Shoulda just said NO. A drama in many words.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Back in August, a friend told me and another friend about a fundraiser opportunity for NAMI (or whatever charity we picked) that said friend's sister was involved with. Since the NAMI Walk in my area was coming up, and this event was not long after that, I figured why not. I was already in that fundraising state-of-mind. When will I learn that I don't LIVE in that state, but am merely a tourist passing through occasionally?

    SO. The event is a chocolate/coffee/wine festival and we would get the booth space for free (usually $250). Registrants have to agree to give samples of their chocolate/coffeee or wine product to all the attendees, and they are allowed to sell merchandise or food products to raise money for their charity. The friend's sister said she already had a vendor lined up who would contribute product for us. It was a baker. Easy product to store and easy to serve, so I figured ok this sounds pretty easy.

    I contacted the vendor and they responded with a "What? No way can I provide as much samples as the event wants (expecting 2,000 attendees), and besides I went to that event before and didn't like it -- too much work for me and not enough revenue." Okaaaaaaaay. Quick email to the sister to ask WTH now? She insists the baker is confused. So I contact the baker again and ask if she'd consider donating a smaller amount of product for samples. She was fine with that, agreed to give me 300 sample pieces, and went one step further giving me some full-size product to raffle at the upcoming NAMI Walk. Awesome! Now all I had to do was find more vendors, because I'm told I cannot serve homemade foods.

    After several strikeouts with about a half dozen local vendors, I decide that I need to just come up with something to sell to actually raise FUNDS at this fundraiser, and I come up with T-shirts. I wrote a catchy phrase and ordered some from an online company. Only 25 though, and I'm thinking this is just not going to be enough. So I decide to make another version that's blinged with rhinestones that I'll sell for more. And if nothing sells? Well, I'll let you know when I put them up on eBay. Anyway, the regular T's should be here next week, I have the other shirts and the bling transfers are being made, and I found a shop that will set them for cheap. Should be able to get it all together before the event which is the weekend after Halloween.

    Fast forward a few weeks (by the way, the NAMI Walk raffle was a total bust. Sold 3 whole tickets to someone in the booth nextdoor because I think she felt sorry for me and difficult child 2 sitting there all morning with lots of people stopping to hear my pitch but no takers for the tickets) and now I'm having to fill out paperwork for the health department in connection with this festival. I have to provide my local NAMI proof of non-profit status, a letter signed by them promising that their reps (me) are non-commercial working in the festival and all proceeds will go to them, the non-profit group. The festival gal gives me all of 2 days notice to get this turned in. I tell her there's no guarantee since I'm depending on OTHER PEOPLE to get the info, etc. My contact at NAMI says she can get it all for me by Friday. Great, I'm thinking.

    Friday afternoon rolls around, it's my anniversary, I'm trying to taxi kids around, get ready to go out with husband and still no word from my NAMI contact and the festival gal is emailing me and texting me frantically because she needs those forms back. So I call my NAMI contact again and as the phone is going to voicemail I glance at my calendar and see that it's Yom Kippur. And remembering that this woman is Jewish it dawns on me that I probably won't be hearing from her this evening.

    So what does the festival woman tell me to do? Look for the NAMI certificate online and sign the letter myself as a volunteer. Great, thanks, yeah I'll get right on that tonight because I have absolutely NOTHING going on. I have NO life apparently.

    I scrambled and did manage locate what she needed and drafted a letter and faxed everything over. About an hour before I was supposed to be heading out the door with husband.

    Which brings us to last week. The next form I have to submit is the food info sheet describing in detail what I'll be serving in the booth. They want to know where it's made, how it's made, and what's in it. I email that to the baker and she FLIPS telling me her recipes are proprietary and trademarked and no way she'll share that info. Okaaaaaay. I ask my festival rep what to do, and she tells me to just find a basic recipe for the product online and submit that. So I let the baker know that's what I'd be doing and she goes nuclear saying she cannot allow her product to be represented as generic and refuses to let anyone give it away or even sell it in that kind of environment. HOE. LEE. COW. She's done! She pulled out! :crazy2:

    I forwarded the email to my rep who explains the paperwork is STRICTLY for the health department and not the public and it's merely to ensure what we're offering is safe for human consumption. Duh. I get that. So in my apology email to the baker (more like sorry you freaked out over this stupid thing) I let her know all the background info and then I crossed my fingers she'd reconsider. Nope. She didn't respond at all.

