[Infographic] The Dos and Don’ts of Your High School Reunion

Your high school reunion coming up and you are nervous about it.

Here’s a secret, though. Everybody else is nervous, too!

“It’s common for high school reunions to trigger anxiety about appearance and status,” explains psychologist Mary C. Lambia.

As we age, most of us become detached to the self-conscious emotions we exhibited as teenagers, but at class reunions those old insecurities have a tendency to resurface.

Nevertheless, high school reunions provide a wonderful marker of time for your own life and the lives of those you grew up with. And the vast majority of those who attend their high school reunion, however reluctantly, report that the event was important to them, and that the experience wasn’t nearly as daunting as they had imagined.

“At some level you know the judge is in your own head, not in the minds of your former classmates,” adds Lambia

So don’t fret (too much). Go to the reunion. Grab some custom made high school gear, show your school spirit and get ready to mingle and reminisce with the people you were brought up with! And before you go, check out this helpful visualization of the DOs and DONTs of your high school reunion, brought to you buy Apparel Now and our partners at AlumniClass.com.


The Five People You’ll Run Into At Your High School Reunion

“My how you’ve changed since high school!” is a sentiment we all get sick of hearing, but what hasn’t changed is that when your class gets back together, your high school is just as full of colorful characters as it was when you graduated.

Whether it’s been ten, twenty, or fifty years, whether they were the Prom Queen or class clown, some people never change…but you can always pick out these five people from the crowd. Consider this your handy field guide to former classmates you’ll find at every school reunion.

#1. Voted ‘Most Likely To Succeed’ ….and Didn’t

We all love a good success story, but who doesn’t like a little schadenfreude that comes from seeing the guy voted “most likely to succeed” show up to the class reunion in board shorts and a hoodie despite being well into his 50s and a severe case of ‘failure to launch’ instead?  

In a high school class of hundreds, there are bound to be plenty of wash-ups, or rising stars that never quite reached the heights everyone expected for them, and they’re sure to show up when the class reconvenes for its periodic reunions – some to reconnect with old friends, some to mooch off a night of free food!

#2 The Chatterbox

“Oh my God, my life is so great, hashtag blessed” gets old quick, but there’s always one (or more) at your usual reunion! The person who won’t stop talking about how many life-changing experiences they’ve had, all the things they’ve accomplished and places they’ve been. They’re “living the dream” while you and your other classmates work 9 to 5 to raise a family and make ends meet. Maybe they got rich after school or maybe they just never grew out of the jet-setting lifestyle they were raised in, but one thing is for sure: they sure can talk a lot about it!

#3 From ‘Not’ to Hot (And Vice-Versa)!

Age changes all of us, and high school reunions are a great opportunity to see just how it has impacted your friends and former classmates. New wrinkles and curves pile up every year, so if your high school reunion has an open bar, now’s the time for a drinking game!

At least one of your former classmates will have gone from beauty queen bombshell to trainwreck-in-a-dress, and some of those bespectacled, brace-faced nerds will definitely have grown up into jaw-droppers by the time of your ten or twenty year reunion, so don’t be too shocked if your one-time crush or that prom date you turned down has completely changed for better or worse.

#4 The Real Success Story

Remember that classmate who had ambitions towards becoming president someday? Well now they’re a state senator at the age of 32! That’s right, every class has the success story, that one student who went above and beyond and really crushed that whole “adulting” thing.

Or maybe it’s something less tangible than that – maybe your old classmate was an underachiever who barely graduated, only to completely turn their lives around and are now respectable, clean, and cooler than you’d ever think they could’ve been back when you were in school. It’s these real success stories that show you how much people can really change over the years!

#5 The Star Athlete Who “Could’ve Gone Pro”  

If he hadn’t injured his ACL in senior year, he could’ve been a pro! Talk about team spirit, this guy won’t let it go! The star athlete may have been the most popular man on campus 30 years ago, but everyone else moved on. He still can’t let it go, however, and is trapped reliving the glory days. We’ve all seen this guy lurking by the punch bowl, snagging whoever he can to talk about the big game where he took the school to the championships. It never gets old for him, but it’s old news for everyone else.

Maybe another drink or two will take the edge off, and who knows, you might enjoy hearing those tales of the “glory days” for the 30th time!

