As you may recall, the 6th grade boys were fully funded by the middle of December and that means that they were able to order product. We were about a week off from last year, which meant that all groups didn't get their product before the holiday break, but that didn't stop those that did. Despite falling ill to the "virus" I managed to make my way in to work that Thursday, December 12th. I was on the mend, but the reason I pulled my Lifetime watching self, ginger-ale drinking self off that couch was so I could be there to open shop for my 6th graders. It wasn't actually something that a sub could pull off. It was the first sales and I wanted to be there.
The groups that were ready to go were appreciative. Because the product had just arrived, and because of the uncertainty of marketplace being open due to the "virus", we had a lot more window shoppers than anything else. BUT it was the first $38.... and that meant something to everyone:) Sales would boom in 2014, right?
While waiting for the other product to arrive (and watching my tracking numbers closely), I received an email from Oriental Trading. Due to the storms across the country, they didn't get all of their packages delivered on schedule. I imagine this might have been a HUGE inconvenience for parents and families that had made orders that were time dependent. But ours wasn't. We hadn't planned on using the GTS Spinning Helicopters before the New Year and in fact our school wasn't even open to accept packages during the "controversial" time period. So you can imagine that receiving a $25 e gift card from Oriental Trading got me thinking. Do I offer this $25 to the boys? Is it fair? Does it fit with the simulation? Morally, what should I do?
Choosing not to was the easy thing to do. No one ever had to know that it arrived in my inbox. Choosing to give it to them meant conversing about it and getting the boys to understand what the $25 signifies. I chose the latter, but it wasn't an easy decision. Would this make things too easy for the boys? Would they face other struggles that would allow them to develop great empathy for borrowers across the globe. I trust they will.
So on Monday, I presented the $25 e-certificate to GTS aerial. They were stoked. I immediately felt jealousy from the other boys. That's normal. But it was time to chat about. What does the $25 represent? It takes money to make money.
We spent the next few minutes talking about lottery of birth. "The lottery of birth is a philosophical argument that states: since no one chooses where they are born, they should not be held responsible for something that is beyond their control (e.g. being rich, being poor, etc.)." I have also heard it be described along the lines of the opportunity we are born into based solely on the latitude and longitude of which we are born into this world. From there we discussed how sometimes a lucky break is all that a person needs to turn their life around and beat the odds. The conversation went back to KOJO and some of the other borrowers we have begun to think about in our classroom. It was nice to see them think about this and to feel the jealousy subside.
In fact, we then began to talk about what the $25 would represent for our project. The boys acknowledged that the $25 would eventually, after it's investment in product from oriental trading, would in the literal sense end up being at least two loans. Does Oriental Trading know that they are pretty much helping two entrepreneurs down the line? That my friends is why I made the decision. Do I feel slightly bad about taking the $25 given our particular circumstances? Not when I consider the borrowers who we will help with that money. Maybe you don't agree. I didn't get into the moral discussion of it with them.
What I do know is that today we met as a trust group and gathered our stats from our first 4 days of sales at Town School and I am proud. WIth only half the school on Jackson campus we are sold out of 2 out of 6 products (and btw only 5 groups actually had product-the last just arrived). Don't worry we have more stuff being ordered too!
Update for Week 1 January + December Pre Sale
Thingamajigs for Less - Gross Profit $45
GTS Aerial- Gross Profit $19.50
Kustom Clothes- Gross Profit $0
Town Toys Inc - Gross Profit $112.50
Swag Gear - Gross Profit $36.50
Novelty Toys - Gross Profit $90
Total Loans = $340 so we have earned 89% of the money we borrowed. However, in our first repayment term we only owe a fraction of that at $86 so we still have a lot of money to reinvest in the future of our companies.
Again.... It takes Money to Make Money. Let the games continue!