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Am I the Only One?

Original post made by Rebecca Surley, Barron Park, on Sep 18, 2009

I just finished reading the fundraising opportunities coming up the next year for the 5th graders.

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Comments (6)

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Posted by with ya
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:42 am

it's also getting easier to organize volunteer and fundraising events with email, and e-vites, but nobody is doing something about the overload. We just need to be more selective. I stopped buying Girl Scout cookies without any guilt long ago, but I still stop to buy lemonade from children under 8 years old.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

No you're not the only one. I feel exactly this way too. Good article. You gave me some good ideas on ways to change.

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

You are not the only one ! I appreciate all the time and effort the volunteers from the school put in for every fund raising activity - however, in these tough economic times, it is beginning to be an overload.

There is a limit to which we can ask the extended family to donate for events. In higher grades, children "compare" how much money they brought in for an event (doesn't matter if the child did not go out and approach even a single neighbor and got the money due to the efforts put in by the parents )

There is no global solution for this. We understand the bugdet cuts. But as a family, we decided on a certain amount that we can spend on such activities and we stick to it. We are learning to say "thankyou but no thankyou" in a graceful way.

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Posted by Grandma
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 20, 2009 at 7:25 am

When my kids were in school I would not let them go door to door asking for money, however worthy the course. This is a form of begging, I felt it was demeaning for the child who had to endure angry homeowners slamming the front door in their faces. Although at the time, I was on very limited child support, I usually came up with the money myself. The kids should stay home and read a good book!

I don't support the notion that these are teachable moments. Back off the begging, I will not hesitate to close my front door in your child's face if they come by my house again this year. I am now a retired senior, and after a lifetime of work, I can't afford your begging.

When my elder son was in the Gunn High School Jazz Bank the band leader then wanted to take the kids to the Montreau Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The children were expected to raise thousands and thousands of dollars for their airfares and hotel. Each performance they attended would also cost over $120! I drew the line, and without their lead trombone they never made it to Montreau or Switzerland, the plan was quietly dropped. They seem to have survived very well without this experience!!!

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm

There is an easy answer. Just say "no".

I NEVER buy anything from a parent selling it for a child (even if it is my boss). People understand that if you are 100% consistent.

Also, set up charitable stuff for your kid to do. There are lots of great things to do around here.

Kids do too many activities and are overscheduled. Once again, just say "no" to some activities, decreasing the issue in the first place.

A kid doesn't have to sell much, if at all, for most of these fundraisers. Have him sell the minumum and be done with it. Or, I have had parents say "No" to participating in sales altogether, and they just donate the amount the group would have made for the minimum sales requirement. That is a tax write-off usually, so much less of a burden, and the group usually doesn't get much anyway, so the donation may be even better.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2009 at 9:29 am

It is the beginning of the school year that we get hit the hardest for donations. My wife and I came up with a system that works well for us. We sat down and created a list of organizations that we would like to give to and the amounts we want to give to them. The list was long so we now rotate them each year. We write the checks out at the beginning of the year, asking to remain anonymous, and then can feel good the entire year that we gave and helped in areas that were important to us. It helps when saying 'No'. There's just too much asking for money these days and we can't give to all.

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