    Greeaaat. No samples to give at a food sampling event. Now what?

    Festival rep now tells me that I CAN serve homemade goods! WHAAAAAAT?!!! I just went through all this drama and garbage for what, the sheer joy of it?!!! :slap:


    So now I'm hoping my other two friends who agreed to help with this can actually step up and do some baking the week before the festival. I figure that's probably the cheapest and easiest chocolate-related thing we could offer.

    And I'm hoping I'm not the only one working our booth from 2-9pm that Friday and 11-9pm Saturday.

    I really shoulda just said no. :nonono:
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    jean....NO! Repeat after me...NO. Whenever calls you for something just say NO. Its a sentence...a complete sentence. It requires no other words to surround it describing why you are saying no. I think we always trying to make No a longer sentence than it needs to be. Like NO, I cant because the dog is throwing up and the kids have dentist appointments and blah blah blah. And then the person on the other line says but wait, I didnt even tell you what the date was!

    Lord have mercy!
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    You can back out. Just do it!
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think next time (and I'm sure there will be another next time) I should post about it here FIRST so my wise and wonderful people here can give me a proper reality check. :winks:
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Upallnight, I don't feel like I can back out, because they will charge me for the booth space if I do. And I've already sold friends and family tickets to this (because if I sold 10, then 20% would be donated back to NAMI), and I've already bought 65 tshirts to sell at this. And I feel like I'm in this far, and involved so many people I know to make this happen, I may as well finish it.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member are in too deep now. Swim now. paddle, paddle, dont let your head go under too many
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :rofl: I'm tryin' babe, I'm tryin'!
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As a lifelong voluneer you have my sympathy. In retrospect I think you realize you have too little manpower (and evidently supplemental brain power, lol) to pull this off with-o too much stress. been there done that...too many times.

    If I were you I would seek supplemental help pronto. It can be done. If no willing friends are available look to schools that require volunteer hours for graduation, high school or teen group leaders who want to serve the community, and if necessary young adults who have community service hours they have to serve (many are fine people who made a mistake and prefer not to work in traditional community service jobs en masse like at the Salvation Army recycle centers). Worse comes to worse pay minimum wage to some nice unemployed person who "might" just make future work contacts at your event. Church youth groups might also be a good resource.

    Fingers crossed. DDD
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If there ever is a next time there are people on this board who design/sell things on-line. You could ask and I'd have let you buy my shirts at the base price (no profit for me). So, you could sell them for a profit for NAMI. I know there are others here that might be willing to think about that as well if you don't want tee-shirts.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Those are good ideas DDD -- thank you! My mom did volunteer to help me for the Friday spot. We'll see if my other two friends can pull through with the baking AND the booth staffing. I do have other friends who I could ask to help bake if I give them the mix. I bought tickets for husband and my kids to go, so I suppose I can have the two difficult child's help staff the booth and give them community service hours. I may suggest that to my friends who also have kids at that age.

    Liahona, I appreciate the offer :) The shirts I've made will be sold at a profit, not huge, but still reasonably priced with enough to recoup my costs and still have a decent amount to hand over to NAMI... if they sell! And eBay's still an option if the festival pans out.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    More power to you! A bottle of wine usually makes a baking party a PARTY! Hope the end results are all worth the effort!
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Go to the dollar store.......

    Get a few bags of tootsie rolls
    a roll of wax paper
    Colored tissue paper.....

    Go to Lowes and get a butane torch
    A few bottles for refills
    A lighter

    Take a tootsie roll
    remove wrapper
    Stab with a toothpick
    Heat with the butane torch
    wrap in colorful wax paper
    wrap again in colorful tissue paper

    OFFER as CALI-GOURMET Carmels.........on a stick.

    Easy peasy.........charge them a lot.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Goggles and gloves.........MUST be safe! OSHA and will need a BC Fire extinguisher fully charged and in the green.

    That oughta do it.
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I COULD DO THAT!!! I actually have one of those kitchen butane torches for making stuff like creme brulee...