For the past two months I have been working on a Mother's Day fundraiser for MOPS at my church. In the weeks leading up to Mother's Day I would sit out in the lobby before and after service at my little table offering an alternative to the traditional Mother's Day gift.
I came up with this idea last year when I joined the steering team and realized how lacking of funds we were. Our church is pretty big. I don't know the membership numbers but the auditorium seats 1500-ish. In the nursery alone there are five separate rooms to take care of kids under the age of 2. There is also a large college population. Which I have been trying to tap into. I assumed (and I may be wrong) that most of the college kids would at least send their mom a Mother's Day card. I also assumed (wrongly I am sure) that these Christan kids would be really excited to have an alternative gift to give their mom.
It goes something like this: Donate money to the ministry and we give you back a card that you fill out with your moms name as the honored woman and your name as the giver. It says that a donation has been made in ___________ name to the MOPS ministry in honor of Mother's Day. It then goes on to tell what MOPS is and why it is important... blah blah blah
I was so excited about my idea. Last year I printed up a whole mess of cards and fliers and such. The fundraiser is all done and I still have some cards left over.
I couldn't understand what went wrong. This year I started getting the word out early. Our announcement was in the church bulletin, the electronic newsletter, I even made a video about MOPS to further the cause. At 2 services over the past month we were mentioned from the pulpit... and yet - just a trickle of people would stop by. All of them over 40.
I was talking to my babysitter about this whole thing. She is 21(ish) a junior in college. She was lamenting over the fact that she had not gotten a Mother's Day gift for her mom yet. I said "hey, why not donate some money to MOPS in her name." She told me that although it sounded nice, she wasn't sure her parents would appreciate it- and frankly I could tell that she didn't really dig the idea.
That did not boost my confidence in my work. How could a Christian mother not appreciate a ministry for young mothers? and how would her mom feel to know that the day before mothers day her daughter was complaining about getting her mom something.
Are we so programed to receiving gifts, that even when we say we don't want or need anything more we still secretly love opening that box and getting another, picture frame, perfume, candle? And are we so afraid of looking odd that we still go out and purchase a bunch of junk for someone because its the "right" thing to do?
Or could it just be that I am bitter that I may have had a lousy idea ! :-)
Happy Mother's Day!