Mavis Asks Readers to Send in Gnomes

send in the gnomes mavis butterfield
Last winter I was trying to think of a fun way to give back some of the money this little ol’ website of mine has made over the past year.

Thanks to all of you who have ever purchased anything from one of my links on the bottom of a blog post, printed a coupon or found something you liked enough to purchase via Mornings with Mavis, the blog has actually made some money. This goofy little blog of mine has turned my love of gardening and sharing how I save money, in to an official full time job.

Plus, the blog has also gotten me out of quite a bit of laundry and undesirable chores like cleaning the back deck, so again, thank you for your support. You are awesome.

send in the gnomes mavis

After lots of consideration {and many hours behind the scenes working out the details and getting approval} I have decided to ask for your help with a crazy idea I came up with a few months ago.

I would like you to send me a gnome.


Yes, I would like YOU to send me a gnome.

If you send me a gnome {to be temporarily housed in my backyard} I will donate $10 for every gnome donated {big or small, ceramic or plastic, new or old} to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the end of this summer.*

st. judes garden{photo credit}

In case you didn’t know already, St. Jude has an awesome collection of 59 raised garden beds.

Having a garden on site shortens the time between harvesting and serving, which keeps the food’s nutritional value high and provides healthier fare for faculty, staff and patients who eat in the Kay Kafe. Serving foods from the St. Jude Garden also reduces the need to purchase large amounts of produce, which saves the hospital money. – St. Jude website

The Best Case Scenario:

  • 1,000 gnomes from around the world will descend on my backyard {and make the HH crazy}.
  • My helpers and I {including Mrs. Hillbilly, The Girl, Crazy Larry, possibly my online boyfriend Ryan + a whole slew of other people you know} will take an epic road trip towards the end of the summer and hand deliver a check for $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and will place 100 gnomes in the St. Jude Garden in an effort to celebrate kids, gardens and healthy food.
  • The remaining 900 gnomes will be placed in Public, Community and Children’s gardens along the way from Seattle to Memphis, with the possibility of leaving a boatload of gnomes in one unsuspecting strangers front yard. {Holy Crap!}

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You will call the authorities and have me committed.

send in the gnomes one hundred dollars a month

I know this sounds like a totally crazy idea, but I really think I can pull it off with YOUR help.

So what do you say? Will you send in a gnome?

Click HERE to see what gnomes have been sent in so far.

Mavis butterfield gnome St. Jude's wish list

Please send gnomes by August 1st, 2013 to:

Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083

Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Under no circumstance will any gnome be returned. By donating a gnome to the Send in the Gnomes project you are giving Mavis and her helpers full authority to place your gnome, or anything else you send in, anywhere in the world.

St. Jude’s, here we come!


 * A maximum of $10,000 will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

The money will come from this years blog earnings {so keep that in mind the next time you see a link to a cool product on One Hundred Dollars A Month}. Again, thanks for your help. Giving back is cool!

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  1. Diana says

    What a great idea! I must admit that I have purchased a lot of items you have featured on your blog. It saves me a lot of time and I get great prices. Maybe you could post some purchase links for gnomes on your blog and we could click on them to purchase a gnome. That would give you more money for donations! Amazon has a ton of gnomes!

  2. Heather says

    Can we make a cash donation do that hopefully you could raise more that $10000???

    The gnomes rock… But a gnome with a $5 spot would be better?

  3. Mrs hillbilly says

    Even though I knew about this ….it still brought tears to my eyes! You are one of the doers in this world. We need more of you! Have fun, i cant wait to exprience the craziness you have unleashed!!!!!!

    • Mavis says

      We are all looking forward to stopping at your Mama’s house in Mississippi for a catfish supper before we head to St. Jude’s. This is going to be so much fun!

  4. JP says

    As a side note, did you know that the new Seattle Children’s Building Hope has a rooftop terrace garden? And a new natives garden walk?

    Should you happen to get more donations (of gnomes or cash), maybe consider starting an edible gardening fund at Children’s? Right here in your backyard?

    (No, I don’t work there, though I spent a fair amount of time there during my nephew’s cancer treatments.)

  5. says

    Ok first, the outfit. Epic.
    Second, this is such a selfLESS and amazing thing you’re doing! It warms my heart just reading about it. I can’t wait for the picture of ALL the gnomes. :)

    Gooo Mavis!

