Close Knit Community Archives

Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education

If you saw a dime on the ground.. would you pick it up? I know that I would. I always pick up coins that I find on the ground…. yes, even pennies. I think it is habit more than anything. Over the years I am sure that I have found  a substantial amount of money.

Finding a dime on the ground may not seem like a lot but if you were to combined your efforts with 100’s of others on a routine basis…. those dimes would quickly add up. Campbell’s and General Mills both offer the same concept as finding dimes on the ground….they both offer a way for your school to benefit by placing a specific label on their products that you collect and when turned into your school they are able to redeem them for CASH….

There are 2 companies that are trading labels for CASH…. Campbell’s and General Mills.

Campbell’s = Labels for Education
General Mills = Box Tops for Education

General Mills launched Box Tops for Education in 1996 on its cereal boxes. Since then, the program has given more than $400 million to schools across the country. Today, 30,000 schools participate in this nationwide fundraising program. New products are being added to the program constantly, so keep your eye out for the logo on your favorite products.

On this page you will find a list of products that have labels on them. Most are worth 10 cents each unless otherwise stated. Some Bonus Box Tops are worth more but they contain the amount and an expiration date. The schools turn the labels in for CASH and they are able to get a check twice a year… Up to $20,000 a year…. Just think what YOUR school could do with additional money.

If you want to PRINT off a list of participating box top products you can go here

Please keep in mind that more and more products are being added to that list. I am making it a habit to now look over all packages before I throw them out. It only takes a few seconds and it is able to produce such good.

I bet it you looked in your pantry now you would find lots of “Dimes”.

Labels for Education is for Campbell’s and many other products like Pepperidge Farms, Pop Secret, BIC, and Post just to name a few. These labels are turned into Campbell’s for points that can be used to buy items like computer games, supplies, and items to use in the classroom.

Take a few moments to check each website for specific products and to make sure your school is enrolled. Each site has a handy search box for you to see what schools in your area are participating

Just another hint…Tyson labels are great because they are worth 24 cents each so that really adds up.

I bet you have a pantry FULL of labels just waiting to be clipped.

Once collected you can send these labels into school with your kids. Perhaps you could set up a collection box at your work place or your church. If people simply know about this I am sure they will be happy to help. We do not have any kids but this is something that is so easy to do and so beneficial that I will be checking out my food containers before I pitch them from now on.

Our Ida Library has a collection box for both Labels for Education and Box Tops for Education. Suzanne has the box placed on the window sill where the self service check out station is. Box Tops for Education go to the Ida Middle School and the Labels for Education go to the Ida Elementary School.

Please start collecting and help your school find extra CASH one of the easiest ways possible. A big thanks to both Labels for Education- Campbell’s and Box Tops for Education- General Mills for offering this wonderful nationwide fundraiser. It really does not get much easier than this.

Here are a couple of images of the labels that you are to be looking for. I found many shapes and sizes of the images. Once you get the hang of it they will be easy to spot!


Brighton Dining

I was reading a “Local Detroit” magazine the other day and came across a very interesting ad. I could hardly wait to get home and check out the website.

What a Concept!

I have been racking my brain trying to use the concept and apply it to the small town where I live.
The website is
Brighton, Michigan is located where 23 and 96 cross. Brighton Dining is made up of 11 family owned and operated restaurants. All of the restaurants are located within walking distance of each other. They all offer a very diverse cuisine. Looking at the menus it would be hard for me to choose which one to dine at first.
But… it is the concept of “WHY” they have all joined together that makes the website so unusual.
The group consists of 11 restaurants all in a very small area and in a city of less than 10,000 people. They are not in competition with each other, they are in competition with the chain restaurants… like the Applebee’s and the Ruby Tuesdays.
Joining together as they have done and promoting as one will be good for all I am sure.
I can’t help but think that this “concept” could be used to promote my Close Knit Community.

Smash Toledo

Smash Toledo has just posted their first video….. Can’t wait to see the next one in the series.

Smash Toledo promotes the “shop local” theme.. it is all about keeping money in your own community.

Smash Toledo will be an online food & beverage discovery hub for the best the city of Toledo, Ohio and surrounding areas have to offer.

