Last Sunday I was pulling out of my driveway and glanced at the front lawn. There by the steps were two pink plastic flamingos, the kind mothers (well, my mother anyway) used to stick in the ground as garden ornaments. I had, it seems, been flocked.
The Flocker (I being the Flockee) was my cousin Judy, who thought it would be belly laugh-worthy for me to find the Pepto Pair prowling through the petunias. She was right. After my initial gasp of surprise, I laughed, as did my sister and my nephew (who knew my flocking was coming) and everybody else who's heard about it. The silly flamingos, in fact, have had me chuckling all week, although I did relocate them to a more demure spot in the back yard, where they now prowl through the peonies.
It seems flamingo flocking is a phenomenon I hadn't heard about. Along with just the plain old fun of putting dozens of pink birds in somebody's yard, organizations are "flocking" to raise money for good causes. Here's how it works, as described by one website:
"In the dead of night, your members place the flamingos in the yards of friends who all of your supporters have paid to have "flamingoed." Each of the flocks will have a note explaining how a friend of theirs paid to have them flamingoed in support of your fundraiser. Also, the note will let them know that if they pay your group a donation, you will remove the flock and send it to the yard of any friend they choose. The fundraiser continues to feed on itself as the flamingoes migrate from victim to victim. Every day, each flock you have out will earn your group $10 to $30. At an average of $15 per flock, that's $450 in 30 days (per flock). Most fundraising groups will order enough flamingos to have several flocks going at the same time. Example of 10 members doing 1 flock each: 10 flocks x $15 per day per flock x 30 days = $4,500 raised in one month."
While I imagine not everyone appreciates the hilarity of flamingos scattered all over the yard (my flocking was a modest two), what a great fundraising idea. People who get flocked aren't asked for much of a donation -- ten to twenty bucks -- and in fact are under no obligation to donate anything. They're free to donate, or buy $10 "insurance" so they don't get flocked again, or simply say get those birds the flock off my lawn. In any case, flocking is a fanciful, inventive way to raise money and put lots of smiles on faces.
I'm now scheming about how to start some flocks in my town to raise money for all sorts of good causes. Keep a sharp eye out, friends and neighbors...if I can make this work maybe we'll raise enough money to renovate buildings, beautify neighborhoods, plant trees, revitalize downtown, buy books for the library, throw a signature event for a local opera house, and who knows...maybe even make the national news as the town with a flamingo flock on every corner.
Thanks, cousin Judy; you've put my to brain working. And by the way, get that checkbook out: you can be sure your name will be high up on my flocking list.