I am hoping that everyone is wondering how Plymouth’s first pumpkin sales event went. Well, we have lots of news to report. Our first point of interest is probably how much money came back to Plymouth. So I’ll give that right off – we made $2,025.00, to be added to Plymouths general fund. Being that collection offerings have been thin the past few months, this income is very much needed. The pumpkin patch organizers think this is a very good start. We made money and we learned a lot – what works well, what to do differently, and what to add. If we apply the lessons learned to the next pumpkin fundraiser, we should be able to easily double our income or more. Now, for those of you who doubt the gain was worth the pain, let me tell you about all the community connections. And what did we do with all those left-over pumpkins?
First, the benefits. We increased our interaction with the boy scouts, providing them with community-service hours which they need to meet their service goals. We attracted people who live around us or drive past us often, to stop and set foot on our property. They experienced our wide welcome first hand and learned about Plymouth. Our photo props throughout the field were very heavily used with some people stopping only for that purpose. Children loved our hay rides, bounce house and our pumpkin painting tent operated during the festivities. Some people were very interested in the NAM garden with okra growing 8 feet tall. We had several discussions about that and growing fruit trees in Houston. They learned about our partnering with NAM to provide fresh produce for the pantry. We also had a couple of dance demonstrations which brought in a lot of kids – young dancers – and adults.
We did have a LOT of pumpkins left at the end. That became part of the community benefits. We gave them away free. With signage on Louetta, we attracted people who wanted the free pumpkins for feed for farm animals, for Thanksgiving decorations, and for school projects. Two Head Start teachers were so relieved to find our free pumpkins, which they took for students to decorate for their Fall Festival this month. These are young students from impoverished backgrounds who depend on the Head Start program to get them ready to enter public schools. Our pumpkins helped them stretch their slim program budget and increase community awareness of Plymouth. Good Will is very important for successful community outreach.
Article submitted by Judy Walden