holder. Looking back it was the ugliest thing ever but served a purpose. I was so proud of the first one I completed. And so was my great grandma. So proud in fact that she toured me around door-to-door showing it off and taking orders. She took her cut out of the sale of course. I needle-pointed my fingers off until all orders were done. That's probably what kept me from ever smoking!!
Well times have changed and things are different from the olden days but the concept is still the same. When I see young kids raising money for what they're doing and working at it, it brings back fun memories. So if you see kiddos out there hustling for their cause, consider giving to them. They're earning it!
Part of Issue 21: