Whether it is technology, politics or environmentalism, California has always been ahead of the rest of the country. Fundraising is no exception. While we raise money through dinners, golf tournaments and road races, California is using body bags, toe-tag key chains, and "Undertaker" boxer shorts.
"Ma'am, would you like to add a body bag to your grocery order? Proceeds benefit an incarcerated juvenile."
This gallows fundraising is brought to you by the Los Angeles County Coroner. Faced with a county budget that was bleeding red, the L. A. Coroner started Skeletons in the Closet to revive funding for the Youthful Drunk Driving Visitation Program (YDDVP). A court ordered alternative sentencing program for youthful offenders, this program takes participants through the Coroner facilities and exposes them to the realistic and traumatic consequences associated with their offense.
Skeletons in the Closet carries over 50 items including beach towels, t-shirts, tote bags, baseball caps and more. Each item displays a unique Los Angeles County Coroner design such as a skeleton in Sherlock Holmes attire, a chalked-out body outline (my personal favorite) or the L.A. County Coroner seal.
Body-shaped post-its? "Undertaker" boxers? A cutting board that says "We have our work cut out for us?" It's not for everyone. That's why the tagline for Skeletons in the Closet is "to those of us of dubious distinctive taste."