Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sprouts of Hope: Yard Sale + Food Sale Fundraiser

Raising Money — To Give It Away

By Maya

On June 5, the Sprouts of Hope held our third yard sale. As usual, we filled our driveway with stuff we've outgrown or don't need but others might like to have. We sold books, games, toys, clothes, kitchen appliances and accessories, books, ice skates, rollerblades, bikes, shoes, plants, jewelry, bags, printers, and just about anything else you could think of. And we baked yummy cookies and our friend, Pu Zhang, cooked homemade Chinese dumplings. They are always a big hit, and we sold all of them within an hour of their arrival.

All of the Sprouts pitched in with donating things to the sale and being there while it was going on.

The yard sale was a total success! We raised a total of 825 dollars, and now we've donated that money to three organizations, City Sprouts (a gardening program at public schools in Cambridge), The Sprouts of Hope Fund (named after us, as its founders, the fund helps kids who don't have the resources to participate in Roots & Shoots be able to do so), and Doctors Without Borders.

To each, we donated 275 dollars!We also received items from other friends. As one part of the sale we did a silent auction for some of the special items, including my bike (I am now going to ride the one my mom used to ride), a hand carved Native America bowl, and a huge art set.

Prior to the sale we created colorful signs and hung them up around our neighborhood. We also put the information on to Craigslist and spread the word through Facebook and at school.

When the day came, it was miraculously clear and sunny. A lot people stopped by, and we sold a ton of things! When it was over, we loaded up our parents' cars and made trips to

Goodwill to donate the remaining stuff. Just our leftovers alone filled more than two huge cars!

It feels great knowing that we were able to raise all of this money, and send it off to help out three great causes.

We hope to hold another yard sale so that we can recycle what we don't need to others and then use the money we raise to make a difference in other people's lives.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Using Our Book to Teach about Energy

By Eliza

On Saturday, May 21st, the Sprouts of Hope had the opportunity to display our book, “Energy Lite,” at the Cambridge Climate Change Week ActionFest.It was very exciting to spread the word about our project to people who, like us, are interested in global warming and the environment. The event took place at Cambridge College, and people from many organizations gathered to educate the community about the issues facing our planet. Among these organizations were the Cambridge Energy Alliance and the Cambridge Climate Emergency action group.

The Sprouts set up a table with copies of our book and Kill A Watt meters. We gave out information about “Energy Lite,” Roots & Shoots, and energy conservation in general. We had a raffle (people filled out an energy conservation pledge to enter), and at the end of the day, we raffled off two Kill A Watt meters.

We also baked cookies in an oven while we measured with a Kill A Meter how much energy we were using! Just the smell of cookies cooking lures people to our display.

During the past few weeks, we have been very active in spreading the word about our book. On Thursday, May 19th, two of the Sprouts were able to attend the HEET Vampire Hunt and Efficiency Ware Party, where we got to talk to some interesting people about projects that we have worked on for several years as Sprouts – as well as our hopes for the future.

Speaking of the future, it seems as if all of our hard work at getting the word out about “Energy Lite” is paying off. Recently, Green Decade/Cambridge gave us a $300.00 grant to print more copies of "Energy Lite," and now we've found out that our book will be going into the Boston Public Library system. From the books we printed with our grant, we are giving the Boston libraries 40 copies to spread throughout their library branches — and they will be paired with Kill A Watt meters that are already there. And a nonprofit organization called Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN) will use “Energy Lite” as a way to teach kids about energy use and conservation this summer. And four copies of “Energy Lite” are going to be put into the Medford (MA) libraries, too.

We are very excited about these small steps forward, and hope to continue promoting energy efficiency in the future.