“Today at school we went to an assembly and a man talked about winning stuff if we sold cookies!” Natalie told me seriously when we got home from school. “Look.” She pulled a packet from her backpack and I made a face. Ew. It was a fundraiser.
Look, I get that schools need to do these things to make money. But truly, they suck. No one wants to knock on doors and be like, “Hey! Buy some overpriced crap!”
Here’s the truth: I throw away the fundraiser junk. Now, before you think I’m this uncaring, non-donating person, here’s the thing: I DO donate. Directly to the school. And I do send the kids with money at that Secret Santa shop. But I do not do fundraising. Tommy understands this.
“I want to win this chicken thing,” she said, pointing to this odd toy that you could fling from your fingers. To win it, you had to sell two boxes of $15 cookies.
“The man also said we could win a LIMO RIDE!” Natalie squealed with excitement.
Oh, fun. So this man was getting a bunch of five-year-olds all riled up. I wonder if he had kids. Did he know how irritating fundraisers really were? Did he know that we, as the parents, had to follow the kids around as they knocked on doors? (I get that there are some parents out there who get a sick pleasure for this. They want their kids to be the best. Always.)
“You sort of get to ride in a limo daily,” I pointed out. “You ride in the backseat of the car while I drive you around.”
Natalie gave me a Look, the same one she’ll probably give me a lot as a teenager. “Mo-ommmm,” she groaned. (In her defense, my car is not like a limo at all. There are not plush seats. Instead you get stained seats and your hand will probably graze against something sticky. Then again. Maybe that's still like a limo. I haven't been in one for years so I wouldn't know.)
“Here’s the thing, Natalie. You have to knock on doors and beg people to buy $15 cookies. We’re in a recession. Not many people will want to fork out $15. And especially in this day and age when everyone is all “healthy this, and healthy that.” Some parents might recoil in horror at the site of cookies,” I explained.
Plus, we lived on base.
When you live on base, you can’t sell stuff. When you sign the lease, one of the big no-nos is NO SOLICITING. Some kids have been forgetting and have knocked on doors. Then people complain and the housing office has to send out letters to the residents reminding them that stuff CANNOT be sold. Which is fine by me, because I hate telling kids no. Some kids don’t shut up when you tell them no. It’s like they’ve never heard the word before so while you’re shutting the door, they’re still going on about buying their junk.
So if Natalie wanted to really sell cookies, we’d have to go off base, and the area around the base isn’t exactly safe. She could knock on a door and have a gun pulled on her. Or be tugged into a house and be held for ransom. Okay, MAYBE it wouldn’t be that dramatic but one never knows.
Could I ask family and friends? Sure. But I hate doing that. I never buy anything from them when they ask so why would I expect them to buy from me?
So yes. No fundraising in this family.
And Natalie is fine with it. She’s already forgotten about the flying chicken thing and has moved on to wanting an American Girl doll named Caroline. I guess she's BRAND NEW and is BRAVE or whatever.