Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well, today was one of those quiet days where you plug along, working on different tasks. I started out contacting police departments, I left a bunch of messages, but didn't get through to anyone. In the afternoon, I was working on gift certificates for the date auction- I need donations for both the silent auction at the event and for the 'couples' to use on their date. I don't know where the times goes- I only intended to spend an hour on the gift certificates, but it ended up being much longer than that. I think I consistently underestimate how long it takes to get certain things done. This was also more time consuming because I was researching new businesses to contact for gift certificate donation.

I need to recruit more volunteers or interns- there is so much that I need to get done during the day which I don't get to. I've tried before to get interns, but didn't have any luck. I also need to update my profile on Volunteer Match- Lisa, one of the best interns that I've ever had, found us that way. I'm going to put that on my list for tomorrow. I need someone with good computer skills, who is reliable and good on the phone, that can come in for a couple of hours a week and help with either program work or fundraising- or ideally, both things.

I didn't work on the big grant today- I got so wrapped up with other things that I was working on. Tomorrow, I am definitely working on it- even if it is only for a half hour. Well, that's all for tonight- I know this was not exactly the most fascinating blog post- this is a leap day, so I feel like I should have been far more interesting! On that note, I'm off to eat my grapefruit and read my book. Until tomorrow..

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Polly Productive

So what's new? Well, I've been Polly Productive these last few days. I've been focusing on following up with police departments and reaching some new departments as well. I have 3 donations scheduled for Friday and two for next Tuesday. I'm waiting to hear back from a bunch of other departments to set up more donations. We've had a lot of stuffed animal donations come in lately so we will be using those ones on Friday. I stopped at Family Dollar in Framingham tonight to load up on coloring books. When I do my donations on Friday, I'll stop at some other Family Dollars and get more. I always clear out their inventory when I'm there. They have the best and cheapest coloring books that I've found. I do need to find a better supplier for coloring books. I tried going to the publisher of the ones that I get from Family Dollar, but haven't had any luck. I think it's about time that I try again.

I've been working hard on contacting new sponsors for the Date Auction. I emailed a lot of companies this week. I don't have any news to report, but hopefully I'll have some good news soon. I'll give them some time before I follow up. I've also been waiting to hear back from some other people- it is so hard when you're waiting to hear back from people. When you don't get any response, you don't even know if your email was received or if it is floating in that vast land of email abyss. There is a balance between following up and being annoying. I never want to be annoying, but it is really hard when it is important to get a response. I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes and give them plenty of time to respond before following up again. If people need more time to make a decision, it is so much better when they respond to let you know that they need more time- that way, I know that they got my email and I don't need to keep following up.

Anyways, tomorrow, I need to work on that big grant which is due in April- it is the same one that I've been talking about since January! Along with contacting more police departments to schedule donations, I need to work on getting gift certificates donated for our two big fall events and getting a speaker for our Anniversary Celebration. My goal is to work on a bit of everything every day, but things rarely ever end up like that. I get caught up on one or two tasks and spend most of the day on those instead of working on other things as well. I should use my timer again so I can remind myself to switch tasks.

I'm off to eat some leftover cake and strawberries- I'm craving something sweet. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Back on Track

So what's new in my week without blogging? Well, my cold is better- it took a turn for the worse on Friday, but I am feeling a lot better. I'm still really tired though and that has made it hard to get all the things done that I need to. I feel like a lot of people are on vacation this week- I've been trying to get in touch with a number of businesses and police departments, but it is hard been hard to get a hold of anyone.

Today, I was spending time researching date auction sponsors. I need to compile a new list of sponsors to reach out to. I do a lot of work to research businesses who would like to reach the young professional market in Boston, particularly women since most of our attendees are women. I did speak with potential sponsor and emailed the info to them. Of course, I feel that all of the companies that I reach out to would be perfect sponsors! I'm halfway to our sponsorship goal, so we are in a good place. In other good news, Jet Blue has donated two round trip tickets for the silent auction at the date auction! The airline tickets are always the biggest auction item at the date auction. We're also getting commitments for gift certificate donations for the date auction too- they are both two new donors. It feels good that things are progressing on the date auction front- it is only small progress, but we have just under 7 months to go, so that's fine.

In other good news, we sold our first tickets for the Step into Spring fashion show today. The tickets have been available for less than a week and I've only done a little marketing for it to our members so far, so that is awesome. It is going to be such an exciting event, I'm really looking forward to it. I paired up all the models with the stores that they are going to represent, so that is one more big thing all done. The fittings need to be scheduled next, but they don't occur until about 10 days before the show.

