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Vent...Is it just me?
sea2006 posted:
First of all, so that I don't seem completely heartless toward young children whose parents make them do this:

I really, really understand that organizations need to raise funds for their programs. I *get* fundraisers -- for goodness sake, I am the Fundraising Chair for my kids' school! So, I get that it is a neccessary evil in order to have basics covered with a little extra for fun stuff.


Is anyone else really bugged, or does it seem like every weekend when you walk into a store, there is a table set up Right In Front Of The Door, blocking the way, with children and their parents hounding patrons to "support their cause/group/organization"?

Maybe it's just me and my area, but every weekend this summer and fall, there has been *someone* hawking their goods in front of the stores in my area. Today, it was the boy Scouts with their popcorn. The sign specifically said "Please help send us to Boy Scout Camp!"

Last month, there was a dance school with a sign -- "Help support our dancers by helping buy recital costumes for our summer competition!"

We even have people standing in intersections with signs -- "Keep our (high school) Seniors Safe - Donate to Graduation Lock-In Night"

We have school groups, boy/girl scout groups, local sports teams, clubs, etc, all the time (almost every weekend) asking for the general public to pay for them to do something.

Is it just me?.....I have to pay for DD's dance recital costume every year b/c *I* choose to put her in dance. *I* have to pay for DS1 to play for his various sports teams b/c *we* choose for him to participate... *I* have to pay for DS2's preschool....*I* pay for my kids to go to summer camp. Then, I walk into a store with my limited grocery money and every weekend get asked to pay for other people's kids to attend camp/recitals/etc????!!!!! Geesh!

Maybe I'll feel different when I'm not in the middle of the most expensive years of my kids' lives (and getting more expensive by the day/week/month/year! LOL), and will feel more generous paying for some other 5 year old's dance recital costume....but for now -- Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Ok....vent over.
DidiToo responded:
I haven't noticed it a lot in my area, but maybe I just got lucky. It wouldn't bother me so much if there were a table with kids selling stuff. If it were physically impeding the entrance and/or the kids and parents were pushy about it, then I would get annoyed. To me, it is a simple question of etiquette, and if you don't feel like buying yet another candy bar or box of cookies, that is your business.

I did get a little bristley when a friend asked if I'd participate in a solicitation for her charity, that involved a kind of piggyback trick-or-treat. That is, when your child goes to a person's door asking for candy, also have him/her ask for money for the charity. That was a definite NO from me. I'd rather just give money to the charity myself, than to have my kids go around hawking money from every person who just gave them a candy bar. I had to think about whether I was being uncharitable (or lazy), but when it came down to it, I just didn't feel like it was the proper venue for fundraising. Just let the kids trick-or-treat, already.
g8tor1989 responded:
Its not as agressive here. We usually just be the Boy Scouts/Girls Scouts out, but I prefer to buy them from my friends because I know they will recipicate for us. What gets me is when DS's karate school sells cookie dough. I mean I pay to send him to the school, I pay to enter him into tournaments, I pay for the extra movie/pizza nights and light saber training. So why are they rasining money? We don't participate in that part of it, but I think its a little overboard. I think if we tally up how much we spend on these organizations and then just send them a donation woudl they still be out there? Probably.
Amanda1981 responded:
The only thing I have ever noticed is the Girl Scout's selling cookies, which my dsd is a Girl Scout so I buy from her.

This is a totally different vent but, last month and a lot during the Summer there are bikini car washes put on by high school girls, these girls stand at the corner wearing their little string bikinis holding up their signs and jumping all over the place, causing lots of honking and sudden stops to turn. I guess it just means using our bodies to advertise is the way to go.
moonbeamgarden1 responded:
There's nothing wrong with asking for charitable donations. There's nothing wrong with giving charitable donations. There is something wrong with giving donations when you don't have the money to give or giving to charities that you don't feel are appropriate for your family. The problem is not the charities asking, the problem is you feeling bad about not being able to give (or wanting to give to that particular charity).

It's kind of like when you're a new mom at your kids' elementary school. The first year you hyperventilate trying to figure out just how you will be able to buy gift wrap, donate to the school parties, buy the stupid candle and popcorn and donate to the spring fair without going into debt. By the time you child is in 4th grade you figure out it's ok not to buy the hideous candle. You give what you want, and forget about the frozen pretzel drive.

On the other hand, there are people who don't have young kids or aren't on a budget and it makes them feel great to be able to sponsor a child at summer camp. So let them!

So, in the nicest way possible, I have to say it's time for an attitude adjustment............
DidiToo responded:
I am totally with you on the teen-in-a-string-bikini car wash. DH and I always shake our heads when we see those...
Johnnie38 responded:
Yeah, kind of agree with moonbeamgarden. I'm not at all bothered by it. I just smile and say good luck and then get on with my business of shopping. I love seeing the enthusiasm of the kids. I also think it is great for them to ask and be told yes or no. This is great training in a fun and usually safe way. I do agree with the comment about attire. If the school has a dress code, it should be extended to these type activities, no Daisy Dukes, etc.

