“Fundraise It Forward”

We’d like to share with you, a new school-wide initiative started by first-grader, Theo Williams and his mother, Jamie. We hope that after you’ve read through her plans for getting this off the ground, that you’ll want to step in and “keep the ball rolling”!

After visiting with new and returning families over a delicious potluck meal at the end of the summer, the families worked quickly to cleanup the playground and other areas of the school grounds. Jamie’s vision for the #FundraiseItForward initiative began that day. Here’s how it came about…

It was cool to see the area where my kids play everyday at recess and to help make it nice for them. I noticed right away, though, that there was a picnic table that had seen better days. In fact, I wasn’t sure it would actually be safe to keep it on the playground any longer. I had just joined the RMS Board of Directors and was beginning to see first-hand just how much our teachers and staff already take charge of in the school. I saw that picnic table and thought, “I can find a way to take care of this.” Theo and I sat down a couple weeks before his birthday and I asked if he would be willing to forego toys & gifts this year from his friends and instead we would ask them to donate to a picnic table fundraiser to replace the old table on the playground. We talked about being willing to to step up to the plate rather than asking someone else to fix a problem that we have the resources to correct. He quickly agreed! (And I was secretly thrilled to know that we would be able to give people an alternative to the cheap plastic toys that make up so many presents.) 

They put out the word and raised the $250 needed for the table in no time! They received donations as small as $5 and as great as $50, but most were in the $10-15 range. Then, they hired a young entrepreneur and the table was made and delivered within a week. But their work wasn’t yet done.

Henry, Theo & Joey Williams showing off the awesome new picnic table

When we recounted all the donations we realized that we had $27 more than we needed. Knowing that everyone gave for a purpose and not wanting the money to be returned, I thought, “I wish I could give this $27 as seed money for someone else to tackle a small project at RMS…perhaps something they’ve seen that needs updating. Or something that would be useful for their classroom. And what if it kept going?! What if every fundraiser kept going until they had a small amount to seed the next person’s project? How far could it go? How long could we keep the campaign alive? A year? Ten years? The idea seemed too inspiring to pass up! 

Jamie is currently holding on to that $27, just waiting for someone’s approved project! How this will work:

– You should already have a specific monetary goal and a tangible project in mind. 

– All projects should aim to raise between $100 – $500 and must be approved by Lisa Torano.  

– All funds raised in excess of your goal should be returned to Jamie for distribution to the next fundraiser. (Jamie is acting as a temporary “gate keeper” until we have our PTO fully formed. The funds will kept by and handled through them when that happens.)

– We encourage this to be a project accomplished by students with the support of their families; teaching ownership, responsibility and giving….and have fun! 

– The results of the fundraiser will be tracked with a visual representation in the school. 

So what do you say?!? Can YOU, #FundraiseItForward ?

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