Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Anything But That

I despise fundraising, and asking people to buy things, or donate money, as part of a fundraiser. I probably can't even explain to you adequately the DEPTHS of my despising. I can remember when I was in school myself, and I had to sell Blue & Gold sausage to raise money for band. I can remember my mom and dad taking the sign-up sheet to work with them, but more than that, I can remember calling my other relatives two or three times a year to beg them ask if they would like to buy more sausage. I can remember trying to get to the teachers at school before any of the other kids, in order to ask first. I can remember walking door to door on my street and asking the neighbors to buy sausage. Then, walking back door to door to deliver the sausage and ask for the money.

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.”

Sold!

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.

64 comments:

mom25in5 said...

Holy stroke of genius Batman! Why the heck didn't I think of this last Friday?! You are so my hero. Personally I'm going for the light up pepper grinder - for 20 bucks.

Why can't we be selling Butter Braids - I'd buy 50 of those myself?! But wrapping paper...still using the stuff I bought 15 years ago when I didn't have kids.

I have 3 kids who will be $5 richer tomorrow, and my recycling bin will be a little bit fuller. Thanks!

Kim

They're-sleeping-WHOOHOO Mom to:

Daniel-13
Scott-11
Bryan-10
Sarah-8
Dana-8

Sally said...

I am so with you!!! Last year we just threw those packets away...and *gasp* I didn't even make a donation!

Those damn prizes....they always look much better than what they end up being!!

lizinsumner said...

I'm with you 100%, girl - and, extremely jealous that I never thought of the bribe system myself! Jake started 9th grade - HIGH SCHOOL!!!! - yesterday; and, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping against all hope that there are NO FUNDRAISERS IN HIGH SCHOOL (you know, like there's no crying in baseball???!!).....so far, so good - but, we're not even a week into the school year yet. So, I'll keep you posted......

lizinsumner said...

oh, and PS - I LOVE your choice of bicycle riding equipment.....first thought I had was how many pillows it would take to fill the basket to the top so that I could sit on it and you could get a HUGE amount of exercise and calorie burning by dragging MY big butt all around your lake!!

Pam Doughty said...

Brilliant... simply brilliant. Think I'll do that for the Cub Scout popcorn that we are supposed to sell. Thanks so much; you just saved me a lot of grief!

jbaj said...

Ooooh what a great idea! I will try that next time too!

The one fundraiser "I" partake in is the cookie dough one. I can always find someone to buy that stuff!

Anonymous said...

You are ONE FREAKING BRILLIANT MOMMA! I wish I'd thought to offer $5 to my kids for those awful fundraisers. You are my idol.

Donna said...

First things first: If I had known you, and if I had known about Blue and Gold back then, you could have saved a lot of work by coming to my house! My DH grew up in Tulsa and spent summers in Tonkawa. B&G was always a rare commodity for us living in Kansas--we had to depend on his grandma to buy us some. Now the stuff is in the Tonkawa grocery store!

Back to fundraising. I did the very same thing as you last year after our third year (plus one season of soccer) selling cookie dough at school. I said no more selling (didn't even get any for grandma!). I offered to take them to the dollar store and buy $5 worth of pretty much the same crap they would have gotten from the fundraiser. This did NOT help my then-5-year-old cope with the day they handed out the "official" crap at school and he was left hanging....

I did solicit donations for my older son's Jump for Heart (no deliveries to make!), but I'm not enabling more people to consume more calories no more! Especially me! Sell magazines and I will ask around for renewals. Sell something useful, like trashbags (don't laugh, I sold a buttload in high school for a choir trip!), and we'll contribute. But NO MORE STINKIN' COOKIE DOUGH! I'd rather write the school a check that isn't filtered through the butter and sugar cartel.

Now gimme some Red Wheel action and I can be persuaded...

Amy said...

I feel your pain. I blogged about the same topic last week:

http://4thfrog.blogspot.com/2008/08/sally-freakin-foster.html

Amy said...

P.S. -- the same strategy applies to Halloween candy. Last year, I let my kids keep 10 pieces each, then paid them $5 each to give up the rest, which I promptly pitched -- after I saved all the Reese's Cups and Snickers for myself.

Anonymous said...

Kristie - I got bombarded with the catalogs the other day too. Riley and Derin both came home with the magic numbers of how many items they wanted to sell for the prizes they wanted! Get this - sell 27 items and you get to ride to lunch in a HUMMER Limo. WTF?! They are going to take the kids somewhere load by load if they sell 27 items. I cant stand it either. They totally brainwash them - they came home so hyped up...do they do a pep rally with this whole thing?
Anyhow - Riley has already sold some...I dont think five dollars would work for him. But, I am sure going to try it. Thanks!
Erin R

Marcia said...

