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Shortpig

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I went to my boss yesterday and ran an idea by him I have been thinking about for a long time. I suggested our office head up a request in our community to collect school supplies and clothing for the foster children in our area. I figured we could have a collection barrel in our office and people could come in and drop off no questions asked. Then we will find a location where we can store these items until right before school starts. At that time we will turn all the items collected over to our local Adult & Children Services office so

they can be distributed to the proper children. He said "Great Idea". He is going to contact groups he is a member of. I contacted our local Grocery Outlet store and they have agreed to put flyers in everyones grocery bag. They can't display the flyer or hang them on the doors but they can put them in their bags.

Great! There are several places where I can put them in windows around town. The local Post Office has a board where I can display one. We are going to contact the local Rotary, Kiwanis, Veterans of Foreign Wars,

American Legion, Senior Center, Lazarus Project and any others we can think of.

Yesterday I got approval from our Field Supervision Office at Headquarters to do this. Only limitation is we cannot under any circumstances accept cold hard cash. I was excited to learn that we can accept gift cards.

Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to contact people. As we will more than likely eat the cost

of the flyers and he has agreed to help get them posted around town I won't be able to put much of my own money into advertising. That will take away from the children.

All suggestions will be appreciated.
 

lilhorseladie

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IF you can e mail your flyer to the big businesses in your area, they can share it with employees, or fax. That will get the word out. Also, Churches.
 

barnbum

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I'd suggest contacting the social worker at your school. Ours puts together several backpacks filled with school supplies for whoever needs one in the fall. Usually the teachers let her know who didn't come in with items. Plus, the school does "Dress Down Days" and collects a LOT money for kids at Christmas time. I'm always in awe at what the teachers in our building alone can do, when a project is district wide--it's amazing. So--I bet the school may be able to help in some way.

Bravo to you for wanting to help.
Thank you.
 

Shortpig

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I forgot to say we are contacting the local churches also. The idea of emailing or faxing to local businesses however is a great idea. I will try to gather fax numbers to send to or email addresses. Hadn't thought of that one. It isn't a flashy flyer, just matter of fact. Trying to keep the cost of reproduction to a minimum on printing.
 

strass

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I don't really have any ideas to add, but wanted to Thank You for your efforts. It's a good cause.
 

Miniv

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What a lovely idea........ Don't forget your local newspaper could write up a special interest story about it.
 

susanne

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Aargh...I had a long post all written up and then my computer crashed! So here's my second attempt...

GREAT idea...good for you, and good for EJ for recognizing and supporting this.

A few suggestions (I used to promote a lot of non-profits)...

Are you focusing on Scappoose or making this county-wide? Much of the need may well be out in the rural area, and Scappose, St. Helens, Vernonia, Rainier are pretty much intertwined.

Although our "favorite" newspaper publisher is a bit stingy, I would still ask her to be a sponsor-in-kind, supporting your drive with articles and ads. You might cleverly mention that you wanted to offer this to her before going to other papers, such as the Big O.

...or...the bigwig owner of that other paper always wants to promote all of his papers as "family-oriented," and they are still trying to dominate the market in this area. It might well behoove them to get involved.

Whether a newspaper sponsors you or not, send press releases to all county and Portland media, newspaper, radio and television. Give them all the details needed, including quotes and photos if possible...newspapers often have holes to fill, and if your info is right at their fingertips, they are likely to use it. But be well aware of their deadlines...the biggest complaint regarding such events is inadequate notice.

Line up kids from a school, church, Scout troop, etc., to hand out flyers door-to-door. Kids helping other kids is always a big hit.

Columbia Funeral Home donates an ad each week in the Chronicle for charitable events.

Ask other businesses, especially a printer, to donate their services in support.

How about getting other businesses involved in having donation barrels in their stores. You could avoid Grocery Outlet's competitors, but still cover a wide range.

Talk to the County Chamber of Commerce about being a supporter. Ask the 13 Nights concert organizers to hand out flyers or even make an announcement from the stage. Ditto the Farmer's Market.

I believe that their website still has an events listing...ask them to mention you there.

If you're still walking Ariel in the 4th of July parade, you could make a sign for her promoting the drive.

Talk to Chris at Richardson's Furniture...he and his wife are incredibly kind, generous people who support numerous causes and always donates space in his ads mentioning charity events.

Talk to other big businesses about supporting this. Some, like the car dealerships, are desperate for any publicity; others, like the paper mill, need to look good in the community. Others,like Morris Brothers, have a company policy of supporting their communities.

Some businesses may be willing to include a mention to their email database...or they may be able to mention this on their website.

Ask the car dealership to put a mention on their big Hwy 30 reader board in St. Helens.

Many people/businesses are generous and willing to help, but don't have a clue to the many ways that they can give. Make a flyer specifically for business listing creative ways even a tiny business can help.

A ton of cars go through the various coffee stands along Hwy 30...how about a sticker for their cups? That way it wouldn't take time in their morning...they could put them on ahead of time.

How about putting on your own special event...ice cream social, pancake breakfast, farm concert, barn dance, etc. Get volunteers to provide entertainment (I know a certain guitarist who would volunteer, also get some big local names...) Admission would be the donation of one item of clothing, food could be donated, kids could help out along with employees of gtenerous businesses.

More ideas where those came from...
 

Shortpig

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Thanks for all the ideas. Now my head is spinning. I have spoken with the head of the State Foster Care center for Columbia County. They are excited. She is going to let me use her business card on the flyer so people realize they can call her to verify this is not a scam. This is my first ever so I'm starting from scratch. Needing all the support I can get.
 

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