July 12, 2016

Bottle Stall

Assorted bottles are offered as raffle items.I’m always interested in unique and easy fundraisers. So I was drawn to the bottle stall at Church of the Ascension in Munich, Germany (Anglican/Episcopal).

Various bottles filled a card table. Wine, of course. But also shampoo. Peanut butter. Homemade jam. Mouthwash. Apple juice. Water. Each bottle was marked with a number. For two euros (about $2.30), you could draw a number. (Or three numbers for five euros). The stipulation was that there was no trading the number. All draws were final. You might end up with a nice bottle of wine. Or a bottle of ketsup.

We were visiting the church on vacation and had stayed for an “all-American” cookout. Wanting to support the church, I bought three numbers. The first corresponded to Jif peanut butter. Oh, said one of the woman, you got one of the best bottles. Really, I thought. Apparently despite globalization, Jif peanut butter is hard to get in Germany. The bottle was purchased at a PX (a store on one of the Army bases). Because our access to peanut butter is pretty good, I donated the bottle back. I was lucky that another number corresponded to some homemade Erdbeere jam (strawberry). I already was imagining how it would taste on warm toast. Later in the cookout, the jar ended up going home with a family of eight. They had just arrived from the US for a year study program. I bet the jam tasted just as good on their toast as it would have on mine.

What I liked about the bottle stall fundraiser – and why I thought I’d share it here – was its ease. For a few Sundays prior to the cookout, an announcement was made seeking donations of bottles. Then a volunteer coordinated and numbered them. Fundraiser setup complete.

I can imagine this as an easy fundraiser for a youth group or Sunday School class or an add-on to another event. Plus, it’s different, and it was kind of fun looking at all the bottles, wondering which ones I might choose – and hoping for the homemade jam!

I wonder what other easy and fun fundraisers are out there. Do you have ideas to share?

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