On a side note, our neighborhood must be growing up. We've not had a single little person come to our home selling anything. What on earth will I use to wrap Christmas gifts?!
moonbeamgarden1 responded:
Were do you live? I'm happy to send my kids over so they can "win" some $10 toy that we already have 3 of hiding somewhere in the basement. I'm also happy to provide you with the website and school code of our school for any number of useless items, if only you'll spend $50. heheheh.
jkncrawford responded:
I think it is just you.

I never get bugged when I see people or organizations trying to raise money especially in this economy. If organizations can raise money to help parents out on not having to foot the bill for a fun activity or a recital costume then more power to them.

If you can give & want to give to it then give, if not then don't.
sea2006 responded:
To clarify.....

Charitable problem. I've already said I don't have a problem with it. Buying candy bars for 2 bucks each so I can fund some other little girls PRIVATE Dance School recital costume?

No thanks.
moonbeamgarden1 responded:
I think that's kind of the point; well, two points. 1) The girl may not otherwise be able to purchase the costume; so other's can help. 2) You, personally, can say "this isn't something that I choose to donate towards. I'm sending my money to save the whales, or the local soup kitchen, or to pay my own heating bills this month. " You can say no, but why get bent out of shape of others saying yes? Or the girl asking?

I think the issue is "what is charity?" That's very personal. Again, the point is to feel comfortable with your own definition without judging someone else's I save my judging for those who don't donate at all, or minimally when they are out purchasing their 3rd Coach bag..........
sea2006 responded:

I was about to laugh this off and let it go, chalking it up to one of those things I have a personal peeve against, but...

"but why get bent out of shape of others saying yes?"

Really? That's how it came across? Didn't think I was saying I cared what other people do or do not donate to, just I thought it was slightly tacky and a bit annoying that three stores I walked into in my very small town this weekend had different groups soliciting their goods, forgetting to mention that I actually knew some of these kids since they go to school/play sports/dance with my own kids....must just be me being cranky.....

Attitude adjusted. Whew!
Johnnie38 responded:
haha. Actually, I might take you up. Kids love to feel like they are contributing and to raise funds for their school is a way to do that. I do love Sally Foster stuff and my youngest loves picking up an item or two for gifts (i.e. flower bulbs, notepads, trivets, etc.) from these type catalogues. My older kids aren't in any organization that sells stuff. My younger goes to a small private school that doesn't raise funds in this way. Anyway, thanks for the chuckle and offer.
TrudyGERD responded:
I can see both sides of this.

When I sign my child up for an activity, I expect to have to pay for certain things that are required parts of the activity like sports equipment or recital costumes. I don't sign my children up if I can't afford these items. On the other hand, if you have a competitive team that makes it to a higher level of competition that requires travel, I do expect the kids to fundraise to at a minimum offset the cost. They need to understand that their parents are ATMs that will just pay for everything. They need to WORK to EARN those extras.

I do see Scouts (boy scouts and girl scouts) differently. Maybe it's because I'm a GS leader and my girls have been doing it for several years, but I don't think it is. Scouts are non-profit organizations. They do have scholarship programs for children who can not otherwise afford to participate. Part of the money raised from fundraisers does go directly to the troops and goal setting and budgetting is included in the fundraising program. Part of the money goes towards these scholarships. This can include camp or it can also include the most basic of things like uniforms for kids who would otherwise not be able to participate. Part of the money also goes towards funding service projects to help various organizations around the community. The kids are being taught about community service through all of this. I like that they as a troop help with the budget to include community service projects (at least our troop is doing this; it's something we're supposed to have the kids drive and therefore learn about). They're also learning about having to work hard to earn money for the extras (just like with other activities where fundraising is required for activities above and beyond the regular such as traveling competitions). This is also an important life lesson.

I do think that something which is NOT taught often enough with fundraising is basic manners. Nobody should be blocking anybody's way. If somebody says no then it's important to say thank you for your time or have a nice day or something else that's positive. IMO, while it's good to call attention to your group when you're out by a store, it's also important to not harass anybody. It's also important to teach kids what they're raising money for and work with them on goal setting.

I don't feel bad when I pass by a fundraiser and don't buy anything. Like others have said, I pick and choose which things I'm going to support. I choose to not support activities that the rest of us have to pay ourselves to do or else not participate at all (like dance recital costumes or sports equipment).

Here's my pet peeve for fundraisers. I really resent the way our school hypes up the kids over these stupid cheap garbage prizes in order to get them selling things. The kids aren't learning ANYTHING about responsibility. They're also instructed to not to sell anywhere and pretty much told to just call family and have parents bring the fundraisers to work and do all the selling. Our school even does an assembly (takes away class time) where they get the kids all hyped up about those stupid prizes (focus is on the prizes rather than what they're raising money for). I remember getting in a fight with my kids one year where they were under the impression that only horrible people didn't participate in the fundraiser. Uh, excuse me? That's when I started refusing to do the sales fundraisers for the school. They are teaching the kids the totally wrong thing IMO. Rather that teaching them about being part of a community and that we all have to work together to make it better, they're teaching them to get mom & dad to hawk some junk to get them some cheap toys. I do want to make it clear that I do participate in other fundraisers for the school and I do understand the need for them. I just really resent the twice yearly sales of expensive items while teaching the kids the totally wrong things.
MissKay2009 responded:
Sounds like to me that you are a little stressed out over some money issues right now and this is probably bugging you more so because of it.

Take a deep breath and relax.

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