There’s one (or a hundred) in every crowd, right? No matter who shows up to the reunion, you’re bound to have a great time seeing where your friends have gone in life. Cheers to another exciting high school reunion!

School Spirit Ideas

School spirit is an important part of a student’s school experience.  Spirit days help to break up the monotony of everyday school life and it’s a chance for students to come together to show their pride in their school.  Here are some school spirit ideas that will encourage involvement and create a sense of community.

Dress Up Days

school spirit ideasDress up days are a fun way to get creative!  Designate a different theme for each day of your spirit week.  You could have days like crazy hair day, western day, pajama day, Hawaiian day, twin day, etc.  You could award small prizes to the best outfit each day to encourage participation.


Ask students to create posters to display in the school hallways and gym.  This school spirit idea is another one that could have a prize awarded to the favorite poster designer.

Pep Rally

While pep rallies typically are held to support a basketball or football team, there is no reason you can’t look for more excuses to have one!  You could have a holiday-themed pep rally or have one to celebrate the beginning or end of the school year.  Get your cheerleaders, marching band, and/or dance team involved to get people on their feet and cheering!  Make sure that students have time to plan and encourage them to wear your school colors or paint their faces.  Consider incorporating games and competitions to increase student and faculty involvement.

Start a Tradition

Traditions are a great way to get people engaged.  Here are a few examples of school traditions that are sure to be a hit!

  • Ice cream social
  • Carnival night
  • Spaghetti feed
  • Student of the month
  • Food drive
  • Movie night

School Dance

school spirit ideasYour school dance doesn’t have to be a huge formal affair.  Having some fun, casual dances periodically might be less intimidating to some students.  Choose a theme and get students involved in the preparation.  You can have them make posters to advertise the dance and help make decorations for the big night.  Make sure you recruit an adequate number of chaperones to have on hand during the dance.

Teachers vs Students

This can be a really fun way to get students interacting with staff in an enjoyable environment.  You could have a flag football, basketball, or softball game.  You could also go for an obstacle course.  Finish up the game with a pizza party!

Lunchtime Funtime

Plan out some fun lunchtime activities during spirit week.  You can also consider charging a small amount to play each game.  Here are some lunchtime activity ideas.

  • Karaoke
  • Scooter or tricycle races
  • Trivia
  • If you are also having a dress-up day use lunchtime as a fashion show to choose winners
  • Guess how many pennies/candies are in the jar

Talent Show

school spirit ideasTalent shows are an excellent way to allow students to display their special gifts.   You will need to decide if you’d like this to be a free event or charge for entrance tickets.  You will also need to choose if you’d like there to be winners chosen at the end.  If you do want to have winners, then you will need to assign judges and pick what criteria you want for them to choose from.  For more helpful tips on setting up your talent show check out this WikiHow post.

Community Service

What better way to bring students together than by helping the community?  Volunteering is also a great way to boost self-esteem. There are endless opportunities!  Here are some community service ideas.

  • Have a type of “drive” where you will ask for a specific type of donation
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.  Some require special training prior to volunteering
  • Organize a cleanup crew and select a nearby park or playground to tidy up
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or local Meals on Wheels usually need some help with dishes etc.
  • Visit nursing homes

School Spirit Wear

school spirit ideasSchool spirit wear is a great way to show school spirit!  This can be done in conjunction with any of the school spirit ideas listed above.  Creating a unified look with high school apparel can be a great way to boost school spirit!  Your school will also earn money back from every sale made in your free online school spirit wear store.

Check out this post for more tips on High School Apparel for School Spirit.





How to Start a Fundraiser

If you’ve been assigned the job of starting a fundraiser for your organization, it can seem overwhelming at first.  Fundraising for your school, team, church, or club is a great way to raise money!  Here are some tips on how to start a fundraiser.

Fundraising Goals

how to start a fundraiserFirst, you will want to determine how much money you are trying raise and set a goal.  Are you trying to raise money for uniforms?  How much will it cost to outfit your team?  You will also want to keep in mind any upfront costs for your fundraiser.  If you are running a raffle fundraiser and can’t secure enough donations for prizes where will the money come from to pay for them?  If you plan for these things ahead of time you can avoid disappointment.

