Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fundraiser blues

It’s Fundraiser Season, everybody!!!


OK, it’s true. I hate fundraisers. On my desk at this precise moment are the following:

Walk-A-Thon pledge sheets: 3

Sally Foster Wrapping Paper Fundraiser envelopes (thick suckers, these): 3

Cookie Dough & More Fundraiser envelope: 1 (ah yes, new school…new fundraisers!)

I used to love fundraisers, back when I was their age. I’d go door to door through my neighborhood (and I knew everybody - I was a very social kid, and also we didn’t have crime back then {cough, cough}, so I spent 99% of my free time wandering wild through the neighborhood making a nuisance of myself friends with all those lovely adults who didn’t see me coming and run back into their homes, draw the shades and quiver in fear behind some furniture were gardening or making dinner or something else that might be interesting), and some people would sign up and some people wouldn’t and usually I’d be one of the Top Sellers because I had sturdy little legs and I would hit up literally a thousand houses each and every time.

No guts, no glory.

Well. What happens to a kid who can’t go door to door because we don’t know a living soul in our neighborhood…except other parents who are all desperately trying to get orders for the same fundraiser? AND, both of your parents work from home, and thus have no office full of coworkers who, fully understanding that you will return the favor when their little Precious has to sell 5,500 boxes of cookies to win a Nintendo Wii, will immediately pledge $0.25 per lap for the walk-a-thon or order a tub of $13 cookie dough? (I do not even want to think about how much more per-cookie this is than homemade…I might vomit…)

AND FURTHERMORE, what happens when said kid is one of four siblings, all of whom have the exact.same.fundraiser in their hot little hands?

Is Grandma supposed to buy something from each of them? Shoot, that can run a hundred bucks, easily! If Mommy doesn’t buy something from each one, does that mean she loves the one(s) she did buy from more?!

You can see why my love for fundraisers has not merely cooled, but frozen right over.


Well, this year, I instituted a new rule on fundraisers. It is sitting on the Denizens about as comfortably as a hair shirt at this point, but in time I think they will understand the beauty of it (which is that Mommy is a less-crazy person, which is a good thing for their little futures).

The rule is this: We will take these things on a rotation basis. Eldest got the Boxtops (hey, don’t scoff – we sent in about $18 worth of the things with her, in a quart-sized baggie!). Danger Mouse got credit for the bake sale purchases. And now, Boo Bug gets the Sally Foster order.

Captain Adventure going to a different school, well, he’s not in rotation.

And I’m pissed about his fundraiser because I have been hungry for éclairs for about a week now, and his fundraiser is selling frozen éclairs, eight to a box for {gak!} thirteen bucks, and I looked at that and I went, well, “GAK!” and then I was thinking that really, it doesn’t take that long or that much to make them from scratch and now all I can think about is éclairs and their creamy, custard-filled goodness and I have been able to think of very little else all day today and I’m kind of thinking that probably it would be best, you know, purely in the name of getting my brain back on business…if I went ahead and, you know…made some.

stupid fundraisers!...


Science PhD Mom said...

Erg, is it just me, or is your whole blog < strike >? Just wondering. :)

twistle said...

not just you!

Judy said...

why the strike throgh?
I know and dreaded the fundraisers when my kids were little.

Jen said...

Ugh! We've been doing the fundraiser thing since school started and it will continue all year long because it's "Band Trip Year" at the high school. Want some raffle tickets?

She Knits Socks said...

It's not just you. It goes on and on.

Now that my kids are grown with kids of their own, I don't buy from the others at work. And I don't bring my grandchildren's order sheets to work!

Anonymous said...

I HATE fundraisers and I haven't even had any yet as a mother. I used to be a teacher and I never understood what the money was used for. No one EVER gave me a satisfactory answer. They tell the kids it is for new playground equipment, but is there every any new equipment? Not that I could see.

I think I am going to be the grouchy, bitchy mom who refuses to let her kids participate in fund raisers. I'll take the teacher aside and hand her a chunk of change for use in her classroom (or maybe have her give me a list of needs and go out and buy the stuff).

Of course I'm not there yet so maybe I will change my mind once I get there.

Anonymous said...

I hate the fundraiser thing, too. I will buy the coupon books because they have ones we really use (Home Depot for starters). However, I otherwise send them back. It works just as well to send a check to the school (or PTA, whichever) as a donation for that effort - sometimes it's more money that they would have gotten from the sale of stupid wrapping paper anyway!

Science PhD Mom said...

I am boycotting the fundraisers. We got our first one from DD's preschool for "cookie dough" and I'm just saying "no". I am happy to give her a dollar to pay for a root beer float or a bag of popcorn from the 8th graders or something, but I am not supporting the rapacious, greedy marketing companies that sell these "fundraisers". Better to just give the school a check for the new school bus or whatever.

Trina said...

Secret to high school fundraisers: Hit up the teachers at the beginning of the month!

I have a cookie dough ordering secret; The multi-colored sugar cookie dough is always a yes... Why? Because the non-hubby will bake with it! The man, who is stretching to make mac n' cheese, will slice up a color (they come in convenient blocks) and create that lovely baking smell all on his own! Gotta love it... although I suspect when I'm not home, he just puts an entire block in the oven and makes a giant blue cookie.

Perhaps your kids could find some cooking phobic well-funded bachelors to sell to?

Willow said...

I flippin HATE fundraisers and really just refuse to do them. We're in an neighborhood that has not only one, but two "projects" (low income housing), and yet they expect these kids to sell for fundraising? Who the heck are they going to sell to? Give me a break!

Rebecca Jo said...

I work as a youth leader in our church - so needless to say, EVERY kid hits me up for those fund raisers.....I hate them more than anyone!!!!

Yarnhog said...

I hate the bloody things, too. As a long-time PTA mom, I'm guilty of instituting...let's just say a LOT of the suckers. Because, without them, our school wouldn't have paper, much less field trips and assemblies and art classes. But I have a policy on fundraisers. I don't participate. I write a check to the PTA, school, band, whatever, for the amount my kids would likely raise selling overpriced wrapping paper and preservative-laden cookie dough and call it a day. The organization gets the entire donation instead of a percentage cut and I get the tax deduction. It does cost me more, but I figure I can afford it better than the parents of the other kids, most of whom live in one of the three low-income apartment complexes across from the school.

Anonymous said...

Our local school did the most wonderful and amazing thing -- they realized that nearly every parent in the school detested the fundraisers -- wrapping paper, or anything else, abolished them, and created instead a PTO "membership." Families contribute some money. How much is up to them. As long as the PTO gets enough for projects, there are no fundraisers except the read-a-thon in the spring. Which is at least educational. YAY!

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