After locating our families overgrown Pioneer Cemetery in rural Missouri we began the task of renovating the grounds. There was work to do on the fence, ground cover to get rid of and headstones to reset. The renovation process was started and it quickly became apparent that we were not going to accomplish this task financially on our own.
the cost of supplies and equipment we needed to achieve our renovation goals were adding up.
During our first renovation season we hosted a large cemetery clean up day and a Blackwell Family Reunion! These efforts really helped us accomplish big things like clearing of the forest floor and lots of tree work. Reclaiming cemetery ground from the deep woods with headstones hiding everywhere on a slanted hill was hard! The costs of materials needed was never ending.
the cemetery renovation was becoming a financial burden going into our second season of cemetery renovation.
We needed a way to earn money to support our cemetery renovation efforts. Our first fundraising drive both decorated the cemetery beautifully and honored the donor. We sold wreaths with the names of the patron and ziptied them to the outside of the cemetery fence. The effort created an instant beautification boost to the cemetery and brought a lot of meaning to the grounds. This idea was well liked and supported.
The wreaths were a win for everyone involved.
We needed another plan to raise funds for cemetery restoration. I decided to create a Blackwell Pioneer Cemetery bi-annual newsletter. Creating them was delightful. It forced me into one of my favorite hobbies: genealogy research! The newsletters shared Missouri Blackwell family information, town history, recipes, and crosswords! The Newsletters were a huge success!
The money started to trickle in and the cemetery was renovated more year after year.
Tombstones were hoisted and uprighted, new bases were made, and broken stones were put back together! We did some fence work too. There is no end to needing funding in a large scale cemetery clean up operation. Little by little we made progress. It was rewarding to honor the family buried there and the people who gave what they could to assist in the efforts. As a group we all donated our own time, money, and love and were super thankful to those who wanted to help in their own way.
I hope these two ideas help you creatively think of ways to raise money for your family cemetery or even raise funds for the purchase of a much needed headstone. Have you raised funds for a genealogical cause in any way? Please let me know what you did!
What are the seven initial steps for a cemetery clean-up? Find out by clicking here!
How did I organize and document headstones before renovation started? Click here!
Cold weather is here in Missouri and we will be making my moms Delicious Beef and Vegetable Soup. Want to make it too? Click here!