My two youngest kids from Haiti are participating in Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading. They love it. My son Jackson is eleven years old. He wears a size 11 shoe, is almost as tall as me, and weighs in at around 190, give or take a few. He was born to play football. I am pretty sure the NFL will be calling me any day and I’m banking on it for my retirement. My daughter, just six months younger is athletic, slender, bubbly and a perfect little cheerleader.
What I didn’t realize about signing them up for sports this fall was that I didn’t get to just drop them off and go on my merry way. My dreams of quiet evenings with the kids at practice turned out to be misguided.
I have duties apparently.
I found myself sitting in the concession stand booth last Thursday evening selling hotdogs and Gatorade. It’s a requirement for parents to participate and as I doled out bubble gum to five year olds I was wondering how I got myself into even more responsibility than I ever wanted. Did I mention that all four of my kids are going to four different schools and I still travel back and forth to Haiti to work with our artisans on a monthly basis? I feel like I am burning the candle at both ends!
What I learned through my time as concessionaire last Thursday is that the fee I paid to sign my kids up for sports is only a fraction of the budget to keep things running. The league relies on donations, parent support, volunteers for coaches and administrative work etc.. and it is no small task to keep things running on the shoestring budget that they manage to make work.
The concession stand is the main source of income.
You can imagine how my wheels started spinning. Every city in America has a little league, a soccer league, a football league, a dance team, a school, a cheer squad. And they all need money.
Every single one of them is fundraising right now.
This week I just happened to be taking pictures of our “team” bracelets that are made by our artisans in Haiti. They come in any color combination- yellow and black, blue and gold, green and silver and can be ordered in any quantities at discounted wholesale prices for resale.
I think of my own attempts at selling cookies, candies, calendars and more for fundraisers through my life and I wonder how much more meaningful it could be if that school or team fundraiser could literally be changing lives in the process. Win-Win! Your team gets the funding it needs and a mama in Haiti gets to put food on the table for her children. It seems like a no brainer.
But I am not the best salesperson.
My kids are the Merritt Island Mustangs. Their colors are black and yellow. I wonder how I can present this to the coaches and board members to see if they would allow us to sell our bracelets at the concessions stand. A hot dog, a Gatorade, 5 pieces of bubble gum and a bracelet to save a life. Imagine the impact if even 30 sports teams got behind it?
So here is what I need! I need help to spread the word! I am a sheepishly introverted phonaphobe and find sales to be so difficult. But maybe you aren’t? Maybe you, my friend, are just the person who could walk up to your children’s coach or teacher or school principal and talk to them about this fundraiser idea that will make money and change lives at the same time.
We would be happy to make samples for your school or team and make sure that you can sell them for a great price and still make money. In this season of sports and school starting back up and fundraising, I hope and pray that it becomes yet another opportunity to see lives changed for the good in Haiti!
WIN - WIN!