Fundraiser drives with health and community benefits

It is fundraiser time for all schools and other auxiliary organizations. If you are like me you have been bombarded with cute smiling faces asking you to buy a tin of cookies, some sort of cake or some other pile of sugar you cannot have sitting in your house. If it comes in my house, I say I will only eat one but by day 2 the whole tin is gone. (Confession: I am a sugar-holic.) So my dilemma is wanting to support the cute smiling face asking for support but really wanting to say “Go AWAY because that cake means me no good!” And then I read this Washington Post article with a new approach to raising funds by connecting schools with local farms. Local farmers brochures of what they have for sale from apples, vegetables, assortment of cheeses, coffee beans and so much more. I LOVE this idea. Why? Not only is this a partnership to support local farms to stay in business but a larger drive to keep people healthy with the foods we eat.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on the obesity rates in the United States. Obesity is billion dollar industry due to medical costs. Truly surprising. What if that money could go into food education and agriculture/farming on the front end rather than gastric by-pass surgeries, medication for diabetes and high blood pressure as it stands now. Just “food for thought.”

Indulge me while I take it one step further. The kids of Alexander Wilson Elementary in North Carolina were challenged by their principal to read 1 million minutes. If they did it, he would sleep on the roof of the school for one night. They exceeded that challenge. We can apply this same concept to a health challenge that involves the entire family. You would donate money to a school fundraiser for every mile a kid rode their bike, jogged or how many minutes a child jumped rope. For each goal reached, a parent, guardian or teacher/administrator would have to match it by doing the same activity or something actively comparable. The possibilities are limitless. I am getting excited just thinking about this idea.

So the next time a cute smiling face of an adorable kids comes up to you asking you to buy a cake or cookie dough, first try to find the healthiest option in the brochure. If there isn’t one, join the revolution to challenge the school/organization to try something different.