Thursday, April 12, 2007

School FundRaisers: Just What I Needed - A $30 Roll Of $1 Wrapping Paper And Subscription To Outlaw Biker Tattoo Magazine


The thing I fear most about my daughter beginning school (years from now) is not the peer pressure, the 8 hours of homework, or some boy who will likely try to put gum in her hair. Nope, it’s those school fundraisers.

They’re not the same as they were in the old days, when I was kid - once a year selling $1 candy bars to the neighbors, family, and begging the parents to take them to work and peddle them for you to their co-workers so you can win that limo ride to McDonalds for ice cream.
In the school I attended, having your parents do the work was discouraged. They expected us kids to walk the neighborhood for hours, standing in front of grocery stores begging strangers for $1. These days the schools WANT parents to peddle the goods to co-workers, family and unsuspecting neighbors who answer the door. And this tango doesn’t happen once a year, but 4 or 5.
We get hit up by friends (and strangers) at work, in the neighborhood, at the gym, at family events, at the Trader Joe’s, etc. Most of the time, like the suckers we are (and fear of being “one of those people”), we’ll buy the cheapest thing in the catalog - like that $65 paring knife we recently bought, which sucks and got dull after a few uses (also, I'm suspicious of why kids are even allowed to sell knives? Oh yeah - because the cheapest one is $65!!)
I say, if the schools want the money so bad why don’t they just send a ransom note with the kid that says, “Give us $50 or we’ll make your child sell subscriptions to unpopular magazine and dollar-store knives that sell for $600”. I’d respect their honesty and send off a check instead.

But that probably won’t happen. So instead when my kids starts school, I’m going to cash in my karma and hit up all those parents who hit me up for those $40 Fresh Pine Wreaths and $25 bins of cheap nasty-tasting chocolate.
What do you all do? Do you roll with it? Or does the school somehow punish you by egging your SUV, or sewing a scarlet letter on your kid if you don't participate?



BTW- I’ve been nominated for the “Hottest Daddy Blogger” Blogger’s Choice Award by Jenny over at Absolutely Bananas. Vote for me! (If I win, free chicken for everyone!)
My site was nominated<span style=

28 comments:

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

So far I just ignore it and don't sell anything.

Then again, my kids are only two.

I always wondered why they just didn't raise tuition.

Jenny said...

ugh, you are so right. my last purchase was a $15 BUCKET of cookie dough that you put in the freezer for fresh cookies anytime. Just what everyone needs, right?

Jenster said...

Congrats on the nomination!

What's even worse is when you have multiple kids doing fundraisers. That really messes up the grandparents!

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad said...

You think that ransom note idea is a joke? We got that option. We paid up at the beginning of the year and now we don't have to sell anything. It was a lot more than $50 though.

Rattling the Kettle said...

Nice Google ads on this post:
"PTO Fundraiser PTA Ideas High School Raise Money". Contextual, indeed.

Sarah O. said...

(Rifles through cupboards)

Lets see...Neighbor kid fundraiser purchases...Very expensive onion chopper that never worked...Discount card that no local retailers accepted...Drinking glasses with high school sports team logo...Year-old cookies...Rancid grapefruit...Wreath that was dead on delivery...Popcorn...Two-year-old cookies...Three-year-old cookies...I gave $100 to the school band and all I got was this stupid windshield sticker...

Sarah O. said...

Oh! I voted for you. I was Voter Number 8.

Lisa said...

My neighbors and I have an agreement - don't try to sell your shit to me, and I won't try to sell my shit to you. We have a huge annual auction every year at our school, which is supposed to cover increasing costs, yet the tuition goes up every year regardless. It's all a sham!

Oh, and the kids that hit me up in front of grocery stores... yeah, I'm "one of those people".

Izzy said...

We just pretend that we never got the order forms...heheh

But seriously, we flatly refuse to sell shit for the school. I'd rather just write a check than make my husband and child peddle overpriced crap.

creative-type dad said...

Jenny/Sarah O. -- you just made me remember what's in that freezer-burned tub that's been in my fridge for over 2 years.


Rattling the Kettle -- another reason why robots won't be able to take over the world.

Whit said...

I'm gonna drop this cuz you're hot (in a platonic blog sort of way).

I only buy crap if I can eat it at that moment, i.e., candy or girl scout cookies.

I would rather sponsor a kid to do something, like a read-a-thon or walking off said candy. Don't they do that kind of stuff anymore?

radioactive girl said...

My kids have sold a bunch of crap to us and the grandparents. I refuse to let them walk around the neighborhood because our neighborhood is filled with kids...everyone is selling the same useless overpriced crap.

I am a sucker for kids, and everyone knows that, so when someone has something to sell that my kids are not selling (for cheerleading which my kids are not in) they come here. I buy it and tehn end up donating whatever I bought. Candy bar sales would make me happy, so do girl scout cookies. Everythign else, yuck!

Whirlwind said...

