Beads for BAsics — Mango Chutney and Mango Bread Sale — Plant Sale
During the month of July we held a couple of small fundraisers for the BAsics Bus Tour. Each of the projects involved new people in many different ways and as a result we were able to raise more than $1200; spread word about the Bus Tour and BAsics to many people who didn’t know about it before; and while working on these projects together, people looked at the tumblr site and watched the videos and had fun! Here’s a description of the projects.
“Beads for BAsics”
Revolution Books put out a broad call on its e-list asking people to drop off their old jewelry at the store and supporters asked their co-workers to bring in their jewelry as well. Within days there was a sack full. Sorting the jewelry turned out to be a lot of fun. A few pieces looked valuable and were brought to an appraiser, who bought two pieces. An attractive table display for the jewelry was put together, and the owner of a small boutique gave permission to sell the jewelry on the sidewalk in front of her store. A display of BAsics, palm cards, and a leaflet about the Bus Tour was set up beside the display.
A lot of people stopped to check out the jewelry and were happy to find inexpensive gifts, but what happened was far more than just selling jewelry. A woman with two young daughters carefully read the BAsics 1:13 palm card and then told about being abused by her husband and escaping to a shelter. She liked the quote, was inspired by the bus tour, and bought a glittery bracelet for each of her delighted children.
Another couple stopped to look at the jewelry, but when the husband saw that the sale was a benefit to spread BA Everywhere, he grabbed his wife’s arm, whispered “communists,” and pulled her to a nearby bus stop. After sitting down for a few minutes she got up and purposefully walked over to the table and bought several items. Another man stopped to look, but when he saw the word “communist” he asked antagonistically: “What’s so great about communism?” We said we’d be happy to explain why we thought communism was great, but we wanted him to tell us why capitalism was so great first. He stopped for a minute, looked chagrined, and then said capitalism was a failure. A long discussion followed and he ended up buying a pin for his mom, some earrings for his nieces, and then thanked us and made an additional donation for the tour. He showed up at Revolution Books that afternoon, and his mom came to hear a talk by Ann Wright on the drone war at the bookstore the following day.
“Beads for BAsics” turned out to be a bigger success than we had dared hope for. We raised about $750.00, while at the same time spreading word about the BAsics Bus Tour – and had fun doing it.
Mango Chutney and Mango Bread Sale:
Some of us had read about the sale of tamales in another area and asked ourselves what we could make. One woman had a mango tree that was producing a bumper crop of mangos and put out a call to her co-workers to make mango chutney and mango bread to raise money for the BAsics Bus Tour. Small teams, each with different people participating, got together to can the chutney and bake the bread. Most really didn’t know much about the BAsics Bus Tour, but knew it was a “good thing” and wanted to help out. While cooking they got a chance to talk about the Tour, look at the tumblr site and watch some videos. In fact, the cooking sessions were so popular that friends of those who did it were still asking for a chance to join up even as the mango season had ended. More than $450 was raised from the sale of the bread and chutney, and everyone who bought received materials about the tour. The people who participated didn’t have much money to contribute, but were really proud of the contribution they had made.
One supporter put together small hanging planters made from air plants growing in her yard. and primarily sold them to her co-workers. The cost was minimal. She raised about $100 and was able to spread word about the bus tour while doing it.
This is the first time our BA Everywhere team has attempted to organize smaller projects and we’re really happy with the results. When we first got together to talk about how we could both promote the tour and raise funds we came up with a lot of possible projects, but there was also a great deal of skepticism around whether the ideas would actually materialize (or raise much money even if they did). Our successes have shown us new ways to fundraise, have raised spirits in the process, and have enabled us to reach out to a lot of new people in the process.