My five year old brought home a fund raising packet for his school today. Suddenly all the horrors of public school fund raising drives have come back to me. I hated fund raising time and I had to do it a lot. Not only for school, but for sports too. There were the candy bar drives, the Holiday gift drives, the walk-a-thons, the magazine drives, the car washes. They keep getting more creative every year. My little next door neighbor sold cookie dough. The middle school in our area was selling pie gift certificates. We also can't forget the girl scout cookies (I love thin mints!).
I hate how they try to get you excited about the whole thing. You get a prize for selling stuff. The more stuff you sell, the bigger the prize! Then, the class that sells the most gets an additional prize. So, as a kid, even if you don't care about the stupid prizes, you are totally letting your class down by not participating. But no one in their right mind is going to buy 150 different items. So you have to hit up your relatives and next door neighbors to help. They only buy because they don't want to crush the poor little kindergartner staring up at them with those huge innocent eyes (not to mention the parents who don't want to do the same). Its guilt buying at its worst. I hate everything about it. I hate feeling guilty and I hate making other people feel guilty.
So, Chad and I have decided we will not do it. If you think about it, who gets most of the money from these things anyway? A good portion of it goes to the company selling the items. Basically they are using these kids to sell their stuff. Talk about a cheap and effective marketing strategy. The kids don't get paid anything, and they manage to get people to buy their stuff who would never have dreamed of buying it otherwise. I think my money is better served going directly to the school. Now, did I suddenly hear a collective sigh of relief coming from everyone I know?