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A party of different sorts

Over the years I’ve been known to come up with a variety of ways to have a party. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations, confirmations, game nights, Grinch get-togethers, and the list goes on. Sometimes it really doesn’t even need to be anything real special for me to throw a party.
During the past few years, I’ve found yet another way to engage in a party. It’s a newspaper-related party involving my youngest daughter, Cailyn, who is a few months shy of becoming a teenager, and my parents. It’s really a work day where we team up to get out the monthly renewal notices for our faithful readers to renew their subscriptions for another year.
Since taking on the newspaper nearly four years ago, I have found ways to engage family members in helping out with various aspects of running a small business. One way has been to involve my children and parents with subscriptions.
Once a month we have a “subscription party” at my house where my daughter and mom and dad become an assembly line putting labels on subscription cards (you know those green, blue and orange cards you’ve received when your subscription is up), envelopes, folding letters and stuffing them to be mailed. Oh yes, can’t forget stamping them.
Between the two newspapers I have, there are usually about 400 notices that go out each month. It usually takes the three of them, and sometimes even I jump in to help, about five hours to complete the job. Because we’re sending out notices for three different months and for two different newspapers, there is a lot of organizing and staying on top of everything going on throughout this process.
Cailyn has become the boss of the subscription party giving out the tasks of who does what. She has fun keeping my parents on their toes and sometimes makes light of a little slip-up here and there. I’m usually in the background supplying the refreshments and making dinner for my work crew.
Perhaps what has been most unique about this party is the bonding that brings three generations together to work towards a common goal. It allows my daughter to spend quality time with her grandparents while they all work hard at getting the job done.
Though this is all done indoors, the sub work party reminds me of growing up and helping my parents with chores and other activities on the farm. My grandfather was also an integral part of farm work for many years. Working together as a family is one of the greatest memories I have of my childhood, and I will always cherish it. I hope someday my daughter will have the same.
I also hope this experience will teach my daughter about the importance of working together as a family in running a small business. It’s not easy, but operating a newspaper takes the help of many people to get the job done. Family included.
There is lots of fun and laughter mixed in with the subscription notices that are sent out to our dear readers. And yes, occasionally we make a mistake on them and offer our regrets for doing so. But maybe next time you notice a goof up, you’ll remember that my 12-year-old and her 85-year-old grandpa and 80-year-old grandma are trying their best to make sure your subscription is handled in a seamless as possible way.
It has always been said that it takes a village to raise children. Well, guess what, it also takes a village to keep a newspaper thriving. And that includes family as well.
It’s time to go in hot pursuit of mailing out this month’s renewals, the fruits of the hard labor from the Bussler clan.

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