I was up with the chickens again this week. I didn’t plan to get up quite as early, but I left my alarm set to wake me up at 5:00 (which is the time I got up for the yardsale last week). I didn’t want to get up until 6:00, but that’s just the way it goes. Since it was midnight when I went to sleep, I was a wee bit tired, but a shower woke me up. I did some work, then headed to town to help out with the 4-H bake sale we were doing today. I had made brownies and cookies. I was in charge of bringing tables and I brought signs with prices and I brought a chair to sit in. I didn’t bring children, That was my one mistake. I was envisioning four hours of boredom and my daughter, in particular, moaning about when were we going to go home and couldn’t I buy her something. I also wasn’t sure any of the other moms were going to bring their kids (I should have asked, but it just didn’t occur to me…too many other things on my mind right now).
So we went and got set up. We had brownies, peanut butter cookies, 1/2 a lemon pound cake, 4 loaves of bread, cupcakes, muffins, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter granola bars, and bags of popcorn. We started selling at approximately 9:00 a.m. and sold until 1 p.m. We had signs up that we were selling baked goods to raise money so we could send soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait care packages. We explained to people that we would be sending the care packages to unit leaders who would then pass out the items to those soldiers who didn’t get much if anything from home. People opened their hearts and their wallets.
Many would buy $1.00 worth of cookies and then give us another $1 – $5 as a donation.
Another mom had a wonderful suggestion of putting a glass jar on our table so that people who wanted to make donations without buying baked goods could do so. We placed two U.S. flags in the jar. We had a poster with photos of the soldiers we would be sending our items to. And then we made posters for the children that came. They said things like ‘Help Support Our Troops’ ‘We are going to send them care pacakges.’ There were a couple of girls and four young boys that were holding the signs and asking for donations. They also had a metal jar that people could put money in. Among themselves, they worked out a great system. They lined up at the door where people were exiting. One would say, support our troops, another would say ‘we’re having a bake sale over there.’ and point to the table and then the can was present, but not in an obnoxious way.
When someone put money in the tin can, the boys would then sing “Thank You”, one after the other. It is hard to describe, but if you have ever seen the movie “White Christmas” where the four are sitting in the train singing “Snow, snow, snow, snow”? Well, that’s how the boys did ‘Thank You.’ Those boys, who stood there for four hours and came up with their own way to attract the attention of people walking by raised $290.60!!!!!
I haven’t been so moved in a long time. By the hard work of the children (the girls were the ones who made the beautiful signs and helped hold them up, btw) and by the generosity of those coming out. So many thanked us and told us of family members and friends that they had overseas. It was an amazing morning and I was blessed to be part of it.
On Monday, we will be sending 4 boxes of leftover cookies, brownies and popcorn to the two soldiers. On Thursday, we will be putting together supplies that they requested and mailing those and we plan to mail some more in December and to have a yard sale in January so we can continue to support them throughout the year.
In case you don’t know, you can get a flat rate priority mail box and stuff it full (weight doesn’t matter) and send it to a soldier ofr $8.95. If you don’t know a soldier, then call your local Army/Marine/Navy/Air Force recuruiting office and get the name of a soldier. They are sacrificing so much by being away from their families and protecting others. Whether you believe in the war or not, support the men and women who are doing their job. Skip one dinner out this month and send a care package or two. You will brighten their day and you will feel a bit better yourself.