I think it all started with the Children's Craft Fair. Junior J had made and sold Perler bead magnets at the fair earlier this year, and after that we had this idea that we could continue making crafts to sell for charity.
I had a chat with Junior J to see if he was keen on making more magnets and selling them, and he said yes! So I gave him a choice on which organization he would like to support, and he decided that he wanted to raise funds for the SPCA (he really loves animals). I contacted them, and after sorting out the admin, he got down to making samples, which we posted up on the blog FB page.
He had decided to make similar magnets to those he had made for the craft fair: fruits, as well as My Little Ponies. From past experience, most pony templates were huge, and required a lot of time to make, so I took our favourite Rainbow Dash template and modified it to make Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie as well as Twilight Sparkle. (A random side point: I learnt a fair bit during this project. Before this, I was clueless about My Little Ponies, all I knew was that they had colourful hair! I had to google for their names and pictures, so that I could make the other pony samples. I guess that comes from having only boys in the family!)
We received quite a fair bit of orders (especially for ponies!), so after awhile I had to decline some, especially those who were requesting for other new designs. I designed an excel file to keep track of orders, while explaining to him how it worked. He helped to key in orders, and would refer to the file while making his magnets.
Making these took quite a fair bit of time, and Junior J would sometimes lose focus, and would want to run off to play when making the ponies. I didn't want to keep nagging at him to finish all the orders, so we spread them out and he would work on the magnets a little each day.
Once that was done, we packed the orders. The boy loved referring to the file and compiling the orders (I think it's part of his need for order!), and he liked wrapping the magnets in bubble wrap and securing everything with tape. We did the calculations for the cost the old-fashioned way, using a abacus, so that the boy could work on his Math, and he would double-check his answers to the excel file, and write down the amount on each package.
Weighing the packages and calculating the postage was quite fun. He didn't really get how to figure out the postage, but I would tell him the postage required, and he had to figure out which combination of stamps would work. He loved pasting the stamps on, and I would help him to address the envelopes (since his handwriting is still very wobbly!). While most folks paid via bank transfer, we would give him cash to keep in an envelope, so that he could physically count the money and check that the total was correct.
We submitted the funds last Thursday, and the boy was delighted to receive a wristband from the folks at the SPCA for his efforts. (He was so shy, he hid behind me and stuck his hand out to give the envelope!) We had brought all the boys down as I thought they could go and see the animals, but the adoption shelter was closed (they are closed on Thursdays), so we'll be going down again one of these days.
It was a great learning experience for all of us. I learnt how to guide and keep Junior J on track for the project, and learnt how to be more patient, while the boy picked up all sorts of skills along the way. I'm so thankful that we're homeschooling, because we would not have the time for this project otherwise. And a big thank you to all of you, for all your encouragement, support and donations, we couldn't have done it without you!