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School Fundraiser Project

Conquering the world… one keychain at a time.

I was contacted back in October by Mr. Toy, at Westborough Middle School in South San Francisco, about perhaps working with him and his students on a Christmastime fundraiser, to raise money for a class trip to the National Steinbeck Center and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I had never done anything like this and was, at first, skeptical about the logistics and time frame allotted for production of a large wholesale order in the midst of my busiest season. After a couple of emails back and forth, we had the details worked out and the plan came together.

Mr. Toy had it all worked out. He created flyers/order forms, with photos of my handmade products for the students to take around and make sales. Beginning the first school day after Thanksgiving, the students had two weeks to sell and collect monies for their orders. He then scanned the orders into .pdf files, sent them to me. I totaled them up and sent him a PayPal invoice for the agreed wholesale prices. He paid the invoice immediately and production was begun at my end.

The students had sold 183 of my handmade, personalized keychains. After carving and finishing, I separated each student's order into their own zip lock baggie, with a copy of their order form, put them all into a Priority Mail box, and off they went.

Because of my pesky "real" job, turnaround (payment to shipping) was necessarily extended to 8 days, but could have been half that, had I been at it full time. Mr. Toy received my package exactly 2 weeks from the date of purchase and distributed the packages amongst the participating students for delivery.

These are the personalized items that they took orders for.

Standard Keychains
(5/8×5/8") in Red Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Maple and White Oak;


MiniTags
(3/8×3/8") in Red Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Maple and White Oak;


Love Keychains in Maple and Cherry;


Specialty Keychains: HeartFobs and MusicFobs
(5/8×5/8") in Red Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Maple and White Oak,
inlaid with Paduak hearts and Purpleheart music notes ;



Here is a photo of the completed total, before separating into individual orders.
183 handmade gifts!


As a sales incentive, I offered 1 free keychain to students selling five or more items on an order.

This was a positive experience for me. I didn't make a whole lot on the deal, but I really enjoy doing these. Thanks to the work of Mr. Toy and the students who did such a great job selling, I will welcome future projects like this from schools, churches, and other organizations.

You can review my body of work here on Flickr.

Peace in Wood,
Scott

Gallery

Comments

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1,069 Posts
That was quite the production run.
I am impressed.
 

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19,716 Posts
Amazing work, wow I can't imagine the man hours it took to make all of those great name key chains. It sounds like it was a super success.
 

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35 Posts
What a heartwarming story….Can you blog this a little more? I have a daughter who is a third grade teacher,
and we have been brainstorming how she can earn a little money as well.
I'd like to know the specifics of costs and profit margin, etc…
thanks!
 

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Thanks y'all! It's always great to hear from fellow Lumberjocks.

SASmith and a1Jim ~ I have about 32 hours wrapped up in this particular run.

SteveW ~ I don't want to overstep the Lumberjock guideline, about conducting business here. Please email me if you are interested in more info.
 

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169 Posts
Scott-That is really cool. Nice fundraiser for the kids to do. I agree with the others-IMPRESSIVE !!!
 

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Nice one.
Way better than selling chocolate bars, or something made offshore.
Way to support the students.

Mike
 

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7 Posts
You deserve a personal key chain of your own.
Great job!
 

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62 Posts
Scott Well done and always a pity that the job that pays the bills gets in the way of the joy of woodwork Well done again Regards Roger and a Blessed Christmas and NEW Year to all
 

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112 Posts
Thanks again, folks. Y'all have a Merry Christmas and Lucky 2012.

MIND YOUR DIGITS!
 

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9,733 Posts
very impressive!!!

good for you.
 
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