Why Scrip?March 22, 2018

Dear Hartsbrook Community,

A group of us has resolved to champion the expansion of the current Scrip Program at the Hartsbook School! The Scrip Program brings significant money into the school through the individual purchase of physical or e-Cards for places where one is already shopping.

We are encouraging everyone to Try Something New with Scrip between now and the end of April. Let us rally our community to expand our participation in this program – which means, for some, to simply start!

Three years ago, Vesna spoke to me about the Scrip Program. Businesses were offering to support The Hartsbrook School – some, who have close ties to the school, with amazing generosity. I was excited! Taking the plunge, I began to purchase Scrip cards and gradually built up a cushion so that I almost never ran short.

After a while, I had a look at the school’s Scrip brochure and discovered that there was so much I wasn’t doing! I realized I had never made any attempt to shop online using Scrip or to use e-Cards in chain retail shops. By now I was scouring the list of Scrip partners – Legal Sea Foods where I occasionally eat when visiting family nearer to Boston was one of the participants!

Why Scrip?I mustered the courage to tackle opening my own PrestoPay account with shopwithscrip.com. Using it has quickly become a new and easy habit. It is now unthinkable that I would order from Lands End or LLBean (16% of purchase payments go to Hartsbrook!) or Barnes and Noble (8%) without first purchasing an e-Card card. Now when I go to Legal Sea Foods I wait until the bill arrives and I purchase an e-gift card in seconds using my phone. The school benefits from 13% — and my in-laws can reimburse me if I cover the whole check! How fabulous is that?!

There is so much potential:

Last year, Hartsbrook raised about $27,000 through Scrip, a nice addition to the school’s budget. But I can’t help thinking — couldn’t we collect much more?  If every family and faculty member purchased an average of $350 in Scrip cards/month, either for the higher percentage local food stores and restaurants — Paul and Elizabeth’s, Mill Valley, River Valley, Esselon (all 10%)  or for high yielding online Scrip (LL Bean, Lands End, Old Navy), that could net the school, an average of $8750/month or $105,000/year! Knowing that some families spend more than that on food every month and have put in standing orders with Vesna makes that number reachable.

Why Scrip?We are asking each family to Try Something New with Scrip. 

For those new to Scrip, could your family:

  • Use the Stop & Shop cards to buy gas, a recurrent need?
  • Start using Scrip cards for your groceries?
  • Buy an e-card before making a “big” purchase such as a new laptop or phone at Best Buy or Staples or when buying supplies for your spring garden projects at Home Depot or Lowes?
  • Make the commitment to using Scrip for all dining out? Esselon,  which is half filled with Hartsbrook families many mornings, returns 10%!

For those already comfortable using Scrip, could your family:

  • Start a standing order for your grocery or dining out needs?
  • Start using shopwithscrip.com and Prestopay for on-the-fly scrip purchases?

To our families, alumni, and our wider community, we invite you to Try Something New, too!

  • Friends, relatives, alumni can also purchase online gift cards under Hartsbrook’s name and, at no cost, generate ongoing income for The Hartsbrook School.

These dollars could easily grow, and grow significantly. Rallying the full potential of the community has awe-inspiring potential to loosen some of the tight constraints of our small independent school budget.

A life of frequent resettlement as part of a foreign service family has made me very sensitive to the resistance within myself to forming new habits. Voluntarily and deliberately changing a habit, particularly if you do not have to do so is challenging. Using Scrip is like that – it requires a decision and follow through, and for some that effort of will is a threshold over which they do not easily step.

To that end, we are launching the Try Something New with Scrip campaign beginning the week of April 2nd. Several of us who have cleared the initial hurdle and discovered how easy it really is would like to offer a hand to others to come on board.

  • Please, look for those of us at drop off and pickup times under the Elementary canopy and in the Early Childhood area on Tuesday, April 3rd and Friday, April 6th.
  • Feel free to contact any one of us on the attached list to answer questions and to help. And if all else fails, talk to Vesna! Together we can do this!


Natalie Adams

Co-Chair Board of Directors
For the Scrip Committee