Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Our Best Has To Be Good Enough

This evening, I debated whether to post this on our Bodacious Biscuit Love blog site or this one. I decided on this blog site. Obviously. It had a lot more to do with behind the scenes and the topic at hand was more relevant to where we stand and why.

Over the past few months, during conversations we've had with various people, we've been asked why we're not doing as much as we used to do.

To elaborate a bit, we used to do a ton of charity and fundraiser stuff. All the time. The bulk of it was biscuit love. The rest was contributing to fundraisers that had nothing to do with our biscuit love mission.

I'm not exaggerating when I say, "a ton of."

There was a time when Lisa would travel over an hour, one way, after getting out of work to deliver a raffle basket that we were donating to an event.

We'd ship biscuits all over the United States and only charge $5 for shipping or we'd spread biscuit love out of state.

We said yes to every event we were invited to regardless of the distance, time involved or the fee we had to pay.

When someone reached out asking for a raffle basket for their non-animal related fundraiser, we always said yes.

When someone reached out to us asking if we would collect items for the raffle table, we said yes.

If I was asked to bake platters of baked goods for a bake sale, I said yes.

The list goes on.

As the saying goes, "you live, you learn."

The travel time during the week, after Lisa got out of work, was out of control and by the time she got home, she'd have less than an hour to unwind before bed.

Shipping costs were soaking us. Everything beyond the $5 comes out of our pocket. And, shipping biscuit love to California, for example, was costing us close to $20.

Every week, during event season, at least 3 days was dedicated to getting ready for the upcoming event. There were lots of times when we'd spend more time traveling to and from, setting up and taking down than the actual duration of the event. 

There was a point when we were making raffle baskets several times a week for non-animal related fundraisers. The cost of making these was an out of pocket expense too.

We were continually asking the same people if they'd like to donate an item for a raffle table. It got uncomfortable. I don't like putting people on the spot.

We were forking out a small fortune to keep the baking cupboards stocked and I was spending an exuberant amount of hours baking. I have no shame in admitting there were times when I felt resentful while baking. Why was I baking so much for people who only reached out and had anything to do with me when they wanted a platter of cookies or cupcakes?

In short, we got to the point where it was out of control and very expensive. And stressful. A lot of what we were doing had nothing to do with our original mission or what we had set out to do and contribute to in the first place. I started feeling like we were an easy target. People came out of the woodwork. People we didn't know. It's as if people knew if they asked, we'd say yes. No questions asked. Kind of the like the ask-and-you-shall-receive mentality. Once all was said, made, done, received, we'd never hear from these people again.

No thank you. No shout out, as promised, to get the word out about what we were doing. No photos. Nothing. It always amazes how "busy" people get or how easily people forget when it comes time to follow through on their end.

Last year, we stepped back and looked at the big picture. We needed to make some changes. Draw some lines. Acknowledge our limitations.

That's exactly what we did. Over the past 6 months, we've implemented these changes.

We now only offer our Bodacious Raffle Baskets for events that are raising money for our local Connecticut animal shelters. On occasion, we'll extend it to local rescue groups and organizations at our discretion. And, we only deliver if travel time is 30 minutes or less one way. Anything beyond that, someone has to pick up the raffle basket.

We are no longer participating in events that are over 30 minutes away. We're also not attending events that require a fee. I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again, I'd rather take $25 and buy 4 jars of peanut butter and 4 bags of flour, which makes a lot of biscuit love, than hand it over for table space at an event.

We're only spreading biscuit love to local Connecticut rescue pups and animal shelters. Yes, we're staying local.

I'm not baking for every single bake sale. I've embraced the fine art of saying no. Just, "No." I don't owe anyone an explanation. I don't have to answer them when they ask, "Why?"

The only fundraisers we're doing, whether hosting or contributing to, are the ones benefiting our local Connecticut animal shelters.

Like with so many other times in the past, when we've made changes, unrelated to any of this, some haven't been too pleased. We're okay with that. We have to be. We're only 2 people. We can only do so much on top of working, kids, errands, family time, managing 2 blogs, etc. Our best has to be good enough.

On the biscuit baking end of things, we've baked biscuits and spread biscuit love every week since October of 2013. That's pretty remarkable. 

These changes have brought on a tremendous amount of relief. More so, it's freed up a lot of time to bake biscuit love, visit shelters, use our biscuits to raise money to help the animal shelters in need, and focus on our mission to spread biscuit love to more shelter and rescue pups here in Connecticut.

That's what we had originally set out to do. That's what we're doing. And, that's what we're going to continue doing.

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