I tend to just donate some money instead of doing the fundraisers, too. I don't pay the kids, though, so you're way nicer than me!!

I've decided to give the local schools a new option this year. I'm offering to do photo fundraisers. I want to do family pics, and give a percentage of the profit to the schools. I know it's something I'd buy, so I'm hoping a lot of other families feel the same way. You could do the same thing!

Anonymous said...

And I'm the good friend who just bought 5 rolls of that wrapping paper which should last me until I die.

Dixie

Melissa said...

You are my hero!

Jamie AZ said...

I love it!!! I'd just rather give the school a donation than sell, too.

Patti in NJ said...

Years ago when my kids (23, 21 and 19 now) were in soccer, scouts, etc., my husband asked the people in charge, "how much do you make on each box of candy?" They told him, and he gave them double so we didn't have to sell them. It's now an option all the parents get - pay the cash or sell the candy. :) The kids always were happy not to have to do it, because it was they who had to do it, not us. Good for you!

Monica H said...

I fell in love with Pagosa Srings this summer...now they'll never know what it's like :-P

Jacquie said...

genius.

And,

sausage? really?

Melissa said...

Kristie you are a genius!

And for the other commentors...I am a 1st grade teacher and we do the whole school fundraiser, prizes, lunch in hummer, top selling class gets to adopt a zoo animal (thankfully it stays at the zoo) thing...we always have the most awful assembly the day of the kick off...all they do is play loud music and flash the prizes up on the screen and the kids scream like crazy. I hate it. Waste of instructional time. Gives me a headache. It's impossible to calm the kids down after. The worst part is that the majority of the kids in my school can't afford lunch, let alone candles and wrapping paper and stuff. I have never had to handout prizes, never had to deal with it beyond the day off the kick-off. But it's sad really that we try and hook these dirt poor kids into selling crap to win crap.

Slacker MOM II said...

I am a teacher and a former PTO president. The last year my youngest was at the school, we decided to "ditch" those cheap prizes that you can pick up at the Dollar Tree and receive more profit. Just an idea that you can suggest. I feel your pain. My daughters brought home the Sally Foster packet and I just looked at them and said "trash please". Now being a GS leader, I do allow my girls to sell the cookies to whoever wants them. They have set up a table at the end of my driveway for the past 3 years and they have sold alot that way. GS cookies sell themselves. Here is my 2cents for the day.

Lisa said...

I don't think you'd like my job. I get paid to beg for money. My target is £100,000 (about $175,000?) for a specific project at our hospice, and you know what -I'm going to work on that catalogue idea! Love and prayers. Lsia

Anonymous said...

THANK you!!! And I thought it was just ME who felt this way. We were told we could simply donate $50 rather than selling the items. (They had suggested a goal of selling 200 items per student....YAH. Right!) We always opt for a donation because it's tax deductible. I don't know if the profit portion of the fundraiser purchases are tax deductible. Do you? It'd be nice if they were!

Claire in Indiana

Vicki said...

I like the way you think (as usual). You hit it right on the head, I absolutely despise selling too and usually don't even bother selling, I just buy some wrapping paper and call it good. I like the $5 idea even better. Thanks for being there for us.

Vicki

AJ said...

AMEN...I so hate how they lure the kids with those JUNK prizes. Are you kidding me? I never buy from the wrapping paper catalogs and I will not bug my neighbors with it, so I was THRILLED when the PTA sent home a letter saying that instead of SF and Entertainment Book sales, they are asking each family for a donation. HALLELUJAH!!! Woohoo

Mrs. Who said...

For the commenter who was wondering if they have a pep rally at school for these things? Yes, indeed they do.

Even though I feel guilty about complaining since, as a teacher, the profits benefit our school, I hate these fund-raisers. The stuff they sell is junk, the prizes they get are junk, and, even though the kids are specifically told not to go door-to-door, they still do it so I have to deal with the kids selling in my neighborhood, not just at school. If I see one more catalog about wrapping paper, candy, popcorn, candles...now Girl Scout cookies? That's a fund-raiser I can totally support!

Jeanette said...

I'm so glad I am not the only mom who has trashed the fundraiser stuff. :)

Sue said...

As a Girl Scout leader and president of our local PTO, I have to throw in my 2 cents.

