Ways to make money
Last weekend, we went to pick out a kitten. Driving through the subdivision that held the kitten's home; we passed a lemonade stand. I insisted we stop so I could buy some lemonade. The hubby-man thought I was nuts, but he dutifully pulled over so I could trade a quarter for a 10 oz. cup of lukewarm Crystal Light. (bleah)
So why did I do this? Why did I buy, and then drink, something I had no desire for?
Because I remember the pleasure of a handful of change that I earned myself.
My sister and I tried selling lemonade, snow cones, and ice cream. When that didn't earn enough to make it worth the effort, we mowed lawns and worked at the bingo hall in the Church basement. Bingo players are weird. Each person has their own little ritual for playing. They have a "lucky seat" and a "lucky number", and lucky doo-dads that they spread around their cards. Each knick-knack must be touched a certain number of times before the game commences. Everything must be in a certain order, so as to insure a good day. Some players liked to pick out their own bingo cards, but others preferred to have children do it for them. So, one of our jobs was to sit by the bins and pick "lucky" cards. For this service, we would receive a tip. Usually a nickel, sometimes the tip was as large as a quarter. Once gaming commenced, we ran errands for the customers. We would fetch food and drink for the players, so they needn't interrupt their game. This also usually earned a tip.
We would work for 3 hours or so, and come home with a few dollars worth of change. The work really paid off during Girl Scout Cookie time. We sold cookies door-to-door, and we also ordered extra cookies; which we sold before bingo. Mom was our troop leader, and she was really cool about the cookie sales. She would set a goal for the troop -enough to cover an educational field trip- and anything above that goal went into our personal accounts. We could use it to buy badges, new uniforms, or a trip to Girl Scout camp.
My sister and I figured the profit from cookie sales, and ordered the amount we would need to sell in order to go to camp. This meant 200 boxes of cookies. It wasn't too bad, really; because we could count on at least 100 boxes from door-to-door sales. Cookies were $1.75 at the time. Of that amount, 75 cents went to the troop. So 100 boxes equaled $75. And that was enough to get us to camp, since mom's income qualified us for a partial scholarship.
We sold cookies like crazy, until my neighbors ran out of money. President Reagan's "trickle down" theory never trickled into my neighborhood. It was embarrassing to knock on a door and have someone look wistfully at your order sheet and say, "I just can't this year. I'm sorry." My sister and I knocked on door after door, and we were turned away time and again. The people who used to order 10 boxes, began ordering one or two instead. To meet our goals, we ranged far beyond the neighborhood; taking orders as far away as Meremec Park. It was great in theory... but actually delivering 200 boxes of cookies was another matter.
Every day, for 3 solid weeks we hung bags of cookies off the handlebars of our bikes; for delivery to the far flung corners of South St. Louis. When your customer lives a block away, it's no big deal if they're not home. You just deliver on another day. But when you have to bike for 2 miles, balancing bags of cookies on your handlebars; to be greeted by an empty house... it kind of sucks.
Some of our customers were only home at night, and mom wouldn't let us bike at night; so those deliveries had to be made on the weekends. In the end, we were rescued by mom's boyfriend. He spent the last few days of our delivery time driving us to the various houses. Oh, the luxury of a car!