Thursday, March 26, 2009

Get Off That Duff!

Ok, so "duff" is one of my favorite words that I don't hear very often. Well, except when I'm watching Ace of Cakes, of course!

It's relevant today though. I need to get off my duff. I posted last week about all the things that I can get done in three minutes. To my credit -- and today, I'm taking it! -- I have actually gotten most of them done.

I've done a load of laundry and am just waiting for the wee ones to wake up from naps to start the next one (the laundry machines are right outside their doors upstairs). The dishes are done. I got the work (as in paid stuff) work done that I needed to complete. I went through a couple boxes of the wee ones' toys and sorted out the ones they no longer use.

But I still have more to do. And I keep putting it off.

The wee ones' preschool has a very small PTO, and lucky me, I was coerced into being president. We do fundraisers throughout the year, as special needs schools tend to need lots of expensive equipment and preschoolers tend to be hard on the items in the classroom.

I'm gearing up for our largest fundraiser of the year which we hold in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo. That's not the problem. That's actually going pretty well, and I'll have the brochure for it complete next week to distribute for presale.

It's our passive fundraising that I'm having a problem with. Earlier this year, I discovered that my school is part of Campbell's Labels for Education. In fact, we had more than eleven thousand points banked -- from 2006!

I did a little digging and discovered that we just send in the labels that parents collect and we can earn all sorts of useful equipment. Plus, one of the elementary schools also collects the labels for us. We trade -- our Boxtops for Education for their Labels for Education.

So we come to today. I have two filled Target shopping bags with labels. Filled. Hundreds of labels. Hundreds.

I've discovered that I need to:
a) cut out the UPC code from each label
b) determine the point value of each UPC code and sort them by point value
c) count the point value of each type of label
d) put them into an paper bag with the point total on the outside
e) find a corrugated cardboard box and ship them off with a filled out point banking form

Let's start with step a, shall we? I'm a lefty. I have an issue with scissors. And I have hundreds of these. And I know I need to get these sent in. I want to put a big thank you to the parents with a count of how many labels we've submitted.

But then I look at those shopping bags. And I heave a big sigh. The job is too big. It's for the wee ones' school though. And if I just do a little bit each day, it won't be so bad, right?

Excuse me, I have some scissors I need to go find!


Raevyn March 26, 2009 at 2:48 PM  

We collect the labels and boxtops at church as well, and at one time our main person handling them got overwhelmed and asked for a couple of things:
1. assistance from other church members to get what we already had cut and sorted
2. that future submissions be only the required portion of the labels

Now getting cooperation from the elementary schools to submit just the UPC codes or Boxtop markings might be harder, but surely the ones that are coming from parents at the preschool could be convinced to take the time when they actually remove the label to cut just the codes? Ultimately it saves them space too because they don't have big labels to keep up with and the codes will keep nicely in a sandwich baggie.

septembermom March 26, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

My school collects Box Tops too. I need to find my scissors also. Those are the tasks that I let go too long. My list to things that I should do is growing by the minute: clean out the closets, cut some coupons, organize my husband's sock drawer, etc. I'm just tired thinking about this list!

LissaL March 26, 2009 at 5:03 PM  

I had no idea the work that was required for those labels. Bless you woman! you are a Saint!

AutoSysGene March 26, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

Get a coffee klatch going and bring your labels in. If you have 5 or so moms hanging out together you won't have to break your hand doing it yourself.

Can you tell I've done this before?

Heather March 26, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

If we lived close by, I'd help you!

Ryan Ashley Scott March 26, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

Ugh! My hand hurts just thinking about all that cutting. And my head hurts just thinking about the thinking. Good luck and maybe you can get some help?

anymommy March 26, 2009 at 10:39 PM  

I am horrified. You're a doll, but that's way too much for one person. Can you have a label sorting night??

Jill March 27, 2009 at 6:47 AM  

My niece saves them for me so she does all the cutting.

Michelle March 27, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

Raevyn - I actually tried to have some of the ladies who are at the school on a regular basis do it. I miraculously saved them from heading into the mail partly cut, with no deposit form and no way to get credit. And yes, I gave them all the instructions prior to taking up their offer. I may request only the UPCs though, as some cut off just the cute little guy and messed up the UPC.

septembermom - Organize your husband's sock drawer? Seriously? That one is so far down the priority list that it doesn't even make it TO the list!

Lissa - Nope, not a saint. Just stubborn and insistent upon getting things for free for the school when I can :)

Melissa - That's the problem... I work. I can only periodically be at the school during the day. And because it's a school where people are bussed vs normal neighborhood schools, parents aren't at the school either. I'm definitely requesting a labels chair for next year though!

Heather - Awww, you're so sweet to offer (and certain that you were far away before you offered...) :)

Ryan Ashley Scott - See above. And I tried to get Mister Man to help me with the sorting and pasting. That didn't last long though either!

anymommy - Special needs parents... it's hard enough to get them together, and we already have a raffle ticket writing party scheduled. It's partly my fault that I let it get this far into the year!

Jill - Ooo, I like that theory. Too bad my niece doesn't do that for me! And I've gotten about 600 of them done so far. I'm going to work on them some more this afternoon in a bit. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Angie's Spot March 28, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

Wow, I didn't realize those organizations required such serious sorting to redeem points. What a pain! I almost volunteered to pick the Boxtops baton back up for the girls school, but after reading this, I might have to rethink that idea. Good luck with all the cutting!

Michelle March 28, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

Angie - I don't know that Boxtop is quite the same level of effort, but apparently they only do K-12 and we're preK so no dice. Talk to them about what's involved before you don't do it -- and keep in mind that I've put this off from September until almost April :)

Angela March 29, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

I feel your pain! This weekend at our house is entirely focused on catchup for the work I do (insurance billing) for my dad. I won't even tell you how long I've been putting that off. :-( Now instead of just being a bear to deal with, the project has grown other tentacles (including some tax filings that need doing by Tuesday - HALP! Angie!?) The good news is, we made a delicious dinner last night (once I could no longer take the working and typing) and another one is planned for tonight. But in between lies 6 hours of typing and filing. Ugh. My neck hurts already. WAhhh!

Okay, but you have inspired me. So I will stop whining. For now. ;-)

Michelle March 29, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

Angela - Glad I could inspire someone. I finished them tonight... 1390 points worth (most are 1 point each). Good luck on getting all your jobs done! And go see the chiro. Seriously mine worked wonders. Miracles.

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