With this year’s Green Apple Day of Service just two months away, it’s time to start thinking about how your project will come together. I’m asked all the time for ideas on where to get supplies and resources for events, so I pulled together five of my favorite tips for getting what you need to make your Day of Service a success.
- Think locally: One of the greatest things about the Day of Service is that it provides an entire community with the opportunity to show their commitment to improving their local schools. Get local businesses in on the act by asking for donations of whatever they can offer – supplies and materials like dirt, paint, tools and more. Something maybe even easier for them to provide: gift cards or store credit for your group to use toward your Day of Service needs.
- Potluck! With a large volunteer pool, you can often gather all the supplies (food or otherwise) you need by sending around a checklist and asking everyone to chip in. People have all kinds of things kicking around in their basements and garages, like shovels, hammers, rakes, ladders and extra tools. Use your event’s registration page on mygreenapple.org to ask volunteers and others to contribute the supplies you’ll need. Volunteers can RSVP for your event right on the site and let you know what they’ll contribute.
- There is such a thing as a free lunch! Local delis, grocery stores or restaurants might provide free lunch (or coffee, waters, juice, etc.) for the Day of Service. Offer them the opportunity to post their own signage on site so they’ll get some good publicity for their good deed.
- Get online: In addition to mygreenapple.org, community sites like Craigslist.com, Idealist.org and volunteermatch.org can help you publicize your event, recruit volunteers and search for free or cheap supplies and equipment.
- Get creative: After the 2012 Day of Service, we heard from several creative project captains who went outside traditional giving circles for support of their projects. Companies such as Ernst & Young, Starbucks, Home Depot, Target and many others provided local projects with volunteer support and materials.
These are only a few ideas to get you started, but the common theme is “don’t be afraid to ask.” Share your own ideas with us on twitter using #greenapple, and register your project today at mygreenapple.org/dayofservice. Good luck!