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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Five Below Day!

Well this one had a bittersweet ending...

I routinely checked the 3 day message boards, sometimes needing ideas and sometimes just needing a little inspiration.  I had read that Five Below sponsored fundraising days, where they will contribute 10% of their sales for a day to an organization. Well this sounded simple, so I drafted a letter to the manager and off to Five Below I went!

Turns out I didn't even need to convince anyone of the importance of my cause, which with my letter in hand I was scared but thoroughly prepared to do!  All I had to do was pick the date I wanted to do my fundraiser!  The manager told me we were allowed to have a presence in the store that day, so I asked if it would be acceptable to have a bake sale in front of the store for the day.  She told me that was fine, but we couldn't sell anything that would compete with the merchandise in their store, so no bracelet sales that day.  She handed me a copy of the flyer customers needed to hand to the cashier on the day of our fundraiser to give us the 10%, and told me she'd see me then.  This was MUCH easier than I thought!

So my teammates and I made an insane amount of flyers, and handed them out to everyone.  I even took a chance and "illegally" put them on the table in the break room at work and posted a few on the bulletin board in the library in town.  And of course with the lessons from the 1st bake sale fresh in our minds, we unfroze and baked in preparation of another bakesale.  I still packaged some of the newly baked things in pretty packaging and attached my leftover business cards to them, and we still had our breast cancer awareness themed tablecloth, but we definitely scaled it down this time around.  My daughter once again (God bless her) volunteered to help, so with markers, poster board, yummy food, and lots of enthusiasm in tow we were off to bakesale number 2!

In retrospect, I think this was the day I truly came out of my shell, left my comfort zone, and embraced being a little zany in my fundraising.  It was one thing to fund-raise on facebook, with letters, or at a slightly somber church bake sale, but quite another thing to walk up in down the sidewalk at a strip mall, wearing all pink (including a newly purchased pink boa), with pink streaks in my hair and a pink lanyard adorned in buttons, carrying a sign announcing our bakesale/ Five Below Day!  I handed out flyers to everyone that walked even close to Five Below that day, and even shouted down a co-worker who happened to drive by us!  And I had a blast doing it.

We made a little more money this time around, and of course Five Below had a large stack of flyers that were turned in that day.  So we gave them our donation forms, explained again that we were splitting the money 3 ways (though all 3 checks were of course still made out to SGK), and we were done!  Another relatively easy fundraiser success!

Now for the bittersweet part...  Though I am sure that (because they made the check out to Susan G. Komen and mailed it to the address on the donation form) the money went toward finding a cure, it was never credited to our fundraising "accounts."  We waited to see the numbers on our personal 3Day fundraising pages increase, but after a few months of waiting it never posted the Five Below donation.  I called and talked   to 2 different managers, but they weren't sure if they were mailed as 3 separate checks like they were supposed to be, or one check mailed in.  So due to a failure on the part of Five Below's management, we never did get that straightened out.  Luckily we had already met our minimum donation requirement to participate in the walk, so I didn't hound them on it.

But this was an important one for me personally, because I lost a little of the "fear of fundraising" and actually had fun!  I definitely needed that for the near future with my BIG fundraiser coming up...

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