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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:17 PM
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kpa0627 kpa0627 is offline
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Default Have You Asked Businesses to Donate Things For Your Daycare?

I went to a conference last weekend and in one of the classes she mentioned ways to gather free paper. She said you can call
*architect businesses (old blueprints)
*local newspaper (ask for the end roll pick up day)
*local office supply store (ask for out dated calendars)
*local print shop (ask for scrap paper or cardstock paper)

Has anyone else ever called businesses and had them donate things? I'm just trying to think of things I could use for the daycare and get for free!
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:33 PM
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YEP! No time to post now, but I will share later.

One thing now though......call your local wood working shops and lumber stores. Ask for the "scraps" I have an awesome set of wooden blocks that I got from a wood turning shop 13 years ago and the kids use them every day. I called and asked for scraps, and they actually used their scraps and smoothed them into blocks for me for free! You would be amazed at the stuff you can get for free if you simply ask!
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:58 PM
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Crystal,
That's a great idea.... I will add wood working shops and lumber stores to the list! Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated :-)
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:41 AM
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ive asked the pharmacy for film canisters.

we have a plastic factory nearby, they gave me tubs that they molded wrong (but fit perfectly in my homemade sand table)

resteraunts/diners for menus

i would love old xrays, but havent gotten around to asking any doctors yet

and at garage sales, if you bat your eyes and tell them its for the daycare children, they usually give you it for free....
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:59 AM
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melskids- Great ideas! I bet doctors offices would donate band aids, gloves, and other stuff too if you told them you wanted to do a doctors theme for your little ones.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:16 AM
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I read that one provider had a local pizza place donate new pizza boxes and she uses them for marble painting. Does anyone else have any good ideas?
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:23 AM
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Just a hint on donations:

You will have the best luck at 'ma and pa' type stores. The bigger chains will donate if you have a letterhead with your tax ID number on it, sometimes only if you're non-profit.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpa0627 View Post
I read that one provider had a local pizza place donate new pizza boxes and she uses them for marble painting. Does anyone else have any good ideas?
I have done this as well.....I actually have restaraunts donate many things.....pizza places - boxes, menus, number tents for the table,
Chinese rest. - to go boxes, menus, chop sticks, placemats...the kids love to play restaraunt and I have also used the pizza boxes to make portable flannel boards. Most restaraunts will give you this stuff....especially if you ask while you are dining there

Vet - old xrays, travel boxes, etc.
Dentists- old xrays, toothbrushes, dental floss, mirrorrs, etc.
Fabric stores - remnants of fabric
Construction company - hardhats, blueprints, etc.

I use this stuff to create "prop boxes" for dramatic play. Then when the children are pretending I have the materials available to pull out and offer to them to enhance their play.

One way to entice the stores to donate is by offering to display their materials and business cards.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:40 AM
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Great ideas Crystal. I'm looking for cheap ways to add to prop boxes for my themes too so these ideas will be really helpful when I'm gathering my stuff.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:39 PM
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I have a Dad who is a tile layer...he brings us left over tiles from job sites and we use them for decorative coaters and garden stepping stones for gifts. We paint on them, use permanent markers, glitter and anything else that sticks!
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:46 PM
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I would really love to get some of these things. How do you ask, and who do you ask?

I got carpet samples before from a carpet store they didn't seem to like doing it even though they said yes.

Last edited by DCMomOf3; 10-27-2010 at 12:48 PM. Reason: more comments
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:53 PM
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when the christmas tree lots go up around town, ask one to donate the pieces they cut off at the bottom of the trunk. These can be cut into thin rounds, coated in clear laquer and used for building, art activities, etc.

You can also ask them for some of the pine branches so the kids can make wreaths, use them as paint brushes for painting with, etc.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:54 PM
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paintstores/paint sections at home depot, etc. Collect several of their paint cards. at least two of each color. these can be used for learning colors, sorting, matching, memory games, etc. Best if you can laminate them.
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:54 PM
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Go to http://www.usps.com

You can order supplies for shipping for free and set up a post office for the kids.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quincy View Post
I would really love to get some of these things. How do you ask, and who do you ask?

I got carpet samples before from a carpet store they didn't seem to like doing it even though they said yes.
I typically ask a store manager if it is a larger store. At restaraunts, I just ask my waittress or whoever is at the counter.

Generally you should be able to ask whoever is working......you just can't be shy about it!
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2010, 03:46 PM
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Thanks everyone! I'm loving all of these ideas!
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:30 PM
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Wow Crystal, these are great. I never would have thought of some of these things.
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2010, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
Go to http://www.usps.com

You can order supplies for shipping for free and set up a post office for the kids.
Yup I love the USPS and order shipping boxes pretty often. I like to build them inside out so that the brown cardboard part of the box is on the outside and we use them as large cardboard blocks. I used to work for Lowe's so I know what time they start unpacking their stock in the evenings so I call ahead and ask them to hold large boxes for me (if I'm lucky I can get my hands on fridge and stove boxes and the kiddos like building forts, stands, etc. I've also gotten the ends of chain, carpet remnants, broken tiles (for mosaic crafts), wood leftovers for wood crafts etc.

From a friends motorcycle shop we get free little flags to stick in the ground and make roads with for our bikes, thick brown paper to paint on (from their shipping boxes). From the wood store next door to him I've gotten wood leftovers that we use as blocks etc. A friend of mine works in IT for an architect's office and we get blueprints, end rolls of paper, office supplies (you wouldn't believe the stuff they throw away including the ends of toilet paper rolls). I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you aren't used to asking random people you should try starting with the people you know. Know someone that works for a cleaning service? Ask them for the empty bottles of whatever and wash them out very well and use the spray bottles for painting etc. My mom works for state farm insurance and we frequently get pens, balloons, flags, tote bags with coloring books etc. Her boss is more than happy to give me stuff (okay so I used to baby-sit her kids when I was in high school lol) because I always hand these out and the kids take them home, can you say free advertisement? lol. Be creative and try the you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours routine.
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