Fundraising Volunteers

how to start a fundraiserYou will need to make sure you have enough help on hand for your fundraiser.  You will need to find reliable volunteers so you can be assured that you won’t end up trying to do everything yourself.  Depending on what type of fundraiser you choose, you can recruit other parents, teachers, coaches, or students and teammates.  Remember that in addition to the volunteers you’ll need to perform the duties specific to your fundraiser, you’ll also need someone to oversee the money and someone to promote your fundraiser. Make sure that you provide your volunteers with the appropriate equipment that they will need for their task and they have been given proper guidance.

Fundraiser Legalities

how to start a fundraiserMake sure you research the legalities of the type of fundraiser you decide to run.  You will also want to speak with someone regarding tax deductibility.  You may be required to provide acknowledgment letters to donors.  The best way to make sure that you have your bases covered is to speak with a professional.

Fundraiser Type

Now to decide what type of fundraiser you’d like to do.  We have a post full of fundraising ideas and also one with some fundraising event options.  We will go over different types of fundraisers.

Fundraising Events

Fundraising events are a great way to get everyone together for a fun time while raising money.  Some different types of fundraising events are raffles, bake sales, auctions, car wash, pancake feed, and a carnival night.  These all involve extensive planning and organization.  For most of these, you will need to secure a location large enough to hold your event.  Many of these also involve getting adequate donations for prizes (raffle, auction, etc).  For more tips on fundraising events check out this post.

Product Sales Fundraiser

Fundraising sales will usually allow you to get kids more involved in the fundraiser.  With so many options to choose from like chocolate bar fundraisers, wrapping paper sales, cookie dough fundraisers, Krispy Kreme fundraiser, coupon books, etc, it can be overwhelming to choose which one is right for your organization. You will want to carefully review each product to determine not only which one you think will be most appealing to your audience but also which one offers the most percentage of return on sales.

Online Fundraisers

There are many different types of online fundraisers.  You could go with a crowdfunding option like a Go Fund Me fundraiser and just flat out ask people to donate to your organization.  If you are fundraising for a charitable organization, you can sign up for Amazon Smile.  Amazon also has an affiliate program if you have a website.  Facebook has a fundraising option which is great if the majority of your potential donors use the social media sharing site.

One of the most simple online fundraisers is the tshirt fundraiser.  This how to start a fundraiserworks so well because it’s really easy to set up and your donors receive something in return.  Your store will be offering more than just shirts though!  There is a wide selection of custom apparel and accessories that will have your logo on them.  It’s free to set up your online store and it just takes a few minutes.  We offer built-in promoting tools to make sure that you maximize your fundraiser!

We want to make sure that your tshirt fundraiser is a success!  If you need any help setting up your store please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Fundraising Events

Getting a group together for an event is a great way to raise money for your organization.  There are a lot of different types of fundraising events that you can do that are fun for everyone!  Here are some different types of fundraisers that are perfect for schools, teams, churches, clubs, and more.

Fundraising Games

People young and old love games!  The competitive aspect will encourage people to donate to play and they will also be encouraged to participate because they will have the chance to win!  Getting the prizes donated will maximize your fundraising efforts.  Here are some of our favorite types of fundraising games:

  • Jellybean Count- Fundraising EventsHave a jar of jellybeans or something else that might be relevant to your organization on display. Participants will pay a set amount to guess how many are in the jar.  The winner will get a prize or the contents of the jar.
  • Heads or Tails- Each person can purchase a ticket upon entrance to your fundraising event to participate. The person who is leading will ask the participants to stand and then choose heads or tails. They can indicate their choice by raising their hand or a card.  The announcer will then flip a coin and the winners will remain standing.  This will continue until only one person is left standing. That person will win a prize.
  • Cake Walk- For this game, you will need to collect donated cakes and then sell tickets to participate in the cake walk. You will set up a circle of numbered squares and the participants will start walking around the squares as music plays.  When the music stops the organizer will draw a number and whoever is standing on the corresponding number will win a cake!
  • Balloon Pop- You will blow up balloons and place tickets inside of them. To ensure that all the balloons look the same make sure that even if it’s not a winner you can write something on the ticket like “Thanks for playing!”. The winners will receive the prize written on their ticket. Have an assortment of donated prizes for your winners.
  • Banned Word Jar- Determine a commonly used word that will be banned during your fundraising event. It can be something that can correlate to your organization.  For example, if you are having a baseball fundraiser you could ban the word ball.  Anytime someone uses the word they will put $1 (or whatever price you have determined) into the jar.  You can raise even more money by setting a higher amount, like $20, for your guests to be able to unban and change the banned word.

