School Pumpkin Donation
Probably the most enjoyable and entertaining projects that we have done has been to donate pumpkins to some of the elementary schools. We have tried a number of different methods of giving out the pumpkins and gourds.
The first year we donated some pumpkins was pretty much an unplanned event. We had grown several acres of pumpkins and gourds for a fundraiser for a school field trip fund. Even after a successful sale, we had many pickup loads of good pumpkins left over. One of the people mentioned that their mother worked at an elementary school that would appreciate some pumpkins because that district had a number of families that would most likely not be able to buy pumpkins. After a few phone calls, a date was set. A number of teachers volunteered to help unload all the pumkins they requested for the students and to decorate their classrooms.
For a number of years, we provided some smaller pumpkins for every student at the local elementary and middle schools.
The most memorable times to us were the times the classes came outside to a trailer with many pumpkins, one class at a time to pick out their pumpkin. It was fun to watch every child look for the specific one they wanted. Everyone had a criteria, but the criteria varied for for different kids from largest, smallest, cutest, ugliest, etc.. One thing was constant, the pumpkin most kids selected were not the one closest to them! There was also tendency for some of the more rambunctious students to jump on the trailer despite our guidance to the contrary.
Below is a picture showing the method that seemed to work the best. We utilized a low trailer so kids could easily go around the trailer and select the pumkin of their choice. We used sideboards to keep the pumpkins on the trailer while transporting them to the school and removed them when we arrived. We always made sure there were at least 10% more pumpkins than estimated students. This trailer held about 500 smaller pumpkins which is enough for many of the local elementary schools we supported. The classes would come out one at a time to select their pumpkins. I did find that bringing a wider assortment of pumpkins and gourds for the teachers to use in their classroom was a popular idea too. However, these needed to be kept separate from the kids view and accessibility.
The schoools suggested that for the lower elementary students we stay with the smaller pumpkins to make it easy for the students to carry their pumpkin home. The school did send a note home to the students ahead of time so the parents knew what was happening ahead of time.