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Faith In Action: It's Easy to Be Green — Sale and Fundraiser, Session 15: Protect the Earth

In "Faithful Journeys," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Donations of items to sell
    • Gently used clothing or household items
    • Alternative energy items, such as clotheslines and clothespins, clothes-drying racks, or solar-powered appliances
    • Environmentally friendly products, such as biodegradable soap, detergent, or shampoo; recycled-paper products such as greeting cards and handmade jewelry; organic clothing; or cloth bags (including bags decorated by participants in Activity 5)
  • Poster board, markers and tape or sticky putty
  • Blank stickers and pens for pricing items
  • Optional: Basket(s) of items to raffle, roll of raffle tickets, pens and container for raffle ticket stubs

Preparation for Activity

  • With your minister, director of religious education, and/or social action committee, choose a date for an It's Easy to Be Green sale and fundraiser. Consider Earth Day or the date of a congregational or community festival.
  • Decide how to use proceeds. You might use the money to make environment-friendly changes at your congregation, or donate it to an organization such as the Natural Resources Defense Council , the Audubon Society , Greenpeace or The Nature Conservancy . Obtain information about the intended use or recipient(s) of funds to include in publicity and to display at the event.
  • Announce the event to the congregation. Request item donations via congregational announcements, mailings, website, and email. Clearly indicate the kinds of items you want and where members should bring their donations.
  • Solicit donations from local merchants such as grocery stores, health establishments, spas, outdoor sports retailers, energy alternatives, or hardware stores. Ask for new green products or coupons to redeem for environmentally friendly products or services.
  • Send a press release to local media and distribute flyers announcing the event.
  • Schedule Faithful Journeys participants, their parents, and additional volunteers to set up, price items, staff tables, keep track of money, and clean up.
  • Obtain tables, chairs, coins and small bills to make change, and one or more cash boxes.
  • Optional: Make one or more raffle baskets of environmentally friendly products and coupons donated by local merchants.

Description of Activity

Run this event as you would a yard sale. You may wish to present sale items on three separate tables: "Reduce," "Reuse," and "Recycle." Make signs for each table. On the "Reduce" table, display and sell energy-saving devices. On the "Reuse" table, display and sell tote bags. On the "Recycle" table, display and sell gently used donated items. Teach the children about the different categories by engaging them to sort the donated items before the sale.

This event may be a good project for the group's Faithful Journeys Action Club. Involve the children in publicity (making posters before the event), setup, running the event, and cleanup. They can price items, make signs, sell raffle tickets, give buyers change, bag purchases and help pack up unsold items to donate to an appropriate organization.

Keep track of individual children's specific tasks and accomplishments. Next time the group meets, help them articulate their contributions as Faithful Footsteps that affirm our seventh Principle.

After the event, tell the group how much the event earned and where the money will go. If you receive a thank-you or learn something about the donation's impact, be sure to tell the children. Even if the Faithful Journeys program has ended, let the parents and the entire congregation know the ripple effect of these children's actions.

Including All Participants

Offer children tasks that fit their skills and abilities. If any in the group have special learning needs, talk with their parents or your director of religious education about how to best activate their individual strengths and interests. Some children may thrive sorting items, others counting money and giving change, still others talking with buyers about environmental issues. Be creative. Invent tasks, if necessary, to help all children contribute meaningfully.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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