What a privilege to be involved with Creations For Charity yet again this year. I am thrilled, not only with the whopping $9300 raised through sales, but also with the number of donations we received from such a varied group of talented builders.
The process for me each year has been pretty much the same. Once the donations start rolling in and are listed for sale, I start scouring the internet, and local stores, for ‘decent’ Lego deals. Often the local chains will have better deals (and more frequently) that the national chains.
Many times there are deals to be found online that cannot be found inside actual stores. There are a lot of things to be mindful of, including shipping charges (free is great), state sales tax, are the ordered items available for in store pick-up, etc. We also have to watched for inflated prices and check the original MSRP. Something might look like a good deal at 25% off, but if the list price is already 20% above the Manufacturer’s Suggested Sale Price, it isn’t really a deal at all. We generally try to find 30% or more off of Lego themes and 25% or more off of licensed themes. Sometimes this is very difficult because the Toys For Tots deadline here in West Michigan in ten days before Christmas. As a result, I cannot afford to take advantage of ‘last minute’ sales deals.
As the sets start piling up in my apartment, I keep them set aside in a closet or extra bedroom. In previous years I have gone directly to the T4T drop off at my local Marine Reserves office. This year, however, due to my schedule, I made drops at local businesses with T4T drop-off bins. I would go in and top off the box with Lego sets. At one Panera Bread location, the box was empty. The place was completely packed, and not a single toy in the box. So, my girlfriend and I filled it completely with Lego.
After dropping off the last of my donations, I simply sit back and see what the rest of the buyers were able to find. This year we have gotten quite a haul! I look forward to seeing how much Lego value we got for the amount of money we actually spent.
Finally, I want to say thank you. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes at Creations For Charity who manage the sales and handle the publicity, to the numerous builders who donated their time and resources and money to create and ship creations, to the people who generously bought those creations or donated directly to our fund, and to you, for reading this, because if you are reading this, you are interested enough and care enough to be a part of what we are trying to do.
Remember, giving children the gift of Lego is not something that is limited to the holiday season. Lego teaches children engineering, physics, creativity, math, and problem-solving not to mention much more. We all know children who need that type of inspiration. Even the smallest sets can make a world of difference. I encourage you to be inspiring to a child. Be a Lego hero.
I eagerly look forward to 2013!