Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sweeping Parking Lots
Finding good fundraisers for sports teams and other groups is a huge deal in Homer. The high school teams must raise $100,000 a year in travel expenses, on top of regular fees and out-of-pocket expenses from families.
Here's how parking lot sweeping works: The coach or parents contact businesses around town that might need their parking lots swept of the sand and gravel that's been layered on all winter. Generally if a group does it, they get dibs on it each year unless they give it up. The kids and their parents show up at the assigned parking lot at the agreed-upon time with brooms, wheelbarrows, shovels and masks. They sweep the sand into piles, it is shoveled into barrows and dumped, usually off to the side of the lot, though not in ditches. For their work, they get $150-200 or more for the lot, depending on the size of the lot and the generosity of the business.
This year it seemed there was a lot of toe stepping as certain coaches tried to get parking lots away from teams that had always done certain lots. The track team got a couple parking lots and swept them today (hard, dirty work!). Ironically, another group was sweeping a parking lot right next to ours. And as we swept a lady drove up and said she knew of a business owner who needed their lot swept and would we be willing to do it? (We said maybe!)
We had a good hardworking group of kids and parents there today. We are earning money for a running camp in Oregon this summer. After 2 hours of work each family will get about $50 towards their camp, which isn't too bad as far as fundraisers go. This isn't my favorite fundraiser, but on the other hand, it is less torturous than others, and I think it is a good thing to work with our kids to help them earn money for things they need, like a pricey camp.