It is no secret that when someone within the Amish community has a need that the rest of the community rallies around them and helps them dig out of their financial hole.
The needs the Amish deal with are valid needs; someone is ill, has an accident, or a building has been ruined. Those close to the family will take it upon themselves to get something going to help raise funds to either pay down the debt, or to simply help the family make house payments and keep their cupboards full.
A local store, Walnut Creek Cheese, has a brochure online that I will link here, describing their various fundraising suggestions. The pizza one is probably their most popular but we have seen many of these come through.
Once the folks heading up the fundraiser have decided which product they want to make and peddle they will make a phone call to a place like Walnut Creek Cheese and will place their order. There is a lot of organization that is involved in a fundraising production.
Well Organized Machine
- People close to the person/family in need will be asked to come help. If they are making pizza or sub sandwiches it takes a large place to put the food together. Often done in a large shop/garage.
- The event organizers will line up rows of tables and make sure everything is spotless and sanitary.
- After the refrigerated food truck arrives from the store they will set up stations on their rows of tables.
- At the designated date and time everyone gathers to assemble the product they are selling. Usually early in the morning. (They can usually assemble a lot of pizza in a very short period of time.)
- Everyone takes a spot at one station and the assembly begins.
- Once the pizzas or sub sandwiches have all been assembled, packaged and labeled the delivery happens.
- Well in advance of the day it has been decided how many drivers are needed to deliver the products. If they are selling 3000 pizza they need 30 drivers. If they are selling 5000 pizza then they need 50 drivers. Every delivery vehicle usually gets 100 pizza to “peddle.”
- In the well organized fashion of the Amish they will have printed maps for each of the drivers. Everyone gets their own section of Amish Country to try and sell their 100 pizza to. They do this so nobody is overlapping and people have a better chance of selling their pizza or subs quickly. It generally takes 2-3 hours to sell a hundred pizza.
- One note is that they are generally encouraged to only stop at Amish homes. This is a frustration for some of the Mennonite and English folks in the community because they would love to help with the fundraisers and it is always a good thing to have a pizza hanging out in the fridge for dinner on a busy Saturday.
- There is usually a deal, buy 1 for this price or 3 for a better price. Many of the folks who purchase 3 will freeze one or two for later. The housewives love to have things in their freezer for a quick meal when they have a busy day away from home. They can put a pizza out to unthaw while they are away at a quilting or grocery shopping. Once they are back home they can quickly pop the pizza in the oven while putting their groceries away or whatever they need to do.
- Fundraisers usually happen on Saturdays so the men can help and more chance someone is at home to buy the products.
- Everyone’s time is donated and some of the drivers will even donate their time or take their pay in pizza. It depends on the driver and what they want to do.
Cinnamon rolls, glazed donuts, fry pies, kettle corn, you name it, if it is something different the Amish will try it to see if it sells. Some folks say they tire of the pizza fundraisers, yet they have been going on for many years. I would say at least 15, maybe 20 years and still proves to be a great way to raise funds.