Guest Blogger: Sally Chalex - Alliance Member
The approach of the holiday season brings the filling of my mailbox with various charitable requests. I donate to my favorite groups and I appreciate the address labels, notepads and magnets of Thanks that they return. But I always wonder, when donating to a fundraiser, where is my money really going? It’s often frustrating: Did that charity work really make a difference? Did my “pennies a day” donation really help an organization grow? What contribution can all this volunteer work really provide?
This year I joined the Conner Prairie Alliance
and now I see the direct product of my philanthropy every day -- it’s right across the parking lot within the confines of Conner Prairie Interactive History Museum!
This is my first year volunteering at The Apple Store
and I have been very impressed. Though the Alliance members are all donating their time, The Apple Store is no slapped-together fundraiser. We sell quality products, food and gifts and turn all the profits over to the museum. Through the careful, detailed planning of experienced committees, The Apple Store blazes through the scant two months it’s open and turns a profit that makes my head spin.
Through the dedicated time of the Alliance, The Apple Store raised over $90,000 in profit last year. That’s astounding! By selling apples?! Yes, apples, but mostly fantastically yummy caramel apples that people adore. We’re open through October 30th so make sure you come by to get yours!
It’s an autumn tradition, and visitors plan their calendars around our September opening and often lament our “too soon” closing in October. Many customers stop by as a part of their Conner Prairie tour, though I’ve met many who just swing in to buy our treats! I love the idea that everyone who purchases something from us automatically donates to Conner Prairie -- whether they’re members or just drive-bys! I explained all this to a visitor last weekend and he agreed that, “Eating treats for a good cause is a charity I can get behind!”
So here’s a donation that I know goes to a good cause: my Time as an Alliance volunteer. I see the fruits (Ha! Sorry.) of my laboriously dipped caramel apples when I take my kids up in the 1859 Balloon Voyage. I love that my “pennies a day” donation of Time built the River Crossing Play Area. I know my volunteer work at The Apple Store is an integral part of keeping Conner Prairie fresh and thriving. I know that as a member of the Conner Prairie Alliance, I am making a difference.