De. Spised. It.
To this day, I hate it. Truly. It gives me hives. The only exception was when Brayden was in Girl Scouts, and we sold cookies for a few years. I mean, come on. Who DOESN’T love Thin Mints or Samoas?? Even someone as uptight as me can feel good about trying to sell Girl Scout cookies.
But every other kind of fundraising, or solicitation, I hate. Hate, hate, hate with the intensity of a thousand burning suns. In July.
Imagine my delight (not) when the kids brought home their fundraising packets for elementary school yesterday. Catalogs full of candles, home décor, costume jewelry, stationery, office supplies, kitchen utensils, magazine subscriptions, cookbooks, candy, calendars, and of course, the always-present gift-wrap paper. What makes it worse, of course, are the “prizes” these companies offer the kids for selling a certain amount of items. Sell 1 to 7 items and win a crazy popper! Sell 8 to 11 items, win “spy” glasses! Sell 49 items, win a ballistic alarm monkey!! Woo-hoo!!
Of course, my kids want to sell 125 items --- APIECE --- so they can each earn their own flip video camera. Pointing out to them that it would require selling to 275 people – and that we don’t even KNOW 275 people – is futile. Kellen is also certain that he will be selected in the random drawing (from every kid that sold more than 20 items, out of over 200 schools, mind you) to win a Dodge Nitro. And he’s already begun planning what he’ll do with the money when we sell it.
The kids must have talked for ten solid minutes yesterday about how which prizes are the coolest, and how many things they will have to sell, with no real strategy or plan. Just along the lines of, “I’m going to sell 39 items so I can get the Spy Gear!” and “Oh, look! I want the Scooby Doo pinball machine. I only have to sell 124 things!!”
I listened to their talk, only half-paying attention. It was along the lines of: “Mom, how much money do you think we’ll get for selling the car??? I really want to buy an x-box. How many things would I have to sell to win an x-box??? Are they offering an x-box as a prize? If we sell 11 things, do we get the crazy popper AND the spy glasses, or just the spy glasses? What is an Air Ball catch game? Hmmm, that’s only 29 items …… how about you earn the spy gear and I’ll earn the spy glasses and we can trade off …. Where is Pagosa Springs? We can win a trip there and our whole family can go!!! ” etc etc.
And at that point, I turned to all three kids.
“I will pay you FIVE DOLLARS EACH to NOT do the fundraiser.”
“Seriously? Five dollars? If we DON’T sell anything?”
“Yes. Five dollars apiece to throw those packets and catalogs in the trash right now.”
It was the best fifteen bucks I ever spent.
And just so you don’t think I’m the worst PTO parent on the planet, I will write a donation check for the fundraiser. But still …. Fifteen bucks? In exchange for not having to call and harass our relatives, or go door to door in a neighborhood with a bazillion other kids from the same school selling the same crap????
I’d say I got off easy.