Friday, August 25, 2006

Kill Me Now - It's Time for The Fundraiser

I swear, I can already see the shades being drawn as we leave the house. People cringing as we drive by. Normally friendly folks ducking back into their homes when they see us rounding the corner. That's right. It's FUNDRAISER time. That special time of year when we send our children out to peddle unwanted goods to all of our neighbors. "Hi. I'm Mary Margaret O'Malley, and my school, Most Holy of the Holier Than Thou's, well, we're doing a fundraiser to increase the size of our gym, so we can kick the living daylights out of our opponents again this year in CYO. In order to accomplish this noble mission, we're selling...candy, posters, magazines, popcorn (pauses for an exhausted breath...), trash bags, candles, Entertainment Books, grapefruit, books, doodads, you name it - if you want it - or even if you don't, we'll sell it to you!!!!!" Now, that's the way it comes out when Miss Minnesota or someone of her ilk delivers the speech. Here's how it comes out from the child who loathes the sale and anything to do with it. "Hi, uh, um, you wanna' buy some candy?" Yes, that's the way it sounds when a charmer like my seventh grader delivers the presentation. It's riveting. Now, don't get me wrong. She loves her school, and she wants the new gym just as much as the next dumb jock (don't even get me started...), but we've been through this sale for nine years now. And every year, we participate. Because that's what you do. And every year, we wind up with an ENORMOUS supply of candy/candles/trash bags/magazines/books/grapefruit, etc. to prove it. If we had a bomb shelter, we could store everything down there, and I think we could live pretty nicely just on what we sell (to ourselves, mind you...) to support the school. I am the only salesperson in our family. Everyone else in the family is horrified by the mere prospect of even approaching a neighbor's front porch - even to offer them a plate of cookies - just to be nice. It's out of their comfort zones. So, to ask them to traipse around the neighborhood and swindle unsuspecting people out of their hard-earned greenbacks? Not gonna' happen. Consequently, every year, before my kids have even made it out the door to get one sale, kids from other blocks are already making their way over to OUR block and hitting up our next-door neighbors - and US. I had two boys come by tonight, and I made my daughter (still in school uniform) come to the door with me, so they'd get the drift: "Sorry, no sale here. My kid's selling, too. See?" So, the one boy goes, "Hi, we're from Most Holy of the Holier...Oh...Do you go to Most Holy of the Holier Than Thou's?" (Super sharp, this one...?) Darling Daughter: "Yeah..." Super Seller: "Dang...Well, would you want to buy some anyway?" Tacky Princess: "Well, no, honey. She needs to sell, too." (like that's going to happen...) "But good luck!" You see, these kids were still just young enough to be hugely impressed by the prize offerings and the sales pitch by the marketing company that comes to the school. They get these kids so pumped up that they are absolutely certain that they are going to win a brand new flat screen HDTV for their rooms - not to mention pizza every night for a year. I'm serious. They are so dazzled by the sales pitch that they're like little robots for the cause. And yes, it is a good cause. But I soooooo hate turning my kid into a door-to-door Amway rep. (If you're an Amway rep, I'm sorry....) It's just such a mean way to start off the school year...unless you're Miss Minnesota...and you LIKE selling all this crap. And if that's the case, the neighbors on her block better close the drapes NOW!


Anonymous saintseester said...

I count my blessings everyday that our school does not do those fundraisers. Mainly because it is just not safe to encourage kids to go door to door anymore.

(We go to a Catholic school, too, and we use a program called SCRIP to replace all those door to door things. Drop me a line if you want to know about it.)

8/25/2006 5:57 PM  
Anonymous katyli said...

please....don't ever apologize to the Amway reps.

8/25/2006 7:49 PM  
Blogger tacky princess said...

We used to do SCRIP but stopped for some reason. Don't know why. I figure I only have one more year after this one, and we're done!


8/25/2006 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

our elementary school PTA is trying something different in place of fundraisers this year and I hope it works...
They offered a 'platinum' level membership at $125 (memberships normally range $5 to $50). Pruchasing at this level got you a t-shirt and car magnet, and this is the best part, you were able to use an express lane to pay all your fees, purchase lunch cards etc during open house. You were also entered in a raffle for $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants and restaurants. Lots of people bought into this and we are not doing any fundraisers. No wrapping paper, no flowers. YAY!!!
Our high school has doen this for years and I am so glad the elementary school has caught on.

8/26/2006 6:07 AM  
Blogger Where's the Coffee said...

I'm thankful to say our elementary school had done away with fundraisers too. I just wish preschool would dump them. I'm like the rest of the Tacky family, so I just go broke buying more crap than we need to get the kids a level 2 prize.