      • says

        In that costume? You might as well have the Good Year Blimp hovering over your house hahaha. Good thing publicity is good for the project :).
        PS next year when you wear the Gnome suit to the Tulip Festival, I think you should also wear it to (or in) Holland Happening in Oak Harbor. <3

  6. suzanne says

    Count me in rock star! My gnome is concrete and weighs about 125 lbs. If I dress my HH like one will you ship him off Lol? Good luck Mavis I will see what the local girl scouts can come up with.

  7. LaToya says

    You know how some people are afraid of clowns? I’m afraid of gnomes. Like nightmares. Like bad. But if I see one, it’s yours. Great cause. And wow, giving back…when you can keep…is so cool. I still think you’re a silly girl, Mavis Butterfield :p xoxo

    • Mavis says

      Oh LaToya, I am totally expecting to find a gnome in the mail from you. Overcome the fear. You can do it!

  8. says

    Oh, dear girl! What an idea! I have one we inherited from the last people who lived here, but it’s solid stone. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for an alternative. Oh, and that get-up you’re wearing? Priceless:-).

  9. carrie says

    One Garden gnome on it’s way from Amazon and me. Your are wacky and awesome. Love the costume. Is Lucy looking up your skirt?
    Carrie in NH

  10. Heather says

    What a lovely idea! I have to find a gnome to donate…I don’t know what it is about gnomes, but not a huge fan, so have to get my hubby involved in the pick out process! Some people bring a dowry into a marriage…my hubby brought our gnome Hank! It’s been 13+ years and still am not used to seeing him staring me down outside in my yard! LOL :)

  11. Paty says

    Hi Mavis,
    What a splendid and wacky fun idea! I am now on a mission to secure a gnome to send your way and will savor seeing and reading about this great adventure over the next few months. Good for you, you have such a warm loving heart! You know animals are tuned into people with wonderful souls which is evident as Lucy the Puggle Dog tries to stand on the tree stump with her best-est buddy. Seriously, thank you for providing a daily read we all look forward to filled with helpful tidbits and always, always many smiles!

  12. Jenny says

    Oh Mavis, you just made me tear up! I am a pediatric oncology nurse and St. Jude would be my dream job :) You have a gnome on the way from Tacoma and I will share this on my page….

  13. Ann T. says

    Morning Mavis,

    I’m not a gnome person, but I did go window surfing this morning to find just the right one for you. Was a hard pick to find just the right little guy for your traveling, but I do believe I found the right guy for the job. Hopefully here soon, he and all of his new pals can help put some smiles on the children at St. Jude’s!

  14. Kari A. says

    This brought tears to my eyes when I read what you were doing. Such a fun way to raise money for St. Judes and give back to those that need it!. I have a special place in my heart for St. Judes so this is extra special to me. Look for a gnome from Northern Wisconsin soon!

  15. Angela says

    My niece did a fundraiser once where they “gnomed” people, it was hilarious. My mom opened her door one day to find a group of gnomes smiling up at her. You then had the opportunity of adopting the gnomes for your very own or donating for them to be taken away. I thought it was such a cute and clever idea. Everybody that was gnomed loved it and were very generous in their donations. I will be looking for just the right gnome to send your way!!

  16. Kelly McElyea Penny says

    I wait everyday for your blog to show in my email just love it!!!! But today you made my day !!!! My grandson has been a paitent at St Jude for 4yrs (remission for 1 yr in June he will be 8 ) whoop peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!They are wonderful people Great people Fantasitc people……well you get the idea My grandson and I will be hand picking a special Gnome and sending it your way. With tears of joy in my eyes……Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Karin says

    Mavis, you are a riot! I would love to have a neighbor like you! I’m not exactly sure where to buy a gnome, but I’ll try to find something awesome.

  18. says

    I have to ask… Are you a Tri Delta? The fact that you picked St. Jude’s made me wonder. (That is our national sorority philanthropy.)

    • Mavis says

      No. :) Cool beans though on St. Jude’s being your national sorority philanthropy. I think that’s awesome.

  19. Rkissner says

    Just send the cutiest little gnome from Etsy, If you are coming thru Nashville I could treat you to Panera for Lunch.. I love what you are doing for the Kids of St Jude’s…

    • Mavis says

      Awww thanks. I may just take you up on that. Panera is my favorite place for lunch. How did you know? 😉

  20. Nicole says

    Awesome! My 1st graders and I will send you a gnome. How about cards for some of the kiddos getting treatment? I love people like you, giving back is the best! Carry on Girl Scout.

  21. says

    One on the way… appreciate you posting a link. Made the mistake of looking for one on eBay. Yikes!! I had no idea there were so many weird variations out there. Stripper gnomes?! Errrr… no thanks.

