Campus View Elementary student Cecilia Ehlting raised more than $1,000 with a plant sale. (Ehlting family photo)

Cancelled school trip plants entrepreneurial seed for Saanich student

Campus View Elementary student sells plants online, donates cash to help homeless

A back yard packed with potted plants to sell sprouted a real life learning opportunity for Cecilia Ehlting.

Head filled with tales from her older brother, the Campus View Elementary student was excited to head into her year of taking the four-day, Grade 5 Strathcona Park trip.

Cecilia, 10, and dad Juergen Ehlting started planning the fundraiser in the fall of 2019, potting plants dug out of their Saanich neighbourhood and caring for them all winter, watching them thrive in anticipation of a spring sale.

“Then the coronavirus came and we’re not going to Strathcona anymore,” Cecilia said. “We have to make use of [the plants].”

Her mind went directly to online sales. Cecilia crafted a Google doc with an entire inventory, including description and images, and sent it off to her teacher for approval.

That document was disseminated throughout the Campus View community and within a half hour sales had started. In two days they were almost out of inventory.

READ ALSO: ‘Rebooting B.C.’ means carefully reopening business

“Really the only thing we needed to do was one email with a little flyer saying what and why she’s doing,” Juergen said.

Dad was impressed with his daughter’s work ethic – she spent days checking emails, updating the sales document and filling orders.

“In the morning I had lots of emails because adults stay up later than me,” Cecilia said. “It’s kind of stressing because you have so many orders.”

They raised more than $1,000. As a bonus, Juergen said, Cecilia did some serious learning despite being a little light on her assigned schoolwork for a few days.

“Now she knows how online retail works. She did everything, keeping track, inventory,” he said.

The only question left was where to use the funds, so Cecilia did more research.

She discovered with shelters closed, the homeless are facing even more challenges during the pandemic.

They plan to donate the money to Our Place.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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