Mother’s Day Stalls
In my youth, Mother’s and Father’s Day was always preceded by a craft stall at the school, and I and every other child would get all excited to see what our $2 could buy to light up our parent’s face. And my mother’s face did light up – although looking back, I’m not quite certain why. That plate I got from the mother’s day stall with the cheesy poem on it was a particular winner. It was completely tacky and spectacularly unsuitable to display anywhere. I remember being so excited as a 7-year-old in the days leading up to Mother’s Day, as I thought I had discovered the secret gift that would make my mother happy forever. This excitement in the eyes of our children is the true gift on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day stalls are a staple at some schools, but many have abandoned them due to the workload involved. Most parents simply do not have the time these days to create gifts to donate to the stall. There are ways to bring back the Mother’s Day stall or take-home gifts, and the parents of Australia must unite to bring them back!
Option 1: Class-made gifts
Most primary school or kindergarten students will create a card or small gift for mothers within their classroom. A fundraising activity that can supplement or replace this is the artwork that is turned into a gift, such as teatowels, aprons or melamine plates. [click here for suppliers].
The trick is to get the kids to take the order form to someone other than mum so it stays a surprise, but these can make lovely, personal gifts.
Option 2: Mother’s Day stall
The old-fashioned Mothers Day Stall is still within reach of busy committees. Small businesses have popped up to fill the gap, and provide a range of small gifts (better quality than when I was at school!) that can be bought with small change. All the organiser needs to do is estimate the quantity to order and set a day. Here are some recommendations:
- Order your stock so it arrives at least a week ahead of schedule, preferably two. Be careful not to over-order as many places will not accept returns.
- Promote the day well ahead of time – get up on assembly, send a note home and also put it in the newsletter.
- Think about holding the stall at lunchtime, but consider bringing the littlies down earlier during class time to avoid the stampede.
- Get the older kids to hold a gift-wrapping stall, and donate the proceeds to a charity (or add it to your fundraising total). Go to a florist or gift wholesaler to purchase bulk quantities of wrapping paper. You may wish to offer free gift wrapping but ask for a donation of, say, 50c.
- Prepare a report card on the activity, so you can have a better idea of how to run it next year. This will be particularly important with gift quantities.
Option 3: Mother’s Day stall – re-gifted gifts or recycled gifts
With enough time, you can arrange for loads of re-gifted gifts or recycled gifts. One mum I know actually received a Tiffany cuff! She isn’t sure whether it is actually a napkin ring but it doesn’t matter – it came in the blue box with the white satin ribbon and a very savvy young 2 year old boy picked it out for his mum! Soaps, hand lotions, books, beach towels, tea towels…. the list of items re-gifted at a recent child care fundraising event was enormous. Second-hand books seemed to be the most popular and such a good idea for a $2 gift!
aka the Fundraising Whisperer