Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Little Tomato Seed Co.'s First Fundraiser: Fingerprint Ornaments

The Little Tomato Seed Co. is a group of hand-picked, Long Beach students in grades 8-12 that organize and host fundraisers that benefit the Long Beach Memorial Miller Children's Hospital. We had our first fundraiser this past Saturday for Small Business Saturday. We invited families into our office to make fingerprint ornaments, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the local children's hospital.

All of the wooden disks were cut from trees in Long Beach. The city has been trimming trees in an effort to save them, so my dad threw some in the back of his car and cut them by hand for us. This was great because they were free, it made use of a natural resource, and it showed the kids that you can repurpose "trash".

Two of the Little Tomato Seed Co.'s members weren't able to attend the event, but they still wanted to help. They were gracious enough to offer their help during their Thanksgiving break. They sanded all of the pieces, painted them, and stamped one of these onto the back of every wood disk. It's a sweet message that was perfect for the occasion and for gift-giving this holiday season. Thank you, Jiselle and Jacinda, for all of your great prep work!

These were the four samples that I made up. 

I ordered a Small Business Saturday kit from American Express and completely forgot to hand out these adorable bags designed by Rifle Paper Co.!

I had four great helpers in the office, and they jumped right in. Here's a shot of Stephanie helping us dry the paint from gloppy fingerprints. 

Here I am asking Kate what she wants written on her ornament. Ashley is hard-at-work on making her card for the patient waiting room.

You can see Mikey here helping Daphne get her fingerprints on the ornaments.

Caitie and Amanda each made 4 ornaments. The kids were busy at work on their cards. I threw some paper and pencils and crayons and glue and scissors on the table as an after-thought when I realized how long the fingerprints took to dry. I needed something for them to do, but when we were especially busy at around 10:30a, I should have pulled out the books. My helpers were really great at entertaining the kids while I frantically decorated and wrote names.

Stephanie was a great helper with the cards!

Ashlyn was busy writing the kids' names on the bags so that we knew which ornament belonged to each child. I think she's also the one that took these photos on my phone, which explains why she isn't in many of them. 

Zoya helped me get set up, and let me tell you, she sets up a mean cookie tray. She restocked it for me a few times, and she glued on the string to the back of the discs.

The look on some parents' faces when they handed me their fingerprints was priceless. It was the good-luck-making-this-cute face! I think Sterling also made 4 ornaments. This was pictured here was my favorite:

Olivia made three ornaments, and she had LOTS of fun with the paint. Her mommy, Brittney, is a crafty teacher friend of mine, so I let her decorate her own fingerprints. I wrote Olivia's name on them, and here's a proud Daddy showing off his girls' work:

And then, there's Rosie. Rosie came in during a slow time, and she had lots of fun doing her own designs. It was quiet, she got into the zone, and her ornaments are so sweet. Isn't she talented?! 

We're going to drop off the cards that the kids made to the sibling room. There's a waiting room downstairs with all kinds of fun toys for siblings to play with. We will leave these cards in there so that siblings can write notes to each other.

These four adorable children belong to Jared Wilson. Jared sat on the dot next to me for PE in middle school, and he used to drive me nuts. Ha! He's grown into the sweetest person, and I love running into him (and his family) around town. His wife brought all four of them in and they were SO well-behaved. I've also seen her with the kids at Target, and she wrangles these kids like a boss. They made family ornaments using all of their fingerprints. Isn't that so sweet? 

Zoya's family made this one. I wanted to keep it for myself.

If I'm being completely honest, I hoped that 5 people would come to our event. I only saw a few people share it on Facebook, and I thought that having 4 helpers would be too many. I brought the bags to wrap up the ornaments, and I even grabbed some tissue paper to protect them. To my surprise, we had SO many people show up that we ended up using the bags to keep track of everyone's ornaments. Again, with very little direction, my helpers just took over and helped keep everything organized and moving.

As I finished up ornaments that afternoon, it occurred to me that I may have forgotten to add beaks on the owls and antlers on the reindeer. Oops! If you took your ornament home and realized that I forgot something, PLEASE feel free to come by the office on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30-8:00p from now until December 21st and I'd be happy to add anything that I forgot. Shoot me an email at kristen@kidsunderconstruction.com and I'll bring my markers in with me.

Thank you all for your support! We raised a lot of money, and the Little Tomato Seed Co. and I can't wait to go shopping for our donations. 

It's not too late to contribute! Here are two ways that you can donate:

BUY BOOKS FOR YOURSELF: Visit www.kidsdigusbornebooks.com and buy some books for you home library! Orders placed by Friday, December 9th under the "Little Tomato" party will benefit the hospital. 10% of your purchase amount will be used to buy books for the hospital. For example, if you place a personal order for $100, we will buy $10 worth of books to donate to the hospital.

SEND GIFTS DIRECTLY TO THE HOSPITAL: Visit Starlight at http://hcf.starlight.org/hcf/profile/index/id/129/ to view the wish list items and send them directly to the hospital. They are in desperate need of PlayDoh and crib night lights, and there are lots of fun items to choose from. Matthew can tell you more about how to donate:

Want to find out how much money we raised in 3 hours? Follow us on Instagram at @littletomatoseedco to see the grand number. Thank you, Long Beach! We can't wait for our next Little Tomato Seed Co. fundraiser!