Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Fundraiser Most Foul


Last Tuesday, as I was volunteering at the kids' school, they had an assembly for the QSP/Reader's Digest fall fundraiser, so instead of helping kids with their multiplication facts I ended up stuffing folders. I'm OK with that.

I'm not going to whine about taking academic time to train little salespeople. Or the fact that the QSP folks were whipping the kids into a frenzy of greedy enthusiasm that could be heard across the school. Or the fact that when my son got into the car that afternoon, he fully believed that selling 200 items was completely within his nine-year old abilities. Or the fact that each of the four kids who came to my house that afternoon also believed that they could sell 200 flippin' subscriptions/kitchen gadgets/cans of nuts. I'm not going to gripe about the fact that my son thinks that if I just loved him more and was willing to put out a little time and effort on his behalf the freaking iPod Touch would be his. I am not even going to gripe about the fact that the Girl Scouts are doing the exact same QSP/Reader's Digest fundraiser right now. Three girl scouts + two school kids = five simultaneous fundraisers to support. That's OK; I'm game.

No. The thing that has fixated my foul fascination is this: The girl scout council is selling a ten-ounce can of Reader's Digest/Ashdon Farms/Pleasantville Farms cashews for six dollars. The school? THIRTEEN dollars for that same can.

Go kids, go! Sell 200 cans of THIRTEEN dollars nuts! In an income challenged neighborhood. Nice. Very nice.

16 comments:

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I hear you, girl! From all the way across the ocean.

AND I soooo love your title to this post. You're a closet Hamlet junkie ain't ya! No wonder we've bonded on an intellectual AND and emotional level. :)

Jami said...

Yes, in fact, I do need me a little Hamlet fix from time to time. A good tragedy just lances all wounds and purges all poisons. Invigorating!

Annette Lyon said...

ARGH! I HATE these kinds of fundraisers! (Love the Hamlet, though.)

Melanie J said...

Grr. Fundraisers. Grr. I just spent over $100 on crud from my son's fundraiser catalog because he wanted to win the light up whirly pen or somesuch. What is wrong with me?

6k9s said...

Nothing has changed. I was subjected to the fundraiser crud as a schoolchild and as a scout. You were subjected to same (and were a VERY enthusiastic seller, may I mention). Now the task is passed to a new generation. As we used to say back in the day "If only they had to do bakesales (insert your own fundraisers) to buy bombs and tanks, and education and scouting had all the cash they needed." Wish there was a way to just DONATE the $14 directly to the school/scouts and bypass the 90% skim that the vendors make.

Jami said...

True enough. Donate away, Mom. 100% would go directly to the organizations. School. Two Kids. Girl Scouts. Two troops. Three girls. One with E and N. One with V. Choose your amounts. Write the checks. I'll have the kids write thank you notes and deliver the moo-la to their groups. They'll be glad to have it.

Jami said...

Annette, MJ, I feel so obligated because they've made it so that each class that has 100% participation gets a root beer float party. Otherwise, I'd just go the donation route and be done with it.

So I'm searching for something cheap to buy and I'll have to search for some freakish, cheap reward for the kids. LUCKILY, my V was sick and so she missed the ra-ra-rally! And doesn't care much.

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm done with these stupid fundraisers. D-O-N-E! And my oldest is only in 3rd grade. I'll donate but I will not buy!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

The school kids here sell Sally Foster wrapping paper. It runs 10 bucks a roll. I only buy wrapping paper at the 99 Cents Only.

The last year my kids were in school, the Principal promised to kiss a pig at a pep rally if the kids met the sales goal.

Have I told you how much I hate the public schools here? And how much I hate returning children to the very same school that stunk so bad I took half of them out of there to begin with?

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

My son is selling Boy Scout popcorn. I think the cheapest popcorn tin I saw in the brochure was 13 something. You can make an awful lot of popcorn for that price.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I am such a scrooge about these things. I sit my kid down and tell him/her that no way no how are we going to to buy that stuff and they are not to inflict themselves on the neighbors selling it and too bad if they don't get their root beer party. My husband is a teacher in this same district, too. My father, also a teacher in the school district where I attended school did the same thing. It's just wrong to turn these kids onto consumerism/salesmen hype through their own school. Wrong wrong wrong!

Jami said...

Alison, M-E T-O-O!

Elastic, I just reuse gift bags from things other people have given me. $10/roll. Wow!

My friend in Montana said her boy scout is supposed sell $100 of popcorn. But NOT to strangers. Friends and family please. They just moved there. So she has resigned herself to buying $100 worth of popcorn. ARGGGGG!

Heidi, I wish I'd done that but I'd already told the girls I'd buy a magazine from them. SO poor L put the sad face on and I caved in. I've already told him that we're not participating in any more. And he's good with that. For now.

Papa D said...

Oh, don't get me started. I wish they would cut the fundraisers in half by asking everyone to just donate what they would have spent on the stupid, overpriced items they guilt kids into selling and adults into buying. It also would be a MUCH better thing to teach the kids.

Ideally, I just wish they would fund the schools out of the enormous amounts of money we pay without the fundraisers - but that would take the type of moxie that very few administrators possess. I want it to happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

Papa D said...

Already been said. I really should follow my own rule and read all comments first. *sigh*

Thora said...

I'm with everyone here. I hate the guilt that kids and parents feel. Although I'm all for schools getting money. Unfortunately, like most real life things there are no easy answers.

Jami said...

Ray & Thora. I feel guilty and obligated. The kids mostly feel greed. (If I do this thing they say is super simple-sell 200 items-then I can have ALL OF THIS STUFF!!!!! Woo-Hoo!)

Methinks that is a poor lesson to teach.