Prison Outreach – Introduction & Bake Sale

I joined a new service group this year, in hopes of aiding in establishing foundation and really exploring the lives of not only women in Sri Lankan prison and the psychological and physical effects on them, but also their children. Children born behind bars by these imprisoned mothers only leave when they turn 5 years old. The prison officials said the children are in need of many supplies and materials to improve their physical conditions. 

We started to plan two ways to tackle this firstly, a fundraiser, where the money will be used to buy the supplies; and secondly, a donation drive in which we will collect items from people’s homes that are commonly found & in good condition. 

Planning for the bake sale did not go perfect the first time; we had to change the date from Wednesday 16th to Wednesday 23rd because it was too short notice and wasn’t advertised enough. After the meeting on the 17th, it was finalized. Everyone had something to contribute and we decided on appropriate amounts and prices. 

I gladly accepted being promptly put in charge of creating posters, making the logo and most of the creative elements of the service group. I created two posters already for the two ways above (donation drive, bake sale). We found that the best way to approach the bake sale is to add some way that people can engage and learn more about the service, leading us to the idea of “making a wish” for the children. 

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The bake sale was extremely successful and we worked well as a team to sell the variety of goods. In total we managed to raise a total of 11 000 LKR, which is an amazing amount for our first bake sale! All of the cupcakes and waffles and half of the cookies were sold, but because we had sold such a variety of foods (both savory and sweet) we didn’t manage to finish selling the fries or popcorn. Nevertheless, it was good to learn what was popular to sell at school. 

   

I think an element we could’ve developed was the intellectual/creative engaging component, i.e. getting the customers to write a wish or draw something for the children so they have more awareness of where their money is going to. However, due to the conditions of the place we decided to sell this was too inconvenient. Everyone was waiting quite a long time in the hot & humid cafeteria while standing, and there was no space to write with the food occupying much of the space.

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 Hopefully through the donation drive we can raise awareness and engage people intellectually and creatively. It is one of our long term projects and people will have to think about what they bring/donate to the children. Soon we will invest in going on a trip together to buy the supplies with the money we earned. 

 

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