I despise selling Girl Scout cookies, with every fiber of my being. Our council set the cookie price at $4 per box, of which only 85 cents is given to the troop. $2.15 per box goes to fund "council and national programs," whatever that means. $1 goes to the baker. I would so much rather have a parent hand me a check, made out to the troop, for what they would have spent on cookies! I feel that GS USA is funding the rather high salaries of their not-for-profit by turning girls into sales people. Our troop traditionally does not sell "fall product" (nuts and magazine subscriptions), which means we cannot do a car wash or any other fundraiser - GS USA rules.

Our school's big fundraiser is chocolate bars for $1 per bar. It is pretty easy to sell a $1 candy bar. We don't give a prizes to children based on the amount sold. We also tell parents that they don't have to sell chocolate; they can always give us a tax deductible donation (we applied for, and got, 501(c)3 status from the IRS). I don't mind this fundraiser so much because half of each chocolate bar benefits the PTO.

My older daughter brought home a flyer for gift wrap and junk from her school's chorus; they will be getting a small monetary donation.

Claire asked, in an earlier comment, if the profit made from buying an item through a fundraising sale is tax deductible to the purchaser. The short answer is no - you bought a product from a company, and they donated a portion of the profits to your group. If you donate cash to an organization with tax-exempt status (you have to check with your local PTA/PTO), you can claim your donation as a deduction.

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

That is the most genius idea I have heard yet! Those darn fundraisers drive me batty and I don't even have a school-aged child yet!

The Running Girl said...

I agree with you to some extent on the fundraising, but (as you know) I don't mind asking, begging, pleading for money when it comes to raising money for cancer research. But on the school stuff - we generally show it to grandma and MAYBE a couple of other people, but that's it. Madison just brought home her choir fundraiser. She can sell what she want's, but I'm more than happy to fork over the needed money for her uniform, trips, competitions, etc. We even opted out of our volunteer hours for Dalton's soccer team and just paid money instead. Time is more valuable to me.

Rhonda Franks said...

I completely agree - I HATE having to beg family members and friends to pay for complete and total junk! Your $15 plan was a great idea - well worth the $$$ !!

toad4mimi said...

Shizzit! I gave both of my boys $20 to not fundraise! I should have started low! When I sent in the donation, the PTO president called and thanked me because that was profit outright and didn't have to be put toward paying the bill for all the orders that didn't get paid for!

I did let the boys sell once and when they saw how crappy the gifts were, the $20 became much more enticing the next year.

I support NO FUNDRAISERS! (EXCEPT: GS cookies (ooooh, thin mints!) and Butter Braids (mmmmmmm!)

Ali said...

Brilliant!

I am so going to do that next year. Today is the last day of dd's magazine sale. Oh, and ds is selling popcorn... that he's deathly allergic to. :)

Missy K said...

Genius! Sheer Genius! LOL. You go Kristie.

I am on the other side...I HATE when people at work bring this stuff in. You get that horrible feeling of guilt if you pass on buying.

The only fundraiser's I actually love & will buy are Girl Scout cookies (Samoa's...*drool*) & Joe Corbi's Pizza(YUM!!).

JoAnn said...

OMG!!! Brilliant! I'm totally stealing this idea from you and doing it with my 3 kids. I too just write a check- that way they get it all rather than getting half of what they would get because they have to split it with the fundraiser company!

Jacqueline said...

I LOVE blue and gold sausage...unfortunately, it does not love me so much. A principal friend who has a school in Norman does a BRILLIANT thing for fundraising. They only do one thing a year...and it is a walk a thon or something like that. Anyway, they get people to pledge money for walking or jogging or whatever so many miles or stuff...so not only is it something valid that you don't end up with crap at the end for...but it is HEALTHY for the kids...and anyone that participates gets to go out for a skate night...something simple and not some plastic crap that will break in 5 mins. When he told me of this, I thought he was genius...wish more schools would follow suit.

Lori said...

Oh my! That is perfect. And every household in your neighborhood thanks you.

Krista said...

A M E N !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daily Dose said...

So.....would you like to buy some wrapping paper? a candle? a discount card? Candy?? Krispy Kreme?????????

Dang=it.

katy said...

Our grade school passed a rule years ago that kids could not be asked to go door to door to sell things. The pto has fundraisers like fall festival but nothing the kids have to sell. I LOVE it. Now my DD is a senior and she brought home the magazine/wrapping paper thing the other day which I am letting her sell because it is for senior trip and I have to pay $1000.00 for it(right after we pay about 600.00 for senior pictures and a couple hundred for cap and gown and invitations) and if she can offset that a little....more power to her. Just thought I would brighten your day by showing you the future.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Why do the schools pick such crappy fundraisers? At least sell something people like - candy, popcorn, sausage? lol Hey I'd buy some sausage over another candle. Last year our school went to a donation only fundraising plan where turnout was ok at best. In the Spring we decided to have each child draw a picture and then parents were given the option of ordering a variety of stuff with their childs drawing on it - made lots of money and great keepsakes...even my neighbors ordered something with my daughter's drawing and I didn't even have to ask lol

Cindy
Virginia

hydrogeek said...