Ughh! We are actually required to either earn or put in time to equal $400 for our daughter's school. Thankfully it isn't multiplied by the number of children enrolled.

Dad Stuff said...

We only buy from the kids we know. And we make them work for it. They have to ask us themselves. No parents doing the work for them.
Here's another tip. When your kid goes to someone's house to sell, make sure they are dirty, with a head bandage or crutch or something. Then teach them to say pathetically,
"Please Mister, My principal needs an operation."

Maria said...

Ugh. Fundraisers. Liv's class is selling tee shirts. And they are butt ugly ones. I hate the gooey animal ones (Liv wanted me to get the mama chimp holding the baby chimp SO bad!! No. That is just not gonna happen. They can make me buy it but they can't make me wear it).

The class set their "personal goal" at ten shirts apiece. Dream on. My kid is not going door to door pedaling ass ugly tee shirts.

Now, big ass candy bars? Okay.

Above Average Joe said...

The Champ came home with the famed box of chocolate bars recently and we found out we pretty much had to buy that box.

"If you need a second box, let us know"

No lady, 48 chocolate bars at $1 is enough, thanks.

Badoozie said...

are you hot?

I just roll with it, but in the way where I say no to everyone elses kids so I can say yes to mine. But I'm not buying anymore of that 100 dollar frozen cookie dough, that stuff'll give you the hershey squirts for months

Military Mommy said...

Loved your post - I hate fundraisers too. I homeschool my kids, and I very rarely buy the junk from other kids. I do use e-scrip for our local school though, so I feel that I contribute that way.

I flew over via Boomama.

Also wanted to let you know (from your comment over there) that I think I may be your neighbor. I didn't know that you have to secure your wireless internet connection. :)

Have a great weekend!
Michelle

Lisa said...

This year, just after we got done soliciting for Girl Scout Cookies, the school had a cookie dough fund raiser, which we completely ignored.

So far, no one has egged our house. :)

(un)relaxeddad said...

I think, on balance, after reading what everyone says about school, dudelet isn't going. Not even homeschool, just in case I find myself chasing him out to raise funds for that.

More seriously, everything over here seems to be done through jumblesales. Or rather, Law-of-the-Jungle-sales.

creative-type dad said...

Badoozie -- Yes. People often mistake me for Fabio. The only exception being that my nipples aren't the size of pancakes.

Military Mommy --- Yeah, I didn't know you had to "secure" the wireless internet connection either. Some geeky/hacker 12 year old neighbor kid told me how he was using MY internet connection to download movies, mp3, porn or something like that (nice, huh?) Anyhow, I know some of those anti-piracy law-people can trace that stuff down to your connection.

Now I secure it. At least I think I have...
I may need the assistance of a 12 year old.
Who knows, maybe he's reading this as I type.

Above Average Joe -- I think I'm just going to end up buying the box too and giving the candy out as Christmas gifts to strangers.

Maria -- I think I want one of those monkey shirts - heck, send one to me.

Pageant Mom said...

I voted for you!! I was nominated for freakiest blogger - vote for me!vote for me!!

At least they don't have to sell those nasty cheese barrels we had to sell. Grease in a plastic tub BLLEEEACH!! Fortunately, I was raised in an area of town where it was perfectly acceptable to use a knife to persuade people to buy them....

JayMonster said...

Gripe number one - That the schools need to do this in order to raise funds. In our little town, our school budget works out to about $15,000/student. And with that much money per year they can't afford everything without additional funds.

Something seriously wrong there.

As for the fundraisers themselves, for the most part, I have always bought from other parents and such, so now I have built in "happy to buy" (or at least willing to return the favor) people.

Fortunately we have also be been lucky enough to have decent fundraisers, so it has been rare that I have regretted it so badly as many have mentioned here.

As for the kids selling it themselves, I am sorry, but those days are long gone. You simply can not risk sending a child door to door any longer.

creative-type dad said...

Pageant Mom -- cheese barrels? Man, that's weird...

JayMonster -- you know, I'm starting to think that if they had 30k/kid that still wouldn't be enough. It's never-ending.

minnie said...

this appalls me beyond belief. maybe they should have a budgeting awareness day instead and teach kids all about how the government funds schools and taxes and stuff. and then they can send the kids around the neighborhood to have people sign a petition to impeach Bush. my kid's not even born yet and i'm pissed about this.

kittenpie said...

Our daycare has fundraisers I can get with so far. At Christmas, they sell poinsettas, so I buy one for work, one for the MIL. That sort of thing. When it gets to other stuff? I guess we'll hit up the relatives and co-workers to the extent that we can do so without being totally annoying and getting ourselves ostracized. (Except maybe with those relatives and neighbours we wouldn't mind avoiding...)

DueDad said...

oh, yes this is hilarious:
Kids Art Critic

Hip Chix said...

Great points... and only validates why I started Hip Chix Fundraisers. We think the kids need to get back to doing the selling themselves and the parents should stop pushing goods at work! Check it out at www.hipchixfundraisers.com