Tuesday, April 14, 2009

School Fundraisers Stink!

I love my kids' school.  I think the teachers are wonderful.  I do my best to volunteer my time and efforts to help the school as much as I can.  However there is one beef I have about public schools...fundraiser packets. 

Usually the fundraiser is presented to the children in an assembly to pump them up to sell things.  Of course they show the kids that they can win a radio, money, or obscure things like a disco ball or pens that double as compasses if they sell X amount of items.  The kids get excited and bring the packet home to me and ask me to help them sell 42 items so they can get a plastic disco ball light up thingie that looks like it was intended for a preschool rave.  I try to explain that to sell 42 items is a hard thing to do because people don't always need the things that are being sold and all of their friends have parents who are trying to sell the same stuff so the market for their product is pretty saturated.  It's not that I am trying to be discouraging, but I hate to see them get frustrated because the assembly pepped them up for a goal that isn't really reasonable in the first place.  So I buy something I don't really want or need to make them feel better and let them call their grandma with a sales pitch.  The neighbor lady buys some candy and that is about all we get.  They earn a plastic bracelet and feel jealous that Tommy's dad was able to take his catalog to work and sell over 100 items so Tommy gets awarded with a radio in front of the whole school, setting the other kids up for a heaping dose of jealousy and resentment towards me for not being more proactive in selling the random stuff nobody really needs. 

While I am on the rant, have you ever tried to explain to a six year old who doesn't seem to live in the same reality as you do that having 42 items doesn't mean you count the number of cars or that you have to sell 42 of your own toys or that you just own 42 items and therefore you get a prize?  It is enough to make you want to hit the bar before noon.  I tried to explain to him that he has to sell 42 items out of the catalog because he replies "I did!" and I keep trying to tell him he didn't and he insists that he did.  I try about 8 different ways to explain it and he is still walking around talking about the disco ball he will earn.  I give up and pray he forgets about the stupid ball. 

I wish that fundraisers sold things people need, not keychains or cookie dough (don't even get me started on the "Healthy Kids Cookbook" that featured fruit on top of a frosted sugar cookie).  Maybe I'd get excited if they sold natural items that I would actually use.  Reusable gift wrap anyone??


Kelly said...

Could be a thriving business. We don't allow Javi to pitch his school's wares, but we do donate directly to the PTO. I hate the whole concept of expecting my kid to shill crappy products that people don't need and that just contribute to more waste.

{sara} said...

I hear you on the whole fundraiser thing! I hate that they get our kids all excited about it. My oldest just had to ask everyone for donations for the science camp jog-a-thon. That was a very good cause...every penny went into her account. Shortly after was when they started the last fundraiser. We had just asked everyone for $$! Then, they pressure our kids with the fact that if everyone in the class participates & sales at least 1 item, the teacher gets x amount of $. I told the fundraiser chairperson that if it comes down to the fact that my kids are the only ones not participating, let me know & I'll donate $5- to each of their classes. Fundraisers help the school out a great deal, but they are a sore subject for me, too. WE are the bad guys if WE don't sell the items!