Volunteers in Adams County, Pennsylvania, paid $40 for an all-inclusive stay in a new, state-of-the-art prison. Children between 12 and 18 years of age stayed for half-price, but each had to have an adult with them. Spouses could share a cell. The event was a fundraiser for the Adams County Homeless Shelter, but it was also a training exercise for the prison staff. Of each $40 fee, the shelter received almost $38, with the remainder paying for the food served. Two meals, served on plastic trays, were included in the price. For an additional $5, inmates could purchase a commemorative T-shirt that read “I spent the night in jail to help the homeless.”
The inmates arrived by noon on Saturday to be signed in and issued their essential orange jumpsuits. After that, they were provided their meals on a prison time table and attended the same educational sessions offered to real prisoners by prison staff. Release was at noon Sunday. Overnight guests stayed in a minimum security area in cells that are like rooms. Accommodations were made for privacy. The roster of inmates was a mix of men and women, a diverse blend of college professors, people who conduct prison ministries for area churches, and residents of other areas who simply thought it would be an excellent opportunity to experience prison life – without breaking a law.
We have included a number of do-it-yourself fundraising ideas in this section that offer a break from traditional product sales. They were developed by groups just like yours in an attempt have a little fun with their fundraiser. Some of them are tried and true while others show a lot of creativity … and even wackiness in some cases. All of them are obviously not appropriate for every group, but sometimes, with only a little modification, your might find some fund raising ideas that are perfect for your group. If you have an idea for a do-it-yourself fund raiser you are willing to share with others, please send it to us via email. Include anything and everything you would want to know if you were hearing the idea for the first time.