Car wash Fundraiser

car wash fundraiserThe car wash fundraiser is a fun and popular summertime fundraising event!  It works great for school, church, club, and team fundraiser. Here are some tips on how to have a successful car wash fundraiser:

  • Volunteers– Find out how many people are interested in volunteering. The more the merrier!  Keep in mind that you will need more than just car washers.  You will need people to collect the money, dry the cars, and volunteers to hold signs as well.
  • Location– If your organization has a location on a busy intersection then you’re in luck! If not, you have a couple of options.  Have people holding signs on nearby busy streets and direct them to your location.  If you don’t have a physical location or don’t have one that will work, you will need to find one.  Ask permission from a local business preferably one in a high-traffic area.
  • When– Decide on an appropriate date for your car wash. You will want to try to choose a day that will be nice and hot!  Ideally, a Saturday will be the most popular time to get customers.
  • Price– You will need to decide how much you want to charge. You can choose a set price or simply ask for donations.  Often times the donation strategy will actually generate more money than a set price.
  • Signage– It’s time to get crafty and create some eye-catching signs to promote your car wash fundraiser! As stated above, have volunteers stand on high-traffic intersections near your car wash location.
  • Car Wash Time! – On the big day make sure that all your volunteers know their job duty. Also, ensure that you have plenty of the proper supplies on hand.  Don’t forget to thank your customers and have some fun!

Pancake Fundraiser

pancake fundraiserIf you are lucky enough to have a kitchen available, then a pancake fundraiser is a great option!  This fundraiser works best at a school, church, or community center.  Some things to consider for your pancake fundraiser:

  • Choose a Date– If possible choose a day where there will already be a lot of potential customers at your location. For example, if you are doing a church fundraiser you could plan your breakfast after service Sunday.
  • Advertise– Put up posters around your venue. You could send out an email to those involved with your organization.  If you have a weekly bulletin that goes out don’t forget to include it in that.
  • Volunteers– You will need at least 5 different types of volunteers: Set up, Cooks, Servers, Clean up, and Cashier. How many of each type you need will depend on how big your event will be.
  • Food– The most important part! You will need to decide on your menu first.  Obviously pancakes but you’ll want to consider offering bacon or sausage as well.  You will need to plan on beverages like coffee and orange juice.  Don’t forget the syrup and butter.  Plan on offering some sugar-free butter as well.  You can ask supporters or local grocery stores to donate the food.  Krusteaz also has a fundraising program where they will reimburse you for a portion back of their pancake mix cost.
  • Other Supplies: You will need to have plenty of tables and chairs set up. Get the paper plates, plastic silverware, and napkins donated.

TShirt Fundraiser

tshirt fundraiserA tshirt fundraiser is one of the most simple fundraising ideas.  The best part is it requires zero resources to set up, it’s easy to promote, and your customers end up with cool custom apparel with your logo on it!  To set up your tshirt fundraiser you will do the following:

  • Set Up Your Free StoreSetting up your store is easy and just takes a few minutes! You can upload your logo or Apparel Now will be happy to help you with your artwork.  You can select the colors that you’d like for your designs as well as what type of apparel you’d like to offer in your store.
  • Promote– Now you can get the word out about your new store! The dashboard of your store will contain tools to make it easy to share.  You can quickly share via social networks, get your stores URL, and find banners to place on your website or blog.  We have a detailed post with in-depth tips on promoting your store.
  • Get Money! – Now you can sit back and let us do the work for you! Apparel Now will collect the money, process the orders, and ship them out!  You will receive a percentage back for all of the sales made in the store.

Fundraising doesn’t have to be a pain!  Our goal is to help you earn as much money for your organization with the least amount of burden for you!




Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising is a great way to get other supporters involved in your cause.  Whether it’s for a school, church, team, club, or other organization there are plenty of options that you can choose from when you are planning to start a fundraiser.  Here are some of the most popular fundraising ideas.