  22. Megs says

    I have an indoor gnome, Bertie. He lives in my living room and loves it. He has never been outside. I will find you a good gnome from here in South Dakota that is ready to handle the great outdoors!!!! Love this idea!!

  23. Celia says

    Mavis, I shared this post with my local homeschool groups in the Lexington, KY area. I received a response from someone whose son has been treated there, and she thinks your project is wonderful. If you send me a private email, I will forward it to you. It should make you feel great about your project! Add those Amazon links to gnomes. I think someone else’s suggestion to add the extra money to the St Jude’s donation is a great one, if you can make it work. Thanks for giving back!

  24. Becky says

    LOL, It’s so crazy it just might work,I have a Gnome here but it will probably cost $10.00 to send it! But GF I am in just let me know how and I’ll sent it out!

    • Mavis says

      Here’s the address. Thanks Becky! :)
      Mavis Butterfield
      4916 Pt. Fosdick Drive Suite #103
      Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

  25. Lola Rose says

    Good job Miss Mavis.
    A Gnome is on its way,all the way from Bellevue, Wa.
    What you’re doing is such a wonderful thing

  26. Helen in Meridian says

    Mavis, why are you having the gnomes sent to some Suite in an office bldg instead of having your favorite hunky UPS man arriving several times a day. Isn’t the point to irritate your DH and neighbors when you unpack our 1,00’s and 1,000’s of gnomes on your front yard. I would think this would be a wonderful 20th anniversary gift to your dh to decorate your front yard first?

    • Mavis says

      You. Are. Hilarious. Gustuf the hottie of a UPS man has a knee injury, and I didn’t want to stress him out. :) I’ll have to get his picture so you can see him.

  27. Helen in Meridian says

    Who is Crazy Larry, and which of your favorite Ryans are you hoping with go with you? All these gnomes won’t fit in the new Volvo. Who gets to drive the U-Haul parade?

    • Mavis says

      Helen, what fun would it be if I gave away all my awesome secrets all at once. Patience. If Ryan Gosling is available, he can be our driver. Otherwise, I’ll try and get my online boyfriend Ryan from Botanical Interests to come along. He’s very musical and would be lot’s of fun.

  28. Elizabeth says

    Came across your site through a fan of yours from Kentucky who passed the information along to our homeschool web board. Tickled pink about your idea!! My son was treated there from 2007-2008 for brain cancer when he was seven. I doubt he’d be here had it not been for their innovative, cutting-edge therapies. We still return twice a year for check-ups, but October of this year he will (Lord willing) pass the six-year mark and will be considered a full-fledged survivor.

    We will be sending you a gnome and you certainly already have our most heartfelt thanks for what you are doing. My son plans to turn it into a superhero gnome, so we will mail it out once it is all jazzed up. :)

    Many blessings to you and yours,


    • Mavis says

      Awww Elizabeth! So glad to hear about your son! Bring on the super hero Gnome. Make sure to include a little note and I will make sure it gets in the St. Jude’s garden. Thank you so much for hanging in there. :)

  29. Elizabeth says

    Haha! I see my homeschool group peep posted on here, too. Missed that one somehow as scrolled down the page. So glad that she shared your link with our group…quite serendipitous. :)

    If you are interested in seeing what St. Jude means to us, Google : An Uncommon Bond St. Jude. I couldn’t get my device to copy the link on here; apologies. We were honored to be part of this short presentation that shows three families and three very different journeys. It’s about seven or eight minutes long and is a tiny, though accurate, representation of what goes on there.

    Thank you again for giving back in such a fun and meaningful way to the kids battling life-threatening diseases–and helping to further research that has always been freely shared all over the world. I have witnessed as many miracles as I have heartaches there. We have had friends pass away and others that recover and astound their doctors. One thing is for certain: As long as the lights are on and the researchers are seeking the cures, there is hope for the kids fighting for their lives.

    Thanks for helping to keep the lights on, Mavis! You are a true champion for so many children and their families in their darkest hour.

    Sincere thanks,

  30. says

    I love this idea!! I was sent to your site by a customer of mine who bought a Gnome that I made. She asked me to send it directly to you and I told her that I would be happy to do that!!

    If anyone else is looking for Gnomes I make ceramic ones in many different shapes and sizes. Check them out at and also I will give anyone purchasing a Gnome for you a 20% discount with the coupon code: gnome4mavis

    Thanks and good luck!

