Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Raisin' the Roof

How do you handle school fund raisers?

Kat is in pre-kindergarten two mornings a week this year. She's been in class exactly six days and has already brought home order forms for two fund raisers.

Shane and I have already discussed this and have set a family policy that she won't sell anything door-to-door, and only rarely will she be allowed to ask friends or family members to buy anything or sponsor her in any event.

But what about us personally? Why should we buy merchandise we don't need or want, under the guise of helping the school district?

The first fund raiser was a brochure selling bulbs for tulips, daffodils and the like. I've priced them before and I know we could get them for less elsewhere. That is, if we wanted them, which we don't. The second fund raiser is for discounts at 15 area restaurants, fast food joints and services. For the ones we'd actually consider visiting, there are free coupons available in our mail almost weekly. Why would we buy a discount when we can get one for free.

Yes, I'm sure the school could use the money, but so can we. Yes, we could consider it a charitable donation, but we prefer to choose the charities we donate to and not have them choose us. If we choose to donate our money or time to the school, we'll contact them directly. We could call it an investment in our children's education, but if we are expected to learn to handle our own finances without sending our children out peddling junk, why is OK for the school to do it?

Maybe I'm being scroogey about this, but it has always rubbed me the wrong way. At the rate the school is sending out requests for money, a parent could be in the poorhouse by the end of the year.

What's your take on this?


Tug said...

I am SO with you on this! Between my nephews, grandson, and co-workers kids, I am DONE with it all!

Violet said...

I usually buy something small from most fundraisers for kids. I spent years as a Girl Scout selling cookies and promised myself when I was "old" I would always buy stuff from kids. It isn't fair that schools put kids in that position and the pressure that the kids face if they don't participate can be trememdous. Not from the schools themselves, but from the organizers who offer major prizes (including cash) if you sell x-number of items. I agree with you on principle, but I end up giving into the pressure.

Annie Jones said...

Tug: You bring up a good point. What about families with more than one child in school, all bringing home fund raiser collection envelopes. It would be hard to support them all.

Violet: Thanks for responding. I was curious how you'd weight in on this, knowing your a teacher. It's hard not to buy from kids, for sure. I was lucky with Jean in that, prizes or no prizes, she didn't want to sell things.

I'm not saying I'll never buy anything from any of the fund raisers Kat brings home. But it's going to have to be something I want/need and at not too exorbitant a price before I do.

DadGuy said...

For me it totally depends. Usually the fundraisers I have seen are for something specific. Most items I don't need/want that are being sold, but if it's some kind of activity or what not that I want to support it's usually worth a buck or two.

Two in three weeks is pushing it by any stretch though.

Annie Jones said...

Dadguy: I agree that it depends on what they are selling and why. I'd be more likely to support an activity that Kat was actually involved in, although at her age, we don't have her in any yet. I also like the idea of supporting food drives, recycling drives, etc. Help doesn't always have to come in the form of cash.