Bake Sale

bake sale

One of the most popular fundraising events is the bake sale. Everyone is familiar with them, so they are fairly easy to set up. Bake sales have a low cost to set up and who doesn’t love sweets!  This type of fundraiser is a great way to get a lot of other people involved.  It’s also a great way to meet other parents and participate in a fun event together.  You will want to make sure that you choose reliable volunteers so that you don’t end standing at an empty table or worse end up with a bunch of store-bought stuff!  The point of a bake sale is to get special homemade goodies so make sure you round up the right folks.

Krispy Kreme Fundraiser

krispy kreme fundraiser

If you don’t have a lot of volunteers for baking, you can always go with a Krispy Kreme Fundraiser.  You can choose to sell boxes of donuts or you can offer gift cards, so your customer can buy the donuts on their own schedule.  You can also sell coffee or BOGO cards.

Raffle Tickets

The best raffle ideas are tantalizing enough to generate a lot of money in ticket sales. They will require quite a bit of time and organization. You will need to go out and ask for donations. Local businesses that are familiar with your organization will be more likely to donate.  If you are friends with someone who owns a business don’t be shy!  Hit them up!  There are a lot of different raffle ideas. Of course, you can sell tickets and draw for random winning items, but a couple of unique raffle ideas are:

  • 50/50 raffle- You will sell only 50 tickets for a set price each. The winner will get 50% of the total money collected.  Another spin on this is to sell 50 tickets for a high price like $50 each.  The winner will get a high-ticket item that has hopefully been donated to you.  The low number of tickets sold increases the chances of winning to encourage people to be willing to spend more on a single ticket.
  • You can sell raffle tickets and have specific baskets for your customers to chose to enter their tickets in. Group together similar donations for the baskets.  Draw one winner for each basket.  This is an incentive for people to purchase tickets because they will only be entering to win items that they want.

Chocolate Fundraiser

chocolate fundraiser

Are you seeing a trend here? Sweets sell! Shop around and find the best fundraising candy bars to suit your needs.  Involve your kids and take them on a supervised visit around the neighborhood and to family members and friends homes to make some sales.  The best way to sell a lot of chocolate is to bring it with you to work. Spread the word to your coworkers and when the 10 am and 3 pm snacking urge hits you’ll sell out in a flash!  Make sure to keep careful track of how many you have sold.

Carwash Fundraiser

car wash fundraiserRunning a carwash is one of the least expensive fundraising ideas.  It will require some planning though.  You need a high traffic location (that you have approval to use), a few volunteers, carwash supplies, and hopefully some sunshine!  Oh, and don’t forget to make a lot of eye-catching signs!  You can charge a set price for the carwash or just ask for donations.  Often times the free carwash will generate more money than one with a set price.

Calendar Fundraiser

This one can be a little more labor intensive.  Especially if you don’t have the images that you’d like to use for your calendar ready to go.  If you don’t you will need to plan out when images you’d like on your calendar and then find a photographer to take them for you.  Once you have your images and the layout of your calendars arranged you can decide if you’d also like to sell advertising space on your fundraising calendar.  This can generate more money for you, but keep in mind that it will also require extra work on your part to organize the advertising.

T Shirt Fundraiser

One of the most simple fundraising ideas is sometimes called a “t shirt fundraiser” but really Apparel Now offers a wide range of custom apparel options.  One of the things that makes this such a great fundraising option is that the strain is taken off of the organizer.  Instead of rounding up volunteers, order forms, cookies, and money, Apparel Now takes care of it all! t shirt fundraiser

To get started you will just need to set up your free online store.  You can upload your logo or Apparel Now will be happy to assist you with your artwork.  You can select the colors that you’d like for your designs as well as what type of apparel you’d like to offer in your store.

Next, you’ll just need to get the word out about your new store!  The dashboard of your new store will contain tools to make it easy to share.  You can quickly share via social networks, get your stores URL, and also find banners to place on your website or blog.  We have a detailed post with in-depth tips on promoting your store.

Your customers will place their orders in the online store.  Apparel Now will collect the money, process the orders, and ship them out!  You will receive a percentage back from all of the sales made in the store and your customers will get some cool custom apparel with your logo on it!

Fundraising doesn’t have to be a pain.  Our goal is to help you earn as much money for your organization with the least amount of effort from you!