To the Editor:
I enjoyed “Don’t Box Me In” (February 2006), but read with interest that the brown-bag appeal was “pioneered” by City Harvest in the mid-1990s. In about 1989, I used a brown-bag mailing to invite donors to take their lunch to work and donate what they would have paid for a day’s lunch, or a week’s worth, or the cost of taking the whole office gang out. This
appeal benefitted people with developmental disabilities, served by The Arc of Multnomah County in Portland, Ore., for 10 years running. Our donors knew when to expect the appeal and, of course, it was immediately recognizable to them. I’m not certain that ours was even the first, but it was certainly earlier than that started by City Harvest in the mid-1990s.
I guess there really isn’t anything truly unique in the world of fundraising, but sharing ideas can benefit everyone served through the world of nonprofits.
— Judith Kearney,
director of development,
The ASME Foundation
To the Editor:
Your article “Teens No Strangers to Volunteerism” (Briefings, February 2006) struck a cord with me. As the former administrator of a children’s psychiatric hospital (Devereux Florida, Viera Campus), I have some experience with teen volunteerism.
My hospitalized children had an opportunity to support the local General Federation of Women’s Clubs with their initiative to raise money for Operation Smile, which oversees medical/surgical intervention for children who are severely disfigured and require extensive facial surgery.
About 45 of my 150 children and adolescent population rose to the occasion. They devised three fundraisers for my self-contained campus including a car wash, bake sale and walk-a-thon [called] “Walking a Mile for a Smile!” Additionally, staff conducted a bake sale of their own.
During the month in which these fundraisers occurred, an interesting dynamic was revealed. Not only did the children gravitate to this work, they exceeded everyone’s expectations. Soliciting from no one other than the 250 staff of the facility, these emotionally impaired and some developmentally disabled children raised $800!