Originally Posted 20.10.’14
When we first started Who Gives A Rock back at the end of the summer, I had grand plans to keep a diary each day as a record of everything that went on. This lasted for around three weeks (which is pretty good for me) and then as things really started to take off I found I had less time to put pen to paper, especially when my hands seemed permanently occupied with a paintbrush. Also, since we are no longer in the Bridget Jones Era, a blog seems more appropriate and an excellent way of answering the questions that come in to the page on a daily basis from the lovely friends, likers and well-wishers we are accruing on Facebook.
Hellfire this project has taken off! So much more quickly than Rocky or I ever dreamed it would. It has become a full time job just answering requests, questions and the odd complaint let alone designing and painting the rocks, organising what is going where and scrabbling around in the undergrowth hiding things. It has all gone a bit crazy but in a good way!
This week, as many of you know, the Rock-Mobile is out of action. At first I thought this was a major disaster for the project but it has actually bought me a tiny bit of breathing space to get the website up and running which is something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of weeks, and also to arrange a donation process. The donations are something I don’t feel especially comfortable with, but as Rocky and many of you have pointed out, we can’t continue operating at a loss forever.
Who Gives A Rock was never intended to make any money (more about how it all came about here), but the basic idea was to give back to the community and take nothing in return. This was certainly more do-able when we thought it would just be dropping pebbles wherever we happened to be at the time and making five or so deliveries a week around Truro.
In six short weeks we have made friends as far as California and Australia, dispatched rocks all over the UK by Royal Mail and clocked up easily six hundred miles in the Rock-Mobile driving around the county in response to the requests and nominations that have come flooding in. Sadly all of this costs money and with the entire project being funded by our household budget which is modest to say the least, something has had to change.
We have had people ask if we are going to sell our pebbles, but I’ve never been especially keen on this idea. We wondered for a while about selling some now and again as a cash injection but I was concerned it would go against the whole ethos of the project and that people would not want to pay when they knew others were getting them for free. So I took to Facebook and asked general opinions on the matter to test the waters. What a supportive, positive response we received! You all completely understood that we needed to cover our costs and were not averse to paying a nominal amount towards it. So we toyed with the idea of a raffle but got caught up in alot of red tape surrounding gambling laws and licences.
Just when we were running out of ideas, we were given a donation for the fuel tank by one of our lovely well-wishers. And when I took to facebook to thank them, we had many requests from people wanting to help us out. So the idea of the donation was born. PayPal asks you to specify an amount, and we thought three pounds seemed a fair amount. The price of a Costa and a copy of the West Briton, or thereabouts. Unfortunately PayPal have decided to take their share also, so we have today upped it by thirty pence. But it doesn’t seem to have put any of you off, and for that we thank you, profusely.
*Note from PP We no longer accept donations, thank you.
I am still not interested in making a profit from what we do. I’m not even bothered about recovering the historic costs involved with setting up the project, but it was clear we couldn’t continue without something to keep us afloat, so this is our happy medium. I am still thinking about selling the occasional rock, maybe through eBay, but haven’t yet ironed out the details. What do you all think?
Well, there is tons I want to say all about Who Gives A Rock but I don’t want to witter and also, I’m keen to post our first blog to catch you lovely lot on your way home for the evening, so going to sign off for now and hunt throuh the diary for interesting snippets for the next entry.
Sending Pebble Love to you all