The Branam family formed a plan and quickly got to work. They have already learned many lessons along the way.
They learned about marketing as they created a flier to promote their efforts to their friends and neighbors. And their marketing efforts paid off! What started as a single-family effort now involves 20 families – all working together to help support Ceci and Eli’s futures.
They learned about work ethic and the importance of community. Every other weekend, their family collects containers from the families that donate to them. John said “One thing that is really important to our family is building community. Particularly during COVID, we all need safe opportunities to still stay connected with one another. All the neighbors participating are delighted by the idea that our children are practicing small examples of work ethic at young ages and that they’re starting to think about college when they are so young. It builds a sense of community – the ‘it takes a village’ spirit. It has really been lovely and wonderful. The kids feel that extra layer of love. You just can’t beat that. Particularly during a pandemic.”
They sharpened their customer service skills by expressing their appreciation for contributions or patience and understanding when a family needed to reschedule their pickup.
They learned about math and how to apply it to real-world situations. “Our kids are falling in love with math. This is a fun-straight forward way to apply different math concepts that they’re learning in school. For Eli, it’s learning to count to 100 and counting by 10s. For Ceci, we do more predictive modeling to see how much we might save in a month. They can see great examples of how we use real math in the real world. And then that gets them excited, not only about math, but it also starts to connect the dots between how money can grow over time and then be applied to something meaningful we’re saving for – like college.”
They learned to be proud of their efforts, despite the hard work. Ceci said, “I feel kind of good to be helping with my college savings account. It seems to be going pretty well. Sometimes I don’t want to do it, but overall it’s enjoyable to go around with my brother and dad to collect cans.” Eli agreed, “It’s fun, but it’s also hard work. I like taking Franics (our dog) with us.”