The pencils hadn't even been sharpened yet, and there it was: the first fundraising requests for the school.
Yes, it was plural. Requests.
Because as we learned at the school open house recently, it's all about raising dollars for programs. The cynic in me thought that was what tuition was for.
I don't have a problem with fundraisers per se. In some cases they are needed for special projects or endeavors. But I do have a problem with the message we send to our kids: Buy more crap.
And crap is what it often is. It's wrapping paper, or candy, or microwavable popcorn, or candles or buying frozen and prepackaged food that my waistline could do without (but if you buy three, you get a free pie!). Things we have way too much of. Or its coupon books promising discounts so we can buy more, more, more.
Worse, we push peddling these products. And it's not just for discounts to Scout camp like when we were kids. My coworker lamented that her middle school daughter felt pressured to sell tubs of cookie dough so she could earn a ride in a limo-and didn't want to be the only one not going!
And sadly, it's often not even an option to buy out. I asked a neighbor, who was selling coupon books, how much the group made off of the books, offering to make a donation. She appreciated the offer, but had to sell a certain number.
That all being said, I appreciate the ones that at least have put some thought into it. Like the primary fundraiser at the school is the kids making and selling pizzas - and they offer a "cash donation" option for those just wanting to help. Or the programs that offer environmentally friendly products. Or even simple things like can or paper recycling (doubly great in that it gets rid of all those school papers!)
So how does your school - and your children's activities - handle the fundraising component? And how do you address it within your home?