  31. Diane says

    Via Portland, Oregon and Amazon, here comes a gnome snoozing in a hammock (in honor of my husband’s favorite gardening activity on a summer afternoon). Thanks for the great idea – so happy to be a part of it!

  32. Krystal says

    What a creative and fabulessly F.U.N way to give back! Thank you for the opportunity! A lazy, laying down gnome (via Amazon) is on his way from across the state in Spokane :)

  33. says

    A friend posted your link on my FB page, she knows I’m a gnome freak! what a surprise to come home and read that your gnome adventure is to support on of my favorite charities: St. Jude Children’s Hospital. A gnome from your Amazon wish list is on its way.

    Here’s the link to my Traveling Gnomes adventures:

    Thanks for supporting a great cause and spreading gnome fever!

    • Mavis says

      Thanks Rebecca! Rick Steves is awesome! I’m glad you had a great time on one of his tours. I love watching him on PBS. And thank you for supporting the Gnome Project. :)

  34. Lissa says

    A beeeeeuuuuuteeeeful Boise State Bronco gnome is on it’s way. There were no gift options available so I couldn’t write a note and I wouldn’t want you to wonder how or why it made its way to you! The things I do for love (of your blog and this amazing project). Now I will see endless suggestions from Amazon about sports themed gnomes. Oh my. I can’t wait to hear about your road trip and this cool adventure. PS- no worries about not getting the gnome back. I REALLY never want to see it again. Have fun and thank you for an amazing blog!

  35. Jane says

    Soooooooo I’m trying to team up with my best friend from Cardiff, Wales, UK. I thought between the two of us (two Pediatric ICU nurses BTW) getting a couple of particularly Welshy and American-y looking gnomes together….. nice, yeah????

    Thanks a million for all you do!

  36. Carol says

    Thanks Mavis for opening this door so the rest of us can share in your gnome mania! You have a gnome mobile coming from Northwest Indiana (Valparaiso) via the great folks at
    Hugs to Lucy!

    • Mavis says

      Hi Tanya, you can drop the gnome off between 11 am and 7 pm at the address below. They will make sure I get it. Thanks so much. :)

      Mavis Butterfield
      4916 Pt. Fosdick Drive Suite #103
      Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

  37. says

    What a great idea! I love it! I will go and find a cute little Austrian gnome and send it to you! You really rock and I love your site! Greetings from Austria! :)

  38. says

    So, we are only 3 hrs from Memphis, so might be on your way. Would be cool for you to stop by our farm and visit the sheep, chickens, etc. St Jude’s is one of the many incredible children’s hostpitals in the country. I think your project is cook. Let me know, You can come for a meal. BTW my daughter is going to WSU and will be working at the Experiement Station this summer. It is a small world.


    • Mavis says

      Dee! What fun, please remind me as we get closer to planning the trip and if we can swing by we totally will. :) Thank you! :)

  39. says

    Thought I would mention that while I was at Grocery Outlet today, I saw bobble head gnomes for $4.99! I don’t know if you have a list of places to buy gnomes but figured I would let you know.
    My husband laughed at me because I said “Oh! I have to remember this for Mavis!” :)

  40. Stacy says

    Sent my little Ohio grown gnome your way……he should be there by the middle of next week ( on or around 4/24).
    Great idea for a fundraiser….and for a super-great cause.

    Good Luck!

  41. Cathy Armstrong says

    You’re still collecting gnomes aren’t you? Or did I miss a post – the list seems to have stopped growing :(

  42. Ellen says

    coming from Clackamas Oregon via Amazon is one of the wonderful Gnome Ballons to add to the “bouquet”. I also included a Gnome sticker to put on the Gnome-mobile for your trip so everyone will know you love Gnomes! Hope you have wonderful trip and get a chance to visit with some of your fans along the way. Can’t wait to hear stories and see pictures. Such a GREAT thing you are doing.

  43. Patricia says

    Hi Mavis! I am ordering some of the gnome characters from Oriental Trading. The est. delivery date will be 8/7 – will that be too late? Sorry for my procrastination!

    • Mavis Butterfield says

      We leave the 8th. :) Hopefully they get here in time. If you just ordered them I’m sure they will. Thank you.

      • Patricia says

        OK – I didn’t want to risk it – sending you the gnome birdfeeder from Amazon. Have a great trip!!

  44. Tina says

    The Auburn University gnome, 4 of the balloon gnomes and the “hangin’ with my gnomies” bumper sticker are in honor of Ava Roten. Ava’s currently a patient of St. Jude’s. Thank you Mavis for making a difference!!! May God bless you all with safe travels and wonderful memories!!

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