Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Great Way to Earn Money For Clubs and Organizations - Recycling

I started something in 2010 that was such a huge blessing to my family that I wanted to share it with you. I had some issues come up today that made me need to get into my filing cabinet and look for some information.

As often happens in my world, I got side tracked at that point cleaning out the filing cabinet! I organized some bank statement for the girls and then moved on to some other files that had been neglected for years. I don't schedule cleaning out the file cabinet but it happens every few years as I have reason to flip through it.

One of the files I was able to pull out and discard was my file on "recycling" which I started in 2010. I started it as a fundraiser and it helped our family for years. I couldn't have known at that point how many people it would help or the friends I would make from doing the project but it was a blessing all the way around.

I had all five girls in the Drill Team at one point or another. Sometimes, I had two girls on the team at the same time. It wasn't so much of an issue when my older girls were on the team as the High School had a program where kids that had fees of any kind could work summers doing different projects at the school to work off the fees at minimum wage.

I have a five year age gap between my second and third daughter so by the time Princess Three attended the school, the policy had changed. They could no longer work and get paid. The only kids that could work there were doing restitution in some form for other reasons and they couldn't actually give money to the kids.

I didn't have the over $1,000 that it would cost for her to participate on the team. She had already tried out and made the team and I didn't feel like I could pull her off the team but being a single mom, I didn't have that kind of funds for extra stuff. It all went to daily living and things like braces. In all the years my kids were on the team, they had never had a fund raiser. The instructor said she was too busy but if I wanted to do something, I could.

I know God is real as he has helped me in every experience and trial and I have felt His influence when I had no way to help myself. This inspiration was FAR above me. I prayed for ways to be able to allow my girls to participate in activities and I was able to trade out cleaning for my girls gymnastic and dance classes but I couldn't trade the school out for fees so I prayed for help and this idea came to me in answer to that prayer.

I came up with an idea about recycling. I had never even known we had a recycle place and hadn't ever taken stuff in to get recycled. I threw away all sorts of stuff over the years that I knew could be recycled but it wasn't until around this time that I found out about this place.

I found out where there were recycle places in town. One place only did aluminum. The other place was a ways out of town and did all sorts of different metals. I contacted both places and asked if they would team up with us to help the team. They both agreed to help and said they would give us an extra 10% on top of what they usually paid for recycled materials! Step one was a success!

For advertising, the papers and radio want paid advertising but if it is for a "group" and will help the environment and keep things out of the land fill, they sometimes will do a "feels good" story. This was the case for us. We were able to get pictures in the paper of the girls cleaning up a farm and when they put out a dumpster to collect metals. They didn't run a huge article but even just the picture with a description helped.

The radio had a morning interview show where they interviewed me asking about what metals we would take and when people could drop them off etc.

The city didn't want to allow us to put a sign up showing an arrow and telling people where they could recycle because ordinances say the sign has to be for the business inside. We were able to contact an owner of an abandoned building and they allowed us with the cities "OK" to put up a sign you see at the top of the page telling people where to donate their recycled metals.

I thought it would be great to have the school send home a letter about saving the metals and cans and then just have a truck in the parking lot one day a semester and allowing the kids or parents to just throw their stuff on the truck. They could even have class competitions and weigh the stuff. I never did get to that point as my life was so busy and what I did covered what I needed it to cover so it worked.

After the radio show, we got a call from a farmer who had inherited a farm where the farmer kept piles of scrap. He asked if the girls would like to recycle all of it if we were willing to clean it up. I contacted both recycle places and they both were willing to help. One put an empty dumpster on the site and the other was willing to come pull all the old farm equipment that was too large for us to move onto a truck and recycle it.

We found some copper and brass at the site and that gave us just over $100 with the one bin. The larger farm equipment gave us over $400! There were about 12 girls that showed up for the day and they all made $50 for the hour or two they worked! That was great pay for teenage girls! Then we asked the school which girls may need a little help paying their fees and put the left over onto those girls accounts. I don't know that the girls ever even knew they had help on their fees!

The city allowed us to send out a notice with the water bill stating what we were collecting and where they could donate their metals and I had my contact information on there so I could pick things up if needed. I never got any calls but it did raise awareness of what we were doing.

I contacted a glass repair place asking about the pile of metals they had behind their store and they told me I could have it as it was actually the states pile from their window upgrade program but when I mentioned it was for the drill summer camps and treats, the guy backed out and his brother told me they used the pile to pay for his sons baseball camp. I suggest if you are doing this, don't give the donors ideas. He obviously didn't know the value of the pile before I told him about it and it wasn't his. The state guys told me I could have it but since it was on the shops land, he took it.

It took a bit of work at first but in the end, it really helped out the teams as I was able to purchase the items that would have come out of the fund or the girls would have had to purchase the treat bags and "good luck" items out of pocket and sometimes, it went directly to the girls.

I had a few people that knew I was doing it donate it to the place and ask that the money be put directly towards my girls. I had one man who was close to our family clean out his barn and he took in old pipes etc and we got over $100 for my girls fees.

People truly do want to help and I would have donated all the stuff I threw away for years had I known and the fact that it could have helped someone. Sometimes, people just need to know how to help. Donating something that they were going to throw away anyway can help them feel good and know they are helping a good cause.

I am SO grateful to all the people who donated over the years and were so good to help. It was SUCH a BLESSING to our family for those girls. A few years back, the man that ran the recycle place and bin had a stroke and the garbage company wanted their bin back so it wasn't available for my youngest the past few years but at that point, I didn't have as many kids to support and her sisters helped cover her cheer camps etc. I had to share this last picture where the aluminum can donation was $111! Totally not a coincidence in my mind! If you don't know about that number, feel free to look up the "111" posts on my blog for a greater understanding. Here is a link to the first post about that.

Hopefully, this idea can help others just by sharing how it helped us. It really is a good way to gather funds without taking anything from anyone else. People can help just by donating their soda cans and trash!

Have a BLESSED Day!

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