8/26/2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger tacky princess said...

Unfortunately, our school raises so much in fundraising (read: we've indoctrinated the robots so well...) that we couldn't possbly raise enough by doing the $125 a head PTA membership deal. Bummer.

8/26/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger queen of wt said...

Miss Minnesota/Margarita will probably soon be doing her on infomercials on how to sell door to door. So next year you can buy that from her (instead of the magazines that she is probably going to hit you up for).

8/26/2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of the blasted things, I just write a check for an amount that I think I would have netted the school if I had hit up all my family, friends, and neighbors. What does the school get, maybe 25%? This way the school gets the donation and I don't have to pester people who may actually like me.

8/26/2006 8:47 PM  
Anonymous pippi said...

not to mention those products are made by kids the same age as kids selling them. i am dreading the day, this year, when i stomp into the office, and read them the riot act about china and child labor. they for sure don't want to hear any of that.
there are other ways to raise funds.
too bad our schools have to raise money at all. gah!

8/26/2006 9:18 PM  
Blogger queen of wt said...

Ladies, I know this is going to surprise you but I am actually going to come in on the side of FUNDRAISERS.
I know that makes you all gag. But my sister (a teacher) has to buy her own class supplies because the stuff she gets from the school is so sparse. Sorry to be Non-WT on this one but I just had to voice my opinion. I totally see where you are coming from...but until they have bake sales for the military budget, the schools get the shaft.

8/27/2006 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Sage said...

I only wish my "adult-children" were returning to school. The locusts have returned having finished college.

Bug spray?

8/27/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger molly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/27/2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger molly said...

Uggh, I hate those too. The only ones my daughter manages to sell to are me, her grandparents, and aunt and uncle. I'd rather just make an out and out donation...

8/27/2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger Wineaux1 said...

My six year old granddaughter started first grade last Thursday. That very night she called to sell me an Entertainment book. Being a good Mimi (sap) I bought 3!

8/28/2006 8:27 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

As soon as my kids bring home the fundraiser packets, I toss them straight into the recycling bin. I would rather just make a donation to the school, because I don't need 50 rolls of giftwrap, buckets of cookie dough, and those cheap prizes.

8/28/2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Ugh. That was the part I hated about being a Brownie. LOL. Peddling those damn cookies door to door.

8/28/2006 11:07 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

I would rather stick red hot pokers in my eyes than call upon another relative to buy cookie dough, or Entertainment books, or any other junk they have no need for.

Unfortunately, I know I'll be doing it again this year.

8/28/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I hate all that shit. Hated it as a child, hated it now. Hubby and I have already decided to just give the fucking soccer team an extra $50 for uniforms. The percentage these kids get is small, and I don't see how that type of fundraising benefits.

But I'm a sucker for a forlorn kid with a box of candy. Those kids, the ones who hate it, I buy an overpriced chocolate bar from them.

8/28/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger karen! said...

You could buy stuff to save for Christmas presents! There's a selling point for ya!

8/29/2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

I just found you!!!!
And I am going to come back...
You are great!

8/29/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just write a check for $40 to the Holy School and be done with it.
What's the BFD?

8/29/2006 7:48 PM  
Blogger Sharpie said...

Our fundraiser starts TODAY - 3rd day of school. It's not the actual fundraiser I hate, it's the stupid sheet of crap toys that are the "prizes" for selling the crap. I usually end up buying enough, so I don't have to ask others.... Damn the PTO.

8/30/2006 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fundraising you say? Hi, my name is ....., I have entertainment books, raffle tickets, wrapping paper, shirts and food to sell already. How much did you want?

8/30/2006 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my kids were in middle school the catholic school invited (yeah right) all the parents to "a very important meeting about your children's future." It was fundraising. I made the mistake of standing up and saying "Just tell us how much you want each kid to sell and lets each write a check for that amount and not sell this crap." I was not invited to the next meeting. BONUS!!

8/30/2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous baseballmom said...

I was just thinking yesterday that in addition to the usual catalog fundraiser that our pta puts on, my son will also be fundraising to go to 5th grade camp, and we usually do one for our baseball team...and 2 for damn, everyone is gonna run the other way when they see us coming! I have been bugging our pta fundraiser person to please try something new for years, instead of the catalogs, but we make about 20,000 dollars from it, so? Of course there's not really anything that's going to come close to that. We have done raffle baskets at dances and bookfairs, but the catalogs kick sucks! Every person I talk to is sick to death of them.

8/30/2006 4:10 PM  

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