Here we are, beginning the second week of gathering up donated grocery receipts from the International Market. During the first week, at least one volunteer (and sometimes as many as 3 of us) has been at the market during part of each day to explain to customers that we want their grocery receipts, why we want their grocery receipts, and how they can give us their grocery receipts. My experience of this has been that I have about 12 seconds to get their attention as they move right on by me to the door. If I can get them to slow down a little in that 12 seconds, I can probably get it explained.
And, because it was a very busy week (pre-Canadian Thanksgiving), there was a very steady flow of customers. It was not hard to speak to 50 different people/couples/families in an hour. And the register receipts began to roll in. Over a thousand of them in the first batch that were gathered up last Friday.
We hope to continue to have at least one person at the market every day this week, too, explaining. The hope is that after two weeks, enough people will understand it that we won't need to have this extra step. (If you're inclined to join us in this task, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out a time slot of an hour or two.) We've written a Letter to the Editor at the Delta Optimist in the hope that that, too, will help. The All Point Bulletin's coverage has been great in getting it explained to Point Roberts' residents. Lots of people say, within a couple of seconds, "Yes, I read about it in the paper."
The checkers at the International Market are doing a wonderful job of helping us by printing all those duplicate receipts that are needed for those who are going directly to the border with their groceries, and by providing information to help customers get the receipts deposited. If you think of it when you are in the market, thank them. We continue to be grateful for all the help we are receiving!
And soon, we hope to have the first report on amounts for the first week, as well as totals for last month's Sterling Bank Great Change month. (If you are still longing to donate change, there's a change jar at Auntie Pam's Country Store, and another one at the Chevron gas station. But now, the Friends' fundraising committee is going to have to do the counting.)
--Judy Ross, for The Friends of the Point Roberts Library