A Sweet Lesson for Kids on Giving Back

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We did this fun (easy) charity project last year with my then 4 1/2 year old daughter Emma and I wanted to share because it was such a sweet lesson for kids on giving back!

As many of you already know, in 2011, I organized a team through my blog to participate in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Run / Walk called Team Tiny Oranges. I signed both my daughters up for the 1K Kids’ Fun Run, so they each had a personal fundraising page for our team.

For Emma’s  fun-draising I thought it would be meaningful to find a way for her to get involved so we held a donut sale called “Emma’s Sweet Shop” at our bi-annual block yard sale.

In the end she raised over $258 of which we were able to donate 100% to the PCRF to help kids with cancer!

By the way, I JUST started Team Tiny Oranges 2012 to participate in the PCRF event this year on May 6th, 2012 so I would LOVE it if you and your families could join us and get involved!

If you can’t make it on that date, I hope this post might still inspire you to join our team as a “Virtual Participant” and you can do one of these projects with your kids without having to physically go on May 6th. However, I sure hope you can because it is a truly inspirational and amazing event!

Tips on How to Hold a Kids’ Charity Sale

1. Pick your sale item(s) – Since our yard sale was early AM, I thought it would be fitting (and EASY) to do donuts and ORANGE juice for Team Tiny Oranges. But you could sell anything!

About a week ahead of time I called up, Oh Those Donuts, to pre-order the donuts for pick-up. I asked to talk to the manager and briefly told him what I was doing and what the money was going to be donated to.I was shocked when he said he would be able to donate X number of donuts to help us! I wasn’t expecting any donation, so it goes to show you, it doesn’t hurt to mention it!

If you are ever in the Newport / Costa Mesa area, please show some love for Oh Those Donuts on Newport Boulevard! I LOVE a company with a big heart!

2. Pick your location – The yard sale was a perfect location for us as we had lots of people coming through our street that day.

But you could also pick a busy neighborhood park on a Saturday morning, a kids’ sports game (maybe sell bottled waters?!), or basically anyplace that gets a lot of people coming by.

If you call and speak to a manager at a grocery store ahead of time, you can often get approval to put up your stand outside their store if you book a date and time.

Or, stick your stand out on your front lawn and see what happens!

3. Get your materials ready. I suggest:

* 6′ table for set up and display (I also am a sucker for a cute tablecloth and possibly some tabletop decor! I got some fun Trader Joe’s daisies to brighten the table.) Along with a couple of chairs if you are going to be out there for a few hours.

* Some sort of way to keep your money organized. In our case, we used Emma’s play cash register from Lakeshore Learning. If your kids are old enough, this is an AMAZING math lesson on adding and subtracting to make change!

* Small bills for change. I went to the bank ahead of time and got a bunch of smaller bills, like $1’s and $5’s.

* Signage. I printed a sign and put it in a frame on the table to advertise the profits were 100% donated to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Helps with the sales and also makes sure people don’t balk at the price of the donuts! Ha!

* Napkins. We got a bunch of orange napkins from the $.99 Cent Store.

* Trash can or trash bag. Good to have handy for used napkins.


* Price things simple. We did the donuts at $1 / each or 3 donut holes for $1. That way you don’t have to make a bunch of change.

* Sales training. I had Emma greet people, take orders and and then say “thank you” after the sale for as long as she could last without getting tired. Good sales training I figure! Start ’em young! Hee hee…

* Send a quick email blast out to local friends.  The night before I sent a quick email blast out to friends telling them what we were doing and the times we would be there. A bunch of her friends came by to buy donuts and it was so fun to have the support of friends (and guaranteed customers!!!)

At the end, Emma and I added up all the money to see how much we raised and she was SO EXCITED! I immediately then went and made a donation myself in the amount to her page on our team and showed her the amount on the computer.

Of course I would LOVE you to do this project with your kiddos and join our team and donate to the PCRF, but this project and lesson on giving back can be used for any charity of your choice that has personal meaning to you.

Most importantly, I think it is so great to start young with getting kids involved in helping other people.  And also a good lesson in gratitude. 

If anyone out there does something like this, please send me pictures and let me know, would love to feature Tiny Oranges families at work to give back!




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