I am SO GLAD you posted this before my kids are old enough to start doing the fund raising crap. I will totally buy them off. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

Amen sister!

Have you been talking to my husband? He basically has been saying the same thing for the past 6+ years when our kids come home with fundraising stuff. He hates that the companies get them all pumped up to go out & be sales people for their junk.

I used to be active in the PTO, but last year they just plain made me mad (short version of the story: wouldn't donate $100 bucks for a end of year party for 5th graders (their last year at this school) even though that equalled about $1 per kid & they'd been fundraising for 6 years for this school. It really bugged me that PTO carried over $12000+ in the budget, so I know they had the $$. I used to be the PTO president & we always gave $$ for this picnic, anyhow, thanks for opening that wound).

Dear PTO: This year, take your fundraisers & do whatever you wish, but I'm not helping! (I may give a small donation, we'll see.)

Fundraisers come home & I think, maybe I should homeschool?

Rachel in ND

Tammy said...

Don't feel bad, (not that you do,lol) I do the same thing, my kids are'nt door to door salesmen, for a bubble gum machine toy, or any other trinkets! Hugs from Fort Worth!

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you on this one...HATE it with a capital H! We have the added bonus that my kids live in a different distict than then school they attend...the only outsiders in the neighborhood no less. Why support this outside school over helping the local school??? Needless to say, we just don't do it and the stuff goes straight to the trash. I don't even pay the kids off...it's just an understanding that we aren't selling!

That said, I have allowed them to solicite funds for jump rope for heart for example and then make them mark the box that they will forgo their crap prizes to donate even more. I think they feel good about giving even more $$ and (and I feel good because we don't have the junk laying around the house!)

Glad you're back from your mini-break!!!

Lenaya

leeanne said...

Oh man, I WISH I would have thought of that a long, long time ago when my kids had to sell the candy for midget football, the candles, cookie dough, etc., etc. It's sheer genius!! Way too late for me, but you can bet I will store that one away for the future, like when my someday-to-be-grandkids have to sell crap.

beanieb said...

Ummmm...am I the only one that caught that 125x3 doesn't equal 275?!! Anyway, my niece's school does something similar to one of the other commenter's- they have a fundraiser but they do laps. I would rather give the kid that came to the door $5 and not receive a crappy something-or-other 6 weeks down the road. Keep the junk! Besides, at my place of employment we are not allowed to even take that stuff in. Not in the breakrooms, stairways, elevators- they got quite descriptive of the property on which you are not allowed to solicit. Have a great day!!

Care said...

I am soooo with you on the fundraisers. I refuse to order, refuse to let my kids go door to door, refuse to take them to work. I write checks instead - and sometimes we get lucky and the school will figure out some dollar equivalent calculation and give the kids credit for selling "x" number of items based on the check I send in. Then they still get the junky prizes. My trio all came home with fundraisers too - and all three went directly in the trash. I'd far rather give money directly to the school than waste it buying more stuff I don't need.

threehandprints said...

FUNNY!!! My husband and I feel the same way as you. You just made it sound so much better:)

Anonymous said...

Great Idea!! We have had fundraisers since July for football, cheerleading, band and school! I HATE THEM!! I also do the buy-out option if available!

Kristina
Ohio

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! By the way anyone want to buy some Entertainment books or Boy Scout popcorn?

Hate it!!! We are in a neighborhood with lots of kids so we are hit by the elem. to HS then scouts, band, cheerleaders, etc. Trying to sell this stuff to my relatives who have their own kids doesn't happen. Yep, we made a nice little donation to the PTA and saved face. As far as the junk prizes. I remind my kids of where it will end up the next time they clean their rooms.
THANKS.... see, you do have lots to write about.

Kelly said...

I am right there with you on this one!!! I do the same thing for my kids too, I just donate to the school and not have to sell all that junk.

I'm so glad to see that I am not alone on this one...
My husband always tells the kids he's not sending them to school to learn how to be salesman!!

Hennifer said...

you are a genius! I'll have to remember this.

Elle said...

Genius! Now, would you believe that I actually included "not having to participate in school fundraisers" as a top 10 reason to homeschool?

