Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Naked Truth: When Fundraising Goes Wrong

Sometimes I wonder what must go on in the mind of post office personnel as they process and deliver the mail.  They have a very personal glimpse into our lives; the magazines we subscribe to, the coupons we receive, the stacks of bills, cards and letters, and envelope after envelope of credit card companies trying to lure us into yet another low interest rate.  This weekend, I can’t even begin to imagine what our friendly postal worker thought as in between a card from a friend, an appeal from Concordia University, and the lease statement for our car, was ESPN Magazine - The Body Issue.
I won’t even tell you my immediate thoughts (because my grandmother and pastor's wife read this blog) as I unfolded the magazine in the front yard walking back to the house and to my shock saw a completely nude female athlete on the cover.  Now let’s be honest, I’ve seen “artistic” modeling before and partial nudity is nothing new to the readers of Vogue or Instyle, but this issue made the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue look like the church newsletter.  Not just the cover, but page after page after page displaying athletes wearing only the uniform of their birthday suits.  I double and triple checked that indeed this was sent to the correct address.  And in my husband’s name.
I decided to wait until he arrived back from Chicago to ask if one of his buddies had thought this would be a good joke.  But I quickly learned that was not the case.  I wish I could go back in time and have a video capturing his face and the next comments that came out of his mouth as he surveyed the photojournalism.  I soon found out that this was a fundraiser gone very, very wrong and that he along with several other teachers and parents had subscribed to ESPN Magazine as part of a fundraiser for a school sports program.  Immediately Kevin called another teacher friend to learn that his wife had a similar reaction. He jokingly asked if I wanted to trade him issues, because theirs had a male athlete on the front.  I declined.
Being in fundraising and development myself, I find the whole thing absolutely hilarious, and when I think about it can’t help but laugh out loud.  I’ve heard fundraising horror stories that run everywhere from letters with the wrong donor name, to unsuspecting volunteers who were forced to make and then sell homemade pickles, to frozen goods that never came in, to events that have been rained out.  But this one takes the cake.  There was no possible way that the fundraising committee could have known the content of the magazine or that this would be the first issue out to donors.  I will be sharing this story at future AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) events for years to come.  And I can’t help but wonder...will they raise more money now than they did when they were just selling subscriptions?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Here's to Friends, Wogging, and the Most Interesting Laundry I've Ever Done

I feel like this summer is very different than summers past.  I can't quite describe how exactly we have changed, except to say that I think for the first time we are really trying to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. It's hard to know where to start to describe what a fun weekend it has been.  It kicked off early, with an opportunity to spend a little extra time with my girls Brandi and Anne who were in town on Thursday.  Something about meeting up at Brandi's parents' house felt like old times.  (Even though we have grown up and there weren't any dorky dance sessions.)

On Friday one of my board members asked if I had been taking Jett to the pool, and my answer of "no" inspired me to enjoy the sunshine, get brave and take Jett to the water park by myself.  We had gone earlier in the season and he was absolutely petrified and screamed every time we got near the water.  This time was different, as my little fishy wanted to lay his head back in the water and kick, and couldn't get enough of the baby water slide. 

Saturday brought about the most interesting laundry I have ever done.  The Color Run was a hot, perky, mess of a 5k.  It was fun to say that we were part of the 13,000 people who were quirky enough to think that running in the middle of July and getting blasted with color at every kilometer sounded like an opportunity not to be missed.  I'm not ashamed to say that we wogged it (walk/jogged) because it was HOT, and it gave us a great chance to catch up again before Anne leaves for Tempe in a couple of days.  (The color did come out of my clothes, but my armpit is still bright blue, go figure.)

Today was another good day from start to finish.  A very nice church service, successful trip to Walmart, without crying, fit throwing, or begging.  And Jett did very well too.  Lunch with my parents and another trip to the pool.  I should have known that my energetic baby would still be going strong when we got home.  I think he's trying to train me for the WNBA, because we played numerous games of basketball, and ran sprints around the yard.

We interrupt this blog post for a "Random Mama Tip of the Day": Jett helped me "cook" supper, and we made mini pizzas.  He has been on a veggie jag lately and so I mixed shredded zucchini in with the pizza sauce and then put on the toppings and cheese.  He ate it up and I couldn't tell the difference either!  A great way to sneak in some veggies for opposing kids (or husbands!)

The best part of the day may have been when Kevin returned from his road trip with the guys.  Seeing Jett's face light up when he came home was the best!