We tucked our celebration away at the end of December, but the holiday season has dragged into the New Year for our family–by the Merry Mulch Fundraiser.
On any given day, we receive 7 to 21 calls about Christmas trees. (Of note: Despite a progressive populace, not a one referred to theirs as a Holiday Tree.)
Our son volunteered to receive these calls to offset the cost of his highschool band trip. His mother, who did not play a band instrument, is a writer. Self-employed. In the home. Which is why it was both necessary and excruciating to succumb to this daily intrusion. (I stopped answering the phone in 1989.)
On any given evening, my son spends 20 to 60 minutes replaying (and replaying and replaying) messages; compiling information; and making follow up calls.
More than the volume of Merry Mulch activity, we are surprised by the volume of good will. This is its 27th year of the Music Department fundraiser at Brattleboro Union High School. Some of the callers let us know that they have been participating since its inception. One woman informed my son that she was the one to conceive of it.
Our hearts are equally touched or tickled or annoyed by the characters we find on our answering machine. The warm and gravelly sound of an older man. The busy staccato of the cell phone caller. The confused caller. The comedic one. The irritated. The kind. The repetitive. The overly informative. Their quirky names. Corky. Junio. A woman named Mann. (My son wishes he could meet them all!)
When Aidan showed up at school that first week with close to 100 orders, the band director offered to place our phone number last on the radio and newspaper call list instead of first.
I am almost certain that we will never (or always) do this again.
Note: if you live in Brattleboro, here is the link to more information. There is one more pick up Saturday remaining. Calls must be placed by Thursday. Please don’t call the first number. http://buhs.wsesu.org/merry-mulch