Just reading this reminded me of my own nightmares. I'm moving it up to the top 5.

Anonymous said...

Kristie,
I hate to bust your "Fund Raising Bubble" but......125 items X 3 kids= 375!!! (LMAO)But that's o.k. you came out really cheap with the $15...You are ONE SMART MOMMY!!! I remember when I was in third grade we had to sell chocolate bars for $1.00, each child was "given" 50 bars to sell. My mom put them on the counter. Well the next day while she was watching her soap operas, my 3 & 4 year old brothers decided to have a chocolate eating marathon! Mom found them under the dining room table covered in chocolate!! Plus she had to cough up $50 because the ones they didn't eat was opened and covered in cat hair. we laugh about that till this day....So are the Days of Our Lives!!
~Debbie~

René S said...

I agree -- brilliant idea! It was one thing when I had 1 child in a school, but when we moved to 2, it was ridiculous. Both wanted to sell, and in addition to the individual crap they could earn, the class with the most $ raised got an ice cream party. I hated it. This year the only thing we are selling is wrapping paper, which I don't mind selling as much. We haven't sold it in a while, and I like Sally Foster paper. But, our school is TRYING to get families to essentially sponsor the PTA with a significant donation at the beginning of the year. This covers your PTA family membership AND this is the big part, would mean we would not have to fundraise! Woo hoo! We could do more spirit and support stuff and not spend so many volunteer hours selling junk and coordinating the sale of junk. I think it is a great idea if we can get enough people to buy into the idea. Maybe you should suggest it.

Micky said...

Good for you, Kristie!
When I was doing fundraisers for my school (and band, and badminton team, and horseback riding), I would have paid my mother the five bucks not to have to do it. I hate that stuff with a passion.

Natalie said...

ARGH! Our big fundraiser, Wild West Day, is looming. And I will buy all of the raffle tickets from the boys so we don't have to go around and sell or call anyone. My wallet is crying already. And I will dress up in cowgirl garb and help kids rope fake steer heads on the given day. Sigh.

BUT, with that said, I think you need to reconsider and try for the trip to Pagosa Springs--it's here in Colorado! Unless there's another Pagosa Springs somewhere. Which might be the case. Colorado probably doesn't have an exclusive on the name.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Our school has a "Couch Potatoe" fundraiser for all of the parents who don't want to sell another piece of crap to anyone. The rule is, donate anything, anytime you like and not sell anything... ever. Sounds like a great idea...but I just throw that fundraising crap away too.....ssshhhh.

Our first fundraiser packet came home today....it's taken it's place in the recycle bin. Screw that stupid "Big Blast Party" that they put on for the kids who sell over 15 items! I have 4 kids! The should not skip math class anyways.

We do sell Girl Scout Cookies for all 4 of our girls though! They are yummy and nobody can refuse my little Brownies!

Anonymous said...

Brillant. I only have 2 kids. I might offer 10.

Hyzymom said...

Brillant! I have always said if the PTO just sent a letter home at the beginning of the year that said if each family "donates" ____$'s we won't do ANY fundraising! How much would you pay for that? Me... A - LOT! :o)

Anonymous said...

My daughter is a junior in high school. Where we live the junior class puts on the prom every year so they have to do fundraisers throughout the year. Last night my daughter brought home a Little Ceasers fundraiser they are doing. Each student is to sell at least 10 items. If they don't the child must pay $10 for each unit they don't sell. So if my daughter doesn't sell anything she has to pay $100 and if they don't pay this they aren't allowed to go to prom. The problem with selling so much product is we live in a small town and there are only 32 students in her class AND they were told they will be doing another 2-3 fundraisers before March. I plan to stop in the school this afternoon to have a little talk with them. Talk about crazy!

Sandie in MN said...

I do the same thing! I would tell my son we could go shopping at Target and he could buy whatever he wanted under 20 bucks. Now that I have three kids, it's been downgraded to 10 bucks each.

Those ButterBraids are the most repulsive thing ever invented and the wrapping paper... how much can you really use?

Our older son is now in a district which DOESN'T DO FUNDRASISING! Hooray!

Anonymous said...

WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!
I am still traumatized by the door to door marathon/cookies/etc... fundraising. Being rejected over and over... not good for a 10 year old - or a 42 year old!
happy birthday!
mcs
crosslake/san diego

Patty House, Jasonville, IN said...

I hate those fundraisers too. We just turned ours in last week. It drives me crazy. I understand their need, but to think that a school of 500 kids can sell that much stuff in a town of only 3000 people...Get Real!