Letters From Santa.. Direct from the North Pole

Just in time… Your now able to have a letter directly from the North Pole from Santa himself… and the best part it they are free. Simple answer a few questions and in a few moments Santa will send you a personalized letter back… HO Ho Ho! Very clever, quick and fun.
You can try it now by CLICKING HERE

The letters from Santa are free. The site does offer a very nice selection of eBooks. Your able to purchase them individually or as a set. Of course buying the set is the best deal and you also get a bonus eBook with when your purchase the set of 3.

These are the books available.

Christmas Recipes
Christmas Crafts
Kid’s Christmas Activities

Plus…..FREE with Purchase of The Complete Collection
“The Traditional Christmas Story Collection”

BUT…. I must tell you the tip that the owner of the site offers. I think it is a wonderful idea and adds so much value when you decide to purchase “The Complete Collection”. She suggests the set makes a great last-minute gift! Just burn the 4 PDF files (plus the Email Santa software) on a CD, apply a nice label and give as many CD gifts as you wish to friends, family and co-workers.

You can also put these into one of those plastic case for extra special giving. I thought of another great way to use these newly made CD’s…. use them as a fundraiser. Right now is the perfect time of year to do this.

Take a moment to visit the site and get your free letter from Santa direct from the North Pole.

Enjoy the site and have fun!


Make Your Own Logo

I have found a new tool for you to play with to make your own logo. Don’t worry it isn’t going to bite you. If you don’t like it you can always delete your new creation.

The best part is it is Free… Go ahead and give it a whirl..
You might surprise yourself at how clever you are…

     Click banner below to be taken to your new toy

Here are a couple of videos to show you how easy it is to create your own logo. First you will pick out your industry. Then your going to find a symbol… you can use the search box to help. Watch the first video to be guided.

Watch the next 2 videos and then create your logo!
Easy Peasy!

Brilliant Marketing TIP

I just thought this was such a great marketing idea I just had to share it with you.

I was shopping last week and I had to use the store restroom. I walked into the stall and turned to lock the door… There hanging on the hook that is meant to hold your coat or your purse was an Avon Book with a sample in a clear plastic bag….

Now mind you I don’t buy Avon, It had been years since I had even looked at an Avon book but… while I was sitting and looking at that clear plastic bag with and Avon Book and a sample, I thought well if I don’t take it someone else will

So I did… I gave it to my Mother-in-Law to look at, She has marked off several items of what she would like. I asked her if she was ready for me to place her order And she told me she was not done shopping in it yet. She has not even let ME look at it yet.

Do you think that was a brilliant marketing idea?

I have a blog called… YouCanEatMyDirt.Com
I printed business cards with that written on it. People are curious to know WHY???? anyone would want to eat dirt.

Several years ago I purchased cards that when folded looked just like $100.00 bills. I put a web address on them and stuck them or dropped them. It is a good idea to place tracking on stuff like that so you will know if it works or it does not.

Of course I would like to think I am brilliant but let me do a fess up here…
I printed off 1000 cards for a project I was doing and I spelled the word Website without the “b” it read Wesite.

Now you know I looked at the thing 100 times. I had to play till I had everything centered. I sent it to a friend of mine… she too thought it was brilliant. Then I sent it to another friend and he said what is a wesite? Of course I had no idea what he was talking about. But.. I never passed out another card.
So I have about 950 cute cards that I use for notes and reminders. I always hope they never leave the house.

After all who would want to do business with a person who can’t spell? To me it was very Unprofessional.

Can’t see the forest for the trees comes to mind.

Do you have people like this working for YOU?

We hear it again and again. Perhaps it is repeated so often because it is so true…
It is all in how you treat people!

I want to tell you about 2 gals that know how to treat people. They treat people so well that they have a very loyal list of customers. Both these gals know how to build lists, Annie and Margret.

I have been on both Annie and Margret’s lists for many years. These 2 gals have one thing in common. There are both cashiers at different stores where I shop.

I have often wrote about how much I enjoy shopping at Target. The Target store I always shop at is in Monroe, Michigan. This is where I first met Annie.

Annie is a delightful older woman. Over the years I have learned many things about Annie, her children and her grandchildren. I have also learned about her husband, he is semi-retired. They both love to garden. How she came from a very large family. She grew up a bit north of Monroe. Her mother raised her and her siblings mostly by herself after her father died at a very young age.

