After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stupid fundraisers

Today Violet came home with a note about Box Tops for Education in her folder.  Yes, she is in preschool.  She LOVES it.  I adore her teacher.  It's wonderful all around with the tiny exception of the social nightmare that is other preschool parents.  Apparently there is some unwritten rule that you are not to make eye contact, and if you do, you are glared at.  Whatever.

Back to my tirade. I hate fundraisers.  I always have.  Particularly fundraisers where I have to save labels from horrible soup, tops of boxes from horrible food, buy coupons or coupon books I won't use, or purchase over-priced cluttery things that I don't want.   I distinctly remember Grace, my ever on top of things kid, coming home and explaining to me in detail that we needed to save these things and why.  Even at the store I cringed when she got excited about them and felt we HAD to buy that box.  Eeek!  All this simply out of guilt or some other sort of motivation.

I told Violet's sweet teacher as much today.  I told her that the whole premise was ridiculous and I intended to just write the school a check for $10 rather than seek out horrible food to feed my family and a chance to give the school mere pennies.  I may have shocked her some, but she was very gracious.  Did I mention I love her?

Now since then I have made a vow.  I have vowed that if ever I am blessed with the opportunity to organize a fundraiser for some sort of youth program, I will buck tradition (surprised?) and probably shock a few people in the process.  Hopefully I will start some sort of a trend.

My idea is that I will make up a pledge sheet to give each child.  It will say something like:

Because I realize that nearly every fundraiser I have participated in has been some marketing scheme by a rather large company selling me a product disguised as food with a promise to give mere pennies to my school, and because I really have no need for trinkets or coupons or any other form of clutter, I pledge ($5  $10  $15  $20) to the above program with the understanding that I get nothing in return other than the comfort that 100% of my donation will be used for the purpose stated above and I am free of clutter and guilt. 

And then there are a bunch of lines for names and amount donated.  (Yes, that is one huge sentence.  But it's effective, don't you think?)

If someone came to my door with something like that, I'd sign up in a heartbeat.  So refreshing.  And honest, dammit.


Anonymous said...

I would TOTALLY sign up for this!
Eric says, "The checks already in the mail to you!" ;-)

Kate said...

I once asked a kid if I could just write a $5 check to his school rather than buy wrapping paper and he went to school and asked and returned the next day and said no. Crazy. I will not kill myself for fundraisers. I might let people know they are occurring, but will not entreat people to participate. I don't mind the "coupon" book that Seamus' school sells because I actually use the coupons and I love date night where we try new places. I do choose what organizations we join based on fundraising commitments they have. I will not sell food products at all! I don't need overpriced candy bars etc hanging around my house. I feel bad for the girl scout parents, they have a lot of pressure to sell cookies.
So there you have my random thoughts on fundraising.

ann marie said...

Well, at least Girl Scout cookies are something people want. I now have 2 kids in 2 different schools, and there is so much overlap in the fundraisers.... how many books do I need? Honestly, I'm more compelled to help the preschool raise money than the elementary because public school is SO well funded around here. We had dinner out last night and like 20% will go to the school. The wrapping paper is due tomorrow, at least the paper is quality and the school gets half. I refused to sell candles for dance... it funds the big kids going to competitions. Sorry, we just started liked 3 weeks ago, not invested enough to be raising money for other kids.
Anyway, I totally agree with your premise, but I think so many people don't. People like my MIL like to buy a pile of stuff. Those are the people who are the real money makers for fundraisers. If I send her to Barnes and Noble the day of the B&N fundraiser, she'll probably spend a few hundred bucks. At least a book fundraiser before Christmas I can use to buy some holiday gifts and stick them in a closet.