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Am I wrong? >>>>>

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  • Am I wrong? >>>>>

    I've mentioned recently that our community has been given back the use of our
    community center from the county but we are to run it with volunteers,
    and pay our own expenses, ect... this includes the library. Which I'm happy
    to say we have had a thousand books donated for. Since I'm in charge of all
    the community social activities at the center, as well as teaching the
    ceramic classes while my hubby teaches the pottery class, commimg up with
    the money to buy supplies has gotten hard on our wallets here at home. So
    at the community breakfast I asked for donations to help pay for supplies.
    (I've spent over 200 dollars on supplies for the library,and kitchen) and
    the county took all the paint, clay, and other materials with them when
    they closed the center it looked as if we would be spending several hundred
    more that we don't have to spare. Now the community volunteer, that the
    county has assigned to be in charge of the community's part of the center
    is upset and says I shouldn't have asked for donations, that the community
    should not feel that when they come to the center they will be asked for
    money, that the class fee's should pay for the classes supplies. Great
    idea, except for the fact that ceramic class is listed at 10 dollars a
    month and 1 bottle of paint is around 16.50 was Am I wrong to request
    donations to help pay for supplies? The 2 times I have asked we got around
    50 dollars and people even asked for a list of things we needed for the
    center. So far from that list we have recieved paper plates, cups, a
    warmimg tray, bean bag chairs, rugs for the library, ect.. So am I doing wrong by asking for the donations?
    Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

  • #2
    Dunno how it is in your part of the world, but speaking for me... I always appreciate when people let me know how I can help. I'm not a very good mind reader, and how can I know that someone needs help unless they ask?

    Perhaps this "assigned volunteer" from the county has some ideas other than asking for donations?

    Just a couple of thoughts...

    ~b2w

    Comment


    • #3
      She thinks we should just pay for all we need out of our own pockets and get the money for the supplies back from the money collected for the classes. The art teacher did that and he's already out over 50 dollars because not that many signed up for his classes and he bought all they needed for the classes. I've only bought 5 bottles of basic colors, underglaze paint that cost me 82.50 and have given them a 30.00 bottle of clear glaze. This is just to get the classes started. Before the county walked out with all our paint we had 2 HUGE cases floor to ceiling shelves of paints. I've contacted all my students and told them the type of paint brushes to buy for the classes. (yeah the county took the paint brushes too.) She doesn't consider that people need to know what is needed to help the center and actually WANT to help. I know when I set out that wish list for the center we have gotten several much needed items and people have even called and asked how they could order library card pockets to give to the
      library. My husband wonders if she thinks we had a spare set of office supplies around the house to give, so the library could be up and running. It's as if she doesn't realize that things have to be bought by someone to get things started. Most of us are teaching our classes for free so that the money can go for supplies for our classes, but many of us are also on budgets.
      Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thinking about this, I am prone to say that if the community knows what the needs are, and that since this is THEIR center, they will help out. Things are made plainer to me when someone charts it( what we have on hand, what is coming in, what we want to do, and what we need to do it). Ask for suggestions about fundraising, and let the community know that you appreciate any input they have. They are partners in this, after all.

        If y'all are doing pottery, ceramics, and other crafts, maybe y'all could have a giftshop, or find a way to offer items for sale, with the proceeds going to the center.

        Comment


        • #5
          No I don't think you are wrong. I agree with both OHM & BTW. A community center belongs to the community and if there is a need then people should know. I don't see a problem asking for donations as long as people know they do not have to donate to use the center. I think it was incrediably resourceful of you to buy primary colors and have the students mix their own colors. That way they get the color they want and learn a lesson on how the colors are made. As for the assigned community person I would simply give him a list of what is needed, make sure it is dated and you have a copy and CC a copy to either his superior or the county itself. (If there is one thing I've learned about county anything is that they are all about the paper trail), and when he tells you there is no money for these things simply tell him/her that until they come up with a better idea, you'll stick with the donations. That way you still get your necessary supplies and the counties guy gets the responsibility of finding another solution. I would keep doing this weekly/monthly and who knows, if you bury him in a paper trail the guy may come up with a solution.

          Comment


          • #6
            There is another approach you might use.

            Enlist the assistance of a third party-type person. You are an instructor, it's obvious the "county volunteer" doesn't "get it". It might help to find someone who can organize a "friends of the center" type group who can then handle fund raising. This would give a separation and clear any conflict of interest or appearance questions (which is probably the source of the resistance on the part of the county volunteer).

            It is sophistry I know BUT it's one that works well here in the District of Confusion (DC). "Friends of the Center" could run a gift shop or mention the donations at the breakfasts or hold bake sales or make the "wish list" you and others have publicly known (including to the media - local papers, radio, etc). It would give people who are interested in helping an "official" group to contact and a direction towards which to point others who become interested in helping.

            Just a thought --
            ~b2w

            Comment


            • #7
              I've suggested having a friends of the Library, because we already need more shelves for books, but she wants to wait before starting something like that to see what type of books we are going to need. At the moment we could use some more shelves! Our community donations have brought in so many books we have some of them stacked in boxes in a storage room at the moment.
              For some reason she feels asking for money at community functions is going to make the community feel like we've always got our hand out.
              I think it would help IF we charged more for classes. Right now we have listed them as 10 dollars a month for ceramics, 15 dollars for pottery and 15 for stain glass, art class is 25 dollars, per month for each and this is for 4 classes a month.
              I'll see if the idea of having a friends of the Center group will work. At the moment, I've got the donations and am keeping a ledger of how much money has been collected and how it has been spent. Now I just have to come up with enough paper plates and cups, ect... for both a community breakfast and dinner on the same day, we're talking for around 500 people total.
              Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hopefully you can find someone who will take on starting the "friends group" that is not currently connected to the center in an official way. *shrug* You can't help it if someone else in the community starts a group right? (OK, OK so you're the one that put the bug in someone's ear to start it... prove it!).

                I would think that the first order of business of such a group would be to approach a civic minded business man (say maybe John R. Smith Grocery Co. over in Palmetto) and see if they would donate the paperware for this month's breakfast in exchange for maybe a mention in the breakfast program? Or maybe try bugging some big companies... Mead Paper has a website (www.mead.com) and does some sort of teacher partnerships, for instance.

                Just more thoughts from a "scrounger"

                ~b2w

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by between2worlds
                  Hopefully you can find someone who will take on starting the "friends group" that is not currently connected to the center in an official way. *shrug* You can't help it if someone else in the community starts a group right? (OK, OK so you're the one that put the bug in someone's ear to start it... prove it!).

                  I would think that the first order of business of such a group would be to approach a civic minded business man (say maybe John R. Smith Grocery Co. over in Palmetto) and see if they would donate the paperware for this month's breakfast in exchange for maybe a mention in the breakfast program? Or maybe try bugging some big companies... Mead Paper has a website (www.mead.com) and does some sort of teacher partnerships, for instance.

                  Just more thoughts from a "scrounger"

                  ~b2w
                  Thanks. Smiths is a small general store, they help when we run out of things if they can. Will work on getting a group started if allowed too.
                  We're having a Red Cross Blood Drive on the 22nd. and I really hope we have a good turn out because the Red Cross is really going to need the blood this summer when donations are usually lower.
                  I'll look into the mead paper site. Used to deal with them myself when I worked at a print shop as a binder. When we get the non-profit stuff worked out I'm also going to approach Kroger and places like that. 2 of our people are taking classes on how to apply for grants also.
                  Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

                  Comment

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