Deer in the Headlights Meets Dinner for 100

Today’s project:  sending a long email to 100 people (at least half of whom I’ve never met) to beg them to donate some food for 7 nights of dinners for 100.

I’m not a professional fundraiser. I’m a Stage Mother. And I do this because I really get behind the high school’s tradition of feeding the cast, crew, orchestra and staff of the spring musical during Tech Week each year.

This van is fully loaded and on the way to one of last year’s Tech Week Dinners.

It’s good for the kids. They get camaraderie, lots of laughs, and a good meal before a grueling rehearsal.

It’s good for the staff. They know the kids will be at rehearsal on time, since they’re required to eat dinner together beforehand.

It’s good for the parents. They know their kids won’t be crossing the state highway that fronts the school to get hoagies or chicken nuggets for their dinner. They don’t have to give their kids dinner money for those 7 rehearsal days. By my estimate, they’re saving at least $50.

Nobody wants the job I’ve taken on, but I love it. There are 3 parts to the job:

  • Plan the menu and figure out how much food will be needed each day
  • Beg for donations
  • Show up and get those dinners on the table

That last is where the deer in the headlights comes in. When 4:00 rolls around and dinner is in an hour, you get that 30 minutes of panic when you wonder if all the donated food is going to show up, and whether all the people who said they’d help will show up, and you run around like a crazy person making 5 gallons of lemonade, baking tater tots and plugging in extension cords for the crockpots of taco meat and having people who never signed up to bring food show up with 100 more meatballs…

But the kids are unfailingly beyond appreciative. They thank us when they show up, when we fill their plates, and before they leave. Some of them come back through the line to say how much they liked something we served that night.

It’s worth every moment of hard work and every panic attack.

And GO!

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