Valentine’s Day — the time for romance, love, chocolates, and now, potatoes.
Ball State’s Camp Kesem chapter is selling potatograms to raise money for camp funds.
Camp Kesem is a student organization that hosts a free summer camp for kids whose parents have been affected by cancer.
“They’re dealing with some of the hardest times of their life,” said Ryan Marsh, development coordinator for Camp Kesem.
Potatograms are like telegrams, but potatoes. Someone will purchase a potato online, include a short message to be written on the potato, and then that potatogram will be delivered by Camp Kesem volunteers to students on and off campus on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s so random it’s just kind of funny,” Marsh said.
This is the chapter’s first year doing the fundraiser and it started accepting orders at the end of January. Marsh and Harvey said some of the potatoes were donated by Fresh Thyme and by members of the camp’s advisory board.
Evan Harvey, co-director of Camp Kesem, said the volunteers reach out to other chapters to get ideas for successful fundraising opportunities.
Marsh said they heard about the idea through Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Camp Kesem chapter. The Penn State chapter told the Ball State one that it usually raises $500 to $600 from the potatogram fundraiser every year. Marsh said it costs $500 to send one child to camp.
Marsh said he and some other volunteers set up a table in the Atrium to sell some potatograms and advertise the fundraiser a week ago. He said some didn’t seem to take it seriously.
“A lot of people weren’t really sure what to think,” Marsh said.
However, Marsh said they have had more purchases than previously expected, and have sold more than 100 potatograms since Monday.
One potatogram is $3 with orders still being accepted until noon Wednesday.