Thursday, August 25, 2011


Yep, with the beginning of school and extra curricular activities comes fund-raising time. My least favorite time of the year. I HATE these things with a passion.

First, I get bombarded all at once. I currently have no less than 3 fundraisers going right now between my two girls. At least they're selling different things unlike last year when they were both selling from the exact same booklet. How am I supposed to do that without appearing to like one child better than the other? It's become a tightrope walk deciding which child gets which grandparents, aunts and uncles while attempting to predict what those people will buy so that I can keep the dollar value somewhat even. Nightmare I tell you! And for what?

Crap no one really needs or wants. Sure, we all need Christmas wrapping paper, but I can get it a heck of a lot cheaper from Target. And having tubs of cookie dough in the freezer sounds like a great idea until the power goes out for 4 days and that $40 goes into the garbage. Donuts, nut tins, candles, car decals, overpriced tchotchkes no one needs. Do you know how hard it is to look your mother in the eye and try to convince her she needs yet another candle?

I just can't do it. And what chaps my ass about it all is that they hook the kids with these elaborate programs to kick off the fundraiser, telling them all about the prizes and parties they're going to win if they sell. And then tell them they can't really sell because going door-to-door like we did as kids is verboten. Guess who gets to sell? And disappoint the girls when I have to tell them there's no way I can sell enough to get them both to that amazing party at the end.

I hate fundraiser time. I honestly would just rather hand the school a check for what they'd earn. I will say that Sweet Pea's school has begun something I rather like. They hold a back to school party the Friday before Labor Day. They rent 20 inflatables, sell pizza, drinks and snacks. And make money hand over fist. The kids have a great time. I don't have to sell shit. And the school makes money. Win, win, win!

Are you in the middle of fundraisers? What's the worst thing you've been asked to sell? Do you have a closet full of wrapping paper you'll never go through before the Apocalypse? Have you ever bought something you didn't want or need because you felt guilty?



Smarty Pants said...

LS does one fundraiser at the beginning of the year (Yankee Candles if anyone is interested!). That's all. But I remember being in school and having to pimp out jewelry and chocolate and wrapping paper. All so we can have a limo pick us up from school and take us and 4 friends to McDonalds or something. Its probably cheaper to just hire a damn limo and take your kid and their friends to McDonalds than sell the $1k worth of crap to earn that prize.

There's only so many candles you can sell. Cookies and cookie dough always seem to fall when I'm dieting and a $25 tub of dough is tempting and dangerous.

Personally, I like the coupon cards or booklets. Sure, most of them are useless to me(free golf, anyone?) but usually there's enough stuff I do use that I make back my investment plus some. I like the cards in particular because I can use the 'free large size upgrade on a Jack's Combo' 45 times in a year as opposed to having four coupons that come and go. Makes up for the discount at Dreamland I won't use.

Playground Monitor said...

My youngest son has been out of high school for TEN years, and I still have some wrapping paper I bought when he was in elementary school. Some of us parents used to beg to be able to just send a check to the school and forget the selling. When the kids can't sell door-to-door (and in our neighborhood all but a few homes had kids selling the same thing so it would have been pointless if they could have done that), daddy is in management and can't sell stuff at work and all your family lives out of state, it's a real headache.

I wish someone would ban those sales fundraisers because they're just awful. I think the back to school party sounds great.

I can't remember every buying anything I wouldn't use, but as I said, I'm still using it decades later. And I'm sure I've bought something out of guilt.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I have 5 grandchildren. Nuff said. :-/

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I have always hated that they make kids sell stuff. I was just another desperate and broken-hearted kid trying to sell my crap to people so I could win a TV or whatever. When I think of how I used to go far and wide knocking on doors -- shudder. It's a wonder more little kids didn't get hurt back then. :/ I'd think a check to the school would be easier for everyone.

PM's Mother said...

Shortly after I moved to St. Simons Island (19 years ago) one of the local elementary schools had a fund-raiser to purchase playground equipment. This was called "Pennies Freom Heaven" and that is just what it was. Someone donated an old fish aquarium, another parent from PTA donated a stand to put it on and still another parent fixed a cover(non removeable) with a slot in it for the top...and the fun began! Each day the kids would come in and drop all the pennies they had collected into the "bank"; the "bank" showed up at all the PTA meeting; the newspaper ran a story about the event and local people with no kids in school dug out their penny collections to donate to the cause. I don't remember how many months the penny drive went on, but all of the pennies collected was enough to purchase the equipment needed. The kids were so proud that they had a hand in collecting money for the cause and no one was burdened with selling anything. Good idea, huh?

Jean Hovey said...

I am only on the buying end.

I cannot tell a kid no but I have learned to just give them money if I don't want the item. And really, who wants a tin of stale popcorn?

However, there are some things they buy that I really like. I love that wrapping paper. It's high quality and there is a lot on the roll. I give a lot of gifts and I enjoy wrapping. Last year I was disappointed that no one offered me any so I've bought from three kids this year. I also like girl scout cookies and boy scout popcorn. I don't mind the candles.

Cheryl said...

I like the wrapping paper and the cookie dough but I live so far out in the country no one bothers me. My son is long gone from school but I can remember how hard it was for him to sell. I hate the kid side of the fundraiser because it does disappoint them. I used to just write a check to the band in high school and college and them tell them don't ask me to do anything. They usually left me alone.

Katherine Bone said...

Been there, done that. Hubby couldn't sell at work and I didn't work. Nuff said. Guess who ended up buying all the stuff. Me!

Fundraisers come with school and all other outside curriculum. Because of this, the whole stigma induced dilemma, I will not turn a kid away from my door without ordering something and showing my support. I had too many doors shut in my face.

Good luck!

Instigator said...

Thanks y'all for sharing in my misery. :-) If anyone needs candles, gift bags and/or snacky mix kinda things let me know because I've got them all. And will probably have wrapping paper by Monday. And now I know who can't turn me away. :-)