The Group: North Broward Academy of Excellence PTO, North Lauderdale, Fla.

The Setting: An officer’s home, where PTO members were preparing hundreds of lollipops and carnations for a Valentine’s Day fundraiser.

The Idea: The PTO took advance orders and typed cards for each item. Volunteer coordinator Melanie Smith was nearing the end of her pregnancy, but her baby wasn’t due for another week and she had recruited plenty of help.

What Went Wrong: At the last minute, a key volunteer couldn’t help. Then, on Feb. 12, Smith began having labor pains. Two other moms came to Smith’s house, where the three worked through the evening to tie cards to the candy and flowers while timing her contractions.

What Happened Next: Smith hoped to finish the project before going to the maternity ward, but the baby had other plans. A little after 10 p.m., one of the volunteers convinced her to go to the hospital; her son was born around 4 a.m. the next morning. “After I delivered my baby, my husband went home to rest,” Smith says. “He finished tying the cards onto the carnations for approximately two hours.”

The Outcome: “My worst fear was not being able to get the items delivered to the children [on] Valentine’s Day, but thankfully two moms came through for us,” Smith says. The next morning, they picked up and delivered the items.

Labor Plan: “Always have a few members willing to help in case of an emergency,” Smith says. “And never bite [off] more than you can chew when nine months pregnant!”