My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Turning Our Kids into Little Salespeople fundraiser at a time.

Every year I get more and more frustrated with this stuff. You know the drill, the big envelope or flyer comes home in the backpack -- "Look at all of this super cool stuff, Mom!!" Great. We have another fundraiser on our hands. Oh joy.

There's the Super Overpriced Wrapping Paper Fundraiser "But the wrapping paper is such good quality," they say. Yeah, well, in *my* world gift wrap (even good quality gift wrap) ends up in the trash. Thanks, but no thanks. Then there's the Frozen Cookie Fundraiser, the Magazine Subscription Fundraiser, the Assorted Food Fundraisers (popcorn, chocolate bars, mixed nuts, etc...), the Scented Candle Fundraiser, the Coupon Books - you get the idea. Our school even has a deal where you can buy groceries that get delivered to the school and the school gets a kickback. Amazing! And then there are the fundraisers that make it to your door via the other kids in the neighborhood. Kids whose schools have different fundraisers than yours!
[Well, at least I don't have to worry about the fun stopping as the girls get older. --ed.] Great. Just great.

So the girls bring home not one but two big glossy envelopes on Friday -- the New Fundraiser has hit the school! Two big shiny catalogs filled with "overpriced crap that nobody needs anyway!"

Amaze your friends -- alienate your family! We've got it all right here and the package comes complete with an additional gift of unlimited parental guilt if you choose not to participate because then your child (and rest assured, it will only be *your* child) will not be receiving a PRIZE! And, of course, during the big fundraiser sales pitch -- ahem, I mean "school assembly" -- all of the super, wonderful prizes that could be awarded to your child were described in minute detail. Good luck and happy selling!

Now I realize that fundraisers have been around since God was a boy and many serve their groups well but IMO there is a limit , people! Every year it seems as though the powers that be at our teeny little elementary school decide that more fundraisers are the answer to just about everything! So now I sit here perusing the latest in the fundraiser lineup. The Home Delivery Collection 2005. Big shiny page after page of stuff I don't need and wouldn't want to give away. Triangle shaped pizza plates, and trivets with sheep embossed on them. Stuffed jointed Santas, and Day-Glo colored stationery. The only good news that I can see is that there are whole sections dedicated to mixed nuts, wrapping paper and scented candles. Dare I hope that they are combining some of the other fundraisers into this one?

Look, it's not like I don't do my part, okay? I save the box tops. I take the girls to the damn book fair where they are allowed to pick out 2 books each (this after endless negotiation because there are just as many toys for sale at the book fair as there are books). I volunteer in their classrooms and bring in the occasional snack (not just on birthdays). I always provide something for the "teacher appreciation" breakfast or lunch. I'm there. I get it. I am just NOT going to turn my kids in to mini sales people so that the school can receive .02 percent of the price of some ridiculous candle!

To be honest, I would prefer that they let me be in charge of finding my own "overpriced crap that I don't need." I'm plenty good at it, I promise. And that if they find that they are short of funds for some school function or project they could just send a note home. I would be happy to just cut them the occasional check. I don't need a prize, thanks. Or the crappy fundraiser guilt.