Now mind you I know Annie not because we ever went out to lunch together or have we ever had a phone conversation….. It is all because I am on her list.

Margret is another fine list builder. Margret works at the Kroger store in Dundee, Michigan. She has worked there for many many years. I have had the pleasure of being on her list for almost all of those years.

I know that Margret and her husband both enjoy going to the casino. I like hearing about their trips that they take. You can tell by the way Margret talks that they enjoy each others company and look forward to their casino trips together. Margret is also a bowler… and gosh when they go out of town on a bowling tournament you can bet those gals find a great casino to visit.

Once again I have never gone to lunch with Margret but it is because I am on her list.

Whenever these gals are working I always get into their checkout lines. It doesn’t matter that these lines may have more people in them. Nor does it matter that the people in line may have lots of items in their carts…

None of that matter, because these gals are master list builders. They have both developed a loyal following.

I was in Annie’s line one day and a new checker was opening her line. She went to the gal in front of me and told her if she stepped over to her line she would check her out. The gal politely told her, “no thanks. I’m waiting for Annie.” I had to snicker to myself because she next asked me to step to her line and she would check me out. I too told her, “no thanks, I’ll wait for Annie as well.

No one can tell me that both Annie and Margret and not master list builders.

Over the years while going through that process of “checking out” I make it a point to go to Annie and Margret lines because I genuinely want to keep up with what is happening.

These gals must have taken the Magnetic Sponsoring course.. It is all about attraction marketing. People seek THEM out.

Both Target and Kroger are lucky to have gals like these working for them.

It is the same when you go to your favorite restaurant and ask to be seated in the station that your favorite waitress will be taking care of you. She too has built a list.

It all comes down to list building. I have subscribed to both Margret’s and Annie’s list because…
I know, like and trust them.

Do you have gals like Annie and Margret working for you? Good employees are hard to find. Gals like this help you build your list and your business.

Do You Have A Sex Offender Living Next Door?

Sex offenders are everywhere. There maybe one living in your neighborhood.

No community is immune from having sex offenders living amongst them. It does not matter if you live in a large city, a small town or anything in between. You could have a sex offender in your neighborhood.

You can find out here if you have a sex offender near you.

I didn’t put anything except my zip code into that site to find out that I had a sex offender living in my area. So please don’t think you have to fill out that info that they ask you for… just enter your zip code where it asks for that.

Rachel’s Challenge Came To My Community

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Rachael’s Challenge, an event that was hosted by our local school. I attended the session that was designed for the parent. There had been 2 other age appropriate presentations earlier in the day.

Rachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and ally feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school.

There were many messages in the presentation but all combined together I think the main focus was on being nice to each other and making an effort to accept people as they are.

Rachel was an aspiring author, much of the presentation was laced with her writings… Start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. People will never know how far a little kindness and compassion can go.

One of Rachel’s heroes was Ann Frank, “you can always give something.. even if it is just kindness.

The presenter left us with 5 challenges…

#1 Eliminate Prejudice
Look for the best in others.
Give people 3 opportunities before you judge them

#2 Dream BIG
Write down your goals, keep a journal
Your never to old to dream BIG.

#3 Choose Positive Influences
Your input will determine your output.
Rachael choose to reach out to
* Special needs kids
* New students
* Students that were being picked on

#4 Speak With Kindness
Words can hurt or heal

#5 Start Your Own Chain Reaction

I enjoyed the program very much and the presenter did an excellent job. There were many students in the audience, they all had heard this message earlier in the day but choose to hear it again. I applaud those kids. They took Rachel’s Challenge.. I hope they continue the chain reaction.

Are There Any Towns Left Like Mayberry?

 Maybe the days of Andy Taylor in the town of Mayberry are gone. I think it might be very hard now to find a town such as Mayberry. Perhaps people are to busy with to many projects going on, but I still think deep down inside many would like to live in a town such as Mayberry… EXCEPT for the fact that it was a dry county,

It was friends helping friends.. neighbors helping neighbors. where did that simple time go?
Call me old fashion or maybe call me nosey but I like to know what is going on in my community.

I love the small community that I live in. It is a cozy rural community, located just far enough from large cities to be close to what is happening… but yet far enough away to be a small community.

I live in the Close Knit Community of Ida, Michigan.

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