Well friends, I think that's it for tonight. I know this may not have been the most exciting blog post ever and there probably is lots more to write about, but I'm getting tired and can't remember too much. I'm off to eat my grapefruit and try to actually get to sleep early. Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Half Speed

Well, I should have titled this blog quarter speed because that would have been a bit more accurate. I've been sick these last few days and haven't accomplished too much. I feel a little guilty because it's only a cold and not even that bad a cold, but I'm really struggling to get work done. I spent most of today just resting and drinking tea and tonight, I'm actually feeling better. The good thing is that I don't have to worry about sick days like other people do in their jobs. If I don't feel well, I can take a break and rest without worrying about losing a day's pay or using a sick day allocation. The downside is that I have no one to delegate my work to, so if I don't do it, then it doesn't get done. When I graduated college, I had a waitress job at a local restaurant. You didn't get sick days at that job and if you couldn't work, you had to find someone to cover your shift or bring in a doctor's note. One time, I had a horrible cold- the kind where your coughing all the time, nose running- absolutely gross. I couldn't find anyone to cover my shift and I didn't need to go to the doctor- besides the fact that a cold doesn't usually require a doctor's visit, I had a high deductible on my insurance which you had to meet before doctor's visits were covered. I called the restaurant, but they said I had to come in or get written up, so I went to work- feeling horrible and looking just as bad. If you're dining at a restaurant, probably one of the last things you want is to be served your food by a waitress with a nasty cold. If you're a manager, I don't know why you would want a sick waitress serving food either. Those days are long gone, but I do think about that whenever I'm in bed sick. I'm lucky to be able to take the time off without worrying about losing money or getting punished by a boss.

So what else is going on? Well, today Jet Blue donated two round trip tickets for the silent auction at our Date Auction. This is the first item for the silent auction. The airline tickets always do awesome, so that's really great to have. I've started work on reaching out to sponsors for the Anniversary Celebration. One of my goals this week was to work on sponsors for the Date Auction, but so far I haven't done that yet.

I mailed a donation of stuffed animals and coloring books/crayons and reading books to Fitchburg Police yesterday. We've donated to them a few times before. I was going to drive them up there and get a photo, but I wasn't feeling well. Gas prices are going up again, so I'm trying to batch donations together to save the gas, but I didn't have any other donations scheduled right now in that area. It is so expensive to mail the items- I think it was almost $40 to mail the 4 boxes.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. I'm off to read for a bit. It is only 9:30, I think this is the earliest I've ever blogged! Until tomorrow..

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lost and Found

Well, today got off to a bit of a rocky start. I woke up during the night thinking that I hadn't seen the screws that go into my backdrop's stand. Now, without these screws, the backdrop can't be set up and the backdrop is being debuted this Thursday at our shoe club event. I went back to sleep and woke up in the morning thinking about it. Fast forward almost an hour later and I was still looking for the screws. The stand costs $125, so it is not an easy thing to replace. In between looking, I made myself a cup of tea, trying to ward off the panic that was setting in. (I'm originally British- and the Brits believe in having a cup of tea even if your house is on fire) I called Staples to find out about getting replacement screws- Donna- the manager I always work with was very nice, but they didn't have the stand in stock. She recommended going to Home Depot and getting some screws that could be used temporarily. I stared out into space and felt like a moron. I decided to look on the couch again- the backdrop is rolled up and resting on the back of the couch, and there- underneath one of the pillows, were the screws. Oh, the relief! I don't even know if I had a dream about the screws- I just woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I'm glad I did though, because I would have been freaking out if it was Thursday morning and I was running around looking for my screws.

The rest of the day continued rather slowly- things that should not take that long to accomplish took a rather long time. I did a grant for a large foundation which usually makes an annual donation. The grant is very simple, it is for funding for the same program every year. I got hung up on some of the questions and it seemed to take forever to finish. I don't know why it seemed so complicated. The good news is that I finally got it done and submitted.

So what else is going on? Tomorrow, I'm dropping off coloring books/crayons and reading books to Bolyston PD. We did another donation to Leicester PD last week and a Worcester shelter. Leicester PD sent us a really nice thank you letter. I should scan it in and put it on our website.

In other news, another in-kind sponsor is back on board to help promote the Date Auction. So far, we've been lining up the same marketing as we usually do. I need to get back to work on sponsorship outreach and getting gift certificates donated for the couples to use. I've already started working on getting donations for our Anniversary Celebration silent auction. It is never too early to start. It may only be February, but the months fly by.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. There is lots more to write about- now that I'm another year older, I've become so much more enlightened and now have lots of insight to share (not exactly, but it sounds good). I'm off to read, write my list and head to bed. I might have my usual grapefruit- I ate late, so not sure if I'm feeling grapefruit tonight. Until tomorrow friends...