Sunday, September 28, 2008

C'mon - buy some crap, it's for a good cause

It's time for the fall fundraiser and I am so conflicted.

This is the third public elementary school the girls have attended and once again they've been sent home with catalog of crap amazing gift items to sell to their friends and family. The times have changed since I hawked items solo door-to-door. Obviously we can't send them out to cold call. Shilling makes Erik uncomfortable. We're new in town. Our whole sales strategy is in chaos.

Oh, and I'm down on stuff. I'm unofficially participating in spending hiatus. I avoid big box stores because I don't want to buy things. I'm working and for as many things as I think we need or no longer want.

Lucky for us, both sets of our parents are divorced expanding our grandparent options. Yay! Us!

The fundraiser organization baits the kids with the promise of reward prizes. So on the day their backpacks came home filled with trees the packets of paperwork, they were so excited about the potential of what they could win. The ipod touch! The $250 cash. And the item they'd personally set their sites on - a 15 inch flat screen TV!!!!!!!!


I'm really down on excess TVs. And TV watching. And Disney Channel. I'm talking to YOU Zack and Cody. I don't want a TV in my kitchen. Or the kid's room. Or even my bedroom. And they have to sell 150 items to get the TV. One hundred and fifty items. I wonder if my pals will pony up for 10 items each? And isn't that too much to ask? At a more realistic and attainable level of 25 items sold - the prize is a water snake.

My husband is of the thought that the school should just give parents an cash payment opt out. Make a $200 donation and we'll call it even-steven. Everyone is happy, especially the landfill.

But here is my rub, my mom thinks I am denying the girls a chance at realizing a dream. Stealing their joy. Squashing their goals. Ripping their hearts out with my inability to embrace the fundraiser.

She is willing to buy 20 low priced items and thinks the other grandparents should as well. I think if she wants us to get a flat screen TV so badly, she should order us one from Amazon and add a few dozen inches.

We go round and round about it. I have managed to find a few items (the turquoise earrings, a subscription to Real Simple) that interest me but I don't want them fifty times over.

Oh, and have I mentioned I have a full time job? That I can barely hold it together enough to get the daily to-do checked off. That the list of things I want to do and should do is a mile long. Toward the end of the list, I've added: turn in payment and complete paperwork for the fall fundraiser by October 6.


Please tell me how you feel about this subject. Or, on the off chance you've got money to burn, email me and I'll send the link to the online order site.


Magpie said...

I hate those things. It's generally junk, junk and more junk.

My town's PTA sends out a catalog - by mail - to every mailing address in town - kids or no kids. It's actually very low pressure, so I felt no compunction about tossing it in the trash.

When she was in daycare, they'd do a couple of those kind of fundraisers each year. I wrote a letter to all the family members, with an option to buy *crap*, or send a check to the daycare. It assuaged my guilt.

marathon mom said...

From yesterday's sermon...You shouldn't be guilted into it!!! Don't do it. There actually are some fundraisers that happen yearly that I do look for and am fine with buying: passbooks, pizza kits, GS cookies, pampered chef(since I don't do the parties) or others like that. I don't do the boyscout popcorn, the magazines to keep kids off drugs.

Miss Grace said...

My mom always went for the cash buyout donation option and we never participated, even in the various-a-thons. And I don't think any of us were emotionally damaged by it. I never really cared.

stepping over the junk said...

I'm bailing on the crap and sending in a check. I dont use wrapping paper or eat bad chocolate. heh