Every parent I know does this at least a few times a year. Cleaning out the closets to get rid of those clothes our kids have outgrown in order to make room for new clothes. Back to school time will be here before you know it and I have already gotten a jump on it! Getting rid of clothes from my kids’ closet makes me so happy. Making the clutter go away brings a sense of calm and order (even if it’s only momentary).
I am always looking for ways to make more money for my kids’ schools, because, hey, they need it! If it can be low stress, it’s a bonus.
I’m not suggesting a school yard sale. You don’t need to drag all the clothes to the school and sit in the sun waiting for people to buy your stuff. You don’t have to hang signs (and hope they don’t blow away) in hopes of getting customers. Sure, you could sell the clothes yourself on ebay or make some extra cash for yourself with a consignment store, but I don’t want the hassle of shipping stuff out, and the schools need it more. Those aren’t low stress fundraisers.
I have found a way to make cleaning out the closet profitable for your school!
What if you could clean out those closets, put them in a bag that has shipping paid for and then you could sit back and wait for the money to start rolling in for your school? Would you believe it could be so easy? IT IS! Enter Schoola.com. This is a company that launched in 2012, around the time my first book was published (otherwise I would have included them)!
Schoola is the creation of Stacey Boyd—parent, former teacher and school principal. In 1997, she built an inner-city charter school from the ground up. A year later it was one of the highest performing middle schools in Boston. Stacey saw firsthand how children who struggled in math could come alive in music class. How art, physical education and foreign language could have a profound effect on students. She also saw how hard it was to get funds to support these programs. And how easy it was for the programs to get cut.
Dedicated to putting paintbrushes, books, baseballs and violins back into the hands of children, a few innovative schools took the call to run a clothing drive during the last (and busiest) week of school in 2013. Parents sent in their gently used clothing. Schoola listed the clothes on their site at amazing prices, and schools received 40% of the proceeds from every item sold—money that funds all those programs so critical to the success of our kids.
Today, they are 10,000 schools strong. The proceeds to the schools bring new paints to art classes, new instruments to the orchestra, new books to the libraries. Quality clothes get a second life. Parents help parents (kids can help too). Schools help schools. I have personally seen it work for my kid’s middle school and for clients of mine as well. This is about as low stress as it gets. It’s not raising THOUSANDS of dollars, but it is doing a lot of good for a lot of people.
As always, I wish you success with everything you do — and hopefully, this can motivate you to clean out some closets for cash! Do it! Your schools need you.
Sarah has been fundraising for schools since 2008. She is the author of A Mom’s Guide to School Fundraising and has consulted for several schools and clubs. She has been featured on RetailMeNot.com, Scholastic: Parent & Child and The New York Times. She thinks all kids should be able to have a well-rounded education, team uniforms, instruments and support. Don’t you?
Photo Credit: Schoola.com