As you prepare to head back to the classroom this fall don’t be surprised to find an expanded request list in the way of supplies and financial support for programs in your school. With budget cuts and reduction in programs schools will be challenged like never before to keep up with the quality and level of services they provide. Enter… Greenfundraiserstore.com !
The company was created in early 2010 by a former public educator turned business owner/entrepreneur Donald Sherman. Years ago Sherman saw the need for financial support for his own science department that provided him a whopping $200 budget for the entire department school year. “It was really teaching with smoke and mirrors” , Sherman said. I was working on an entry level salary of less than $18,000 and then being asked to reach into my own pocket if I wanted to do anything beyond just the basic science. “Imagine a giant funnel that takes in basket loads of money at the top… then out comes the overhead of administration, buildings, maintenance, supplies, salaries, cafeteria services, transportation, energy costs and then out of the bottom squirts a drop for…. actual teaching? ”
Fast forward 25 years and Sherman has done what he could not do in those early days in public education. He has built a thriving insurance and financial services business in North Oakland County. Sherman says… ” I wanted to have an opportunity to control my families outcome and not get put on a schedule based on years of service and degree. Regardless of your performance in the classroom it was predetermined what your income capabilities were going to be… regardless of performance. You go to the schedule… look at your years of service… look at your degree… and there it is. I had 30 plus years teachers in my building with kids standing on the tables when I passed by and all I could think of was… why is this guy still here? And…. what happened to this persons passion that allows him to let this go on…. could that be me some day?
The bottom line here is that Sherman created Greenfundraiserstore.com as a public entity that helps in filling the financial gaps in schools , community groups and civic organizations. I am the father of 4 children and this year I have one child in elementary, one in middle school, and two in high school. Each grade level has its own level of need and support. For example, the high school kids are already into it for over $700 for pay to play sports fees. The middle school has it’s own unique needs an likely will be coming at us with fund raising for programs in the coming year that will offer poor nutritional food options such as candy, cookies, pizza, pies and dough. “I kind this disturbing that the best we can do is send our kids out on the street with things that Americans love in junk food…. but it sends a mixed message when we turn around and tell them that they have an obesity problem.” How can you say no to a box of cookies or an easy made pizza in a box? Sherman say… ” I’d really rather pass since my waist line is in crisis right now! “
Sherman has provided what he calls “fund raising that makes sense”. “We provide an education an awareness component… a fee based program… we will come into the school and talk about the things we do in the course of daily living. Then we offer a unique fund raising program that takes the learned material to the next steps of action through fund raising. We look at small, yet significant green shifts that are really just greener options not offered in most of the big box stores.” Kids learn about things like house hold hazardous waste and solutions to properly dispose of things like the new “Twisty bulbs” or CFL’s and household batteries. “Do you realize how many AA and AAA batteries that enter the waste stream on a daily basis? America is hooked on gadgets that require battery power”. We teach a simple easy to remember take away on this point…. “Don’t chuck it… throw it in the battery bucket”.
Sherman has partnered with companies like Veolia Environmental Services, Bio Bag USA , Anvil Organic, Soy Clean, Cherry Republic, and Wash-Safe Cleaning Products. Veolia Environmental adds the “eas” to easy with recycling kits for things like overhead fluorescent light tubes, failed ballasts, mercury containing devices, house hold batteries, and lighting lamps (bulbs). This is one area we can make a big difference in and keep items that contain mercury, cadmium, and other environmental harmful materials out of the waste stream. Each system comes with a pre paid FED EX return label and one call will generate action to pick up the container and ship it directly to Veolia Environmental Services for proper recycling and handling. Systems start at $19.95 and go up to $1,195 for large industrial facilities.
“Kids by nature want to be good stewards of the earth” Sherman says…”This is really an easy conversation that get’s kids excited”. When you put those two ingredients together you have a powerful message to share with kids that they in turn want to share with their friends , family, and neighbors. We don’t expect to convert every one into “green advocates”…. we just want to give them the option… let them try it out…. support their neighbors fund raiser with something they are likely to need anyway and likely buy in the big box store. If they like the performance of the green alternative… then we can say we have made an impact on that one person. “Think of the education in the same we went about teaching people about safety belts or smoking issues. Today my kids are all over me if I start the car without a safety belt on. They learned that message loud and clear.” says Sherman.
Greenfundraiserstore.com has an online tool box with all the forms, tools, and tips you will need to conduct a successful fund raiser. You can visit our web page… noodle around through the product portfolio and customize your own unique “K.I.S.S” fund raiser. That is Keep It Simple, Sustainable according to Sherman. We suggest narrowing down the focus to a dozen or so items to fund raise with. Give the kids a choice to come up with their own plan and it is much more meaningful.
Greenfundraiserstore.com also provides healthy snack options through a Michigan base company in Cherry Republic. “I just heard on the news yesterday that cherries are the new super fruit. Cherries have been shown to reduce inflammation in joints, boost the immune system, and improve overall health. The fact that Cherry Republic is a Michigan company that uses Michigan grown cherries is just… well the Cherry on top”.
Also known as GFS…. greenfundraiserstore.com provides a line of organic clothing and branding options. We have partnered with Anvil Organic known for their sustainability practices in cotton growth and we always offer Eco friendly printing options and give the customer a choice when ever possible to help keep toxins out of the water system.
“Right now we are doing a commemorative Rally Towel for the big game coming up on August 26, 2011 when the Oxford Wild Cats host the Division I State Champions Lake Orion Dragons. This unique collectible item will celebrate the first varsity game to be played on the Oxford Wild Cats new blue turf field, the renewal of the rivalry round two, and the Lake Orion Dragons State Championship. “There has been huge interest in the rally towel and I am about at the point where I need to have the second run ready for an expected crowd of 8,000 to 12,000 fans”. The rally Towel was originally priced at $10 but has been reduced to $5 after a special consultation with Sherman’s 14 year old daughter and 17 year old Dragon player son. “They rolled their eyes at me… Dad… who would pay $10 for a stupid towel”‘? “I tried to explain that it’s not about the towel… it’s about the North Oakland County love for the last frontier of pure sports… high school sports. It is about making a donation to the program…. We are not in Kansas anymore” …. and Sherman thinks you will find that out about three weeks when the first bell rings and school is back in session… a little bit lighter in the bank account.