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Free Beverages For Cito Event


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Sorry this is last minute but I just found this out myself....


One of our CITO event organizers called up a local McDonalds restaurant because he heard that Mcdonalds helps support community service projects.

I guess the info was true because they're giving us free use of a cooler and orange drink concentrate for our event.


So if you need cold beverages for your volunteers try giving the local Mcdonalds a call!

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You might want to check out your local Starbucks or Dunkie as well. When I worked for a small non-profit, Starbucks supplied all of the coffee and cups for our volunteer traning sessions. I can't guarantee that they will agree, but it's worth a shot.


I find that the best way is to write up a formal request and take it into the business and ask to speak with the manager. Sometimes the manager can make an on the spot decision, other times they have to go to "corporate" for permission - this is why you want to go in with the letter already prepared. This approach is the way I would inquire of donations of any business. In the years that I worked for non-profits, I was never turned down for requests such as these. Being prepared and looking like you have a clue (and sometimes I didn't!) makes all the difference.


Oh, be sure to go to the business location that is in the actual town you are holding the clean-up in.


Good luck!

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I used exactly the same approach as Cool Librarian several years ago when my dad and I shared the duties of treasurer for a local 5K.


Several local stores and restaurants donated fruit, drinks, and all kinds of random stuff.


I'd really look into this kind of stuff...

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What should a formal request look like?

Here's the text from a letter I wrote (and will mail) to the McDonald's closest to our CITO event:


Dear Sir or Madam,


I am a student at the University of Memphis as well as a member of the Geocachers of West Tennessee organization. Geocaching is a fairly new outdoor activity, which combines the technology of the internet and the United States global positioning system (GPS) with the environment. Briefly, a geocacher hides a small container holding a logbook and small trinkets somewhere scenic or memorable and then publishes the GPS coordinates on the internet for other geocachers to seek. Right now, there are more than 150,000 geocaches worldwide, and more than 80 geocaches within ten miles of your restaurant. You can find more information about geocaching at: www.geocaching.com.


On Saturday, April 16, 2005, the Geocachers of West Tennessee will be participating in an international cleanup sponsored by geocaching.com known as Cache In, Trash Out, or CITO. Our group will be helping to pick up trash at the Peterson Lake Nature Center at W.C. Johnson Park located on Wolf Ridge Drive two miles north of your restaurant.


According to the McDonald’s corporate website, “Owner/operators and regional company organizations support local clean-up days with free meals for volunteers and promotional incentives for participation.” The Geocachers of West Tennessee would like to invite you to support our cleanup efforts by providing meals or drinks for the event.


Our group of roughly 25 to 30 kids and adults will be meeting at the park at 8:00am on Saturday, April 16, 2005. We would like to provide everyone with a light breakfast to begin our day of picking up litter.


Would you be willing to help us out? You can contact me on my mobile phone or through email.


I look forward to hearing from you.

I didn't spend as much time on it as I might a resume or scholarship application, but I think it gets the point across, and it fits on one page.



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Great letter worked for our CITO event in Scottsbluff Nebraska.

Do you mean to say that you used the text from my letter? Heh.. well at least I know now that it wasn't my words that didn't convince them.



Hey Jamie,


I heard it was the McD's in Collierville, TN that delivered the stuff to the event in Nebraska!


*in my best 'old deep south' voice*


. . . it appea-uhs, what we have hee-uh, is a fail-yuh to communicate!



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Oh crap, forgot the pics. Here:


Here's Hoot Owl with a cart of some of the stuff we got:




The rakes in this picture were given to us by Home Depot. They gave us four.




They also gave us leaf bags and contractor garbage bags, seen in this group pic from day 1.




We got paint supplies, including the coveralls Hoot Owl is wearing, the paint roller and extention, two gallons of paint, two trays, and three brushes.




One of their guys came over to help for a bit, even.




Here's the day 2 group pic. The Home Depot assistant store manager is second from the left. He came to see our work.




In addition, we got a lawn mower and weed trimmer which we ended up not using because one of the local cachers brought his own equipment.


Probably the biggest reason Home Depot gladly helped us out is because the cemetery which we cleaned up is on their property, although it's worth a shot for any project. Home Depot claims to be a positive community member. The biggest trouble I had was getting in touch with the right people. Had to make about four phone calls and a couple of visits before I got the right guy who could say yes.


Be prepared with what you need. Like... a list printed out.



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