Larry, Prince Liam, Princess Ella, and Gretchen
You need more than yummy pastries to raise $2200 in an hour and a half. You need some good cookies. The Linens-N-Things headquarters in Passaic, NJ, is filled with many good cookies, including bake sale organizer Marcia Lemberg, VP for Merchandising.
When you talk to Marcia about the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale held recently at the LNT offices, you realize passion was a key ingredient to success. Marcia has known Liam’s family for years and follows Liam’s progress through the Prince Liam the Brave blog. When Gretchen made her birthday wish of 100 bake sales known, Marcia got busy making Gretchen’s wish come true.
She started with a simple email to the LNT staff, explaining Liam’s battle, the facts of pediatric cancer and the goal in mind. She emphasized Gretchen’s belief that if everyone does a little, together we will do a lot. When Marcia asked for support, more than 70 employees in the office committed to contribute. By the day of the bake sale, Marcia had organized sign-up sheets, a 50/50 raffle, a drawing for more than a dozen fabulous Linens-n-things door prizes and a beautiful display of tablecloth-covered buffets for the goodies.
Just a few of the many bake sale stories of generosity:
· Donated items were more than just store-bought treats. Most of the items sold were home made by employees, including blueberry scones, hand-dipped chocolate pretzels and caramel apples, plus whole pies and cakes.
· Every member of the executive committee came down to the bake sale and made a donation.
· One of the MIS department leaders bought 100 cupcakes for his staff.
· Another employee bought enough cupcakes to feed her 4th-grader’s class after their puppet show.
· A donation jar raised more than $200, just from people who wanted to give.
· The winner of the 50/50 raffle gave the $105 in winnings back to the cause.
· At any given time, more than 100 employees were shopping for treats. EVERY SINGLE ITEM sold.
Marcia’s take-away from the event was pride in her colleagues. She said the bake sale and the cause puts life in perspective. She also has some great tips for future bake sale hosts:
1. Be a hands-on organizer. Create a sign-up sheet for volunteers to track what people are bringing. Follow-up with each person a week before the event to discuss packaging, pricing and signs.
2. Wrap all items. Customers like to grab and go.
3. Provide shopping bags. Customers can collect several small items more easily.
4. Encourage bakers to bring their items arranged in pretty baskets.
5. Non-bakers are welcome! Remind eager volunteers to ask local bakeries for their support.
6. Diversify. Marcia also encouraged co-workers to consider selling their used books at www.cash4books.net. The website buys your books and pays for shipping, enabling sellers to both de-clutter and raise Cookies for Kids’ Cancer money.
If everyone who hears about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer held a bake sale, together we will change the facts of pediatric cancer for the better, forever.