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#1 of 20 Old 11-06-2009, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS (11 yo) is playing house league hockey this year. It costs around $300 per kid.

I'm the team mom. So far I've asked for money for: name bars on jerseys ($11), a charitable donation to Yellow Ribbon Campaign (everyone gave $9) and the entry fee for a tournament ($50/kid). We'll be having a social event for the team in a few weeks ($20/kid).

The local hockey association has now asked for us to participate in two more charity events: Christmas baskets (one per team to be donated to the local Lions Club Christmas Hamper program) and either a raffle or a food drive associated with the local food bank.

I've got two questions:

1. When your kids play sports, what are the charity activities?
2. If you're a parent who often volunteers with sports associations, how do I voice my opinion that I'm tapped out on asking the parents for money and time?

Thanks!
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#2 of 20 Old 11-06-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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If they truly *asked,* then you can say "no."

This stuff really gets over the top. Yes, it's great to be part of a food drive, but how many? For families with two or three kids, each in an activity or three, it gets really out of control really fast.

Can you just send an email and say that you think these are GREAT charities, but that most of the kids on the team are participating in similar activities in other ways (through church, school, scouts, etc.)?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 20 Old 11-07-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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My daughter is on the swim team. She's only been on it for a month so maybe there are charity activities but I haven't heard of any. Well, the coach's wife did organize a fund raiser (asked families if they wanted to buy towels) for a boy on the team who qualified for the Paralympics Can-Am games to help fund his trip. That's not really charity though is it? Anyway, there was no pressure to participate, she just emailed us the forms and said when the $$ was due.

I'd agree with the other poster, if they ask, you can say No. Believe me, I know it's hard, I'm on the PTO at school and people are always asking us for money and we can't always say yes.

Or can you participate in a low-key way? By that I mean tape up a note that says you're accepting donations for the food bank, put food in the box if you want to donate.
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#4 of 20 Old 11-07-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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I agree keep it simple or send out an email /word to see if another parent wants to pick up the project.
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#5 of 20 Old 11-08-2009, 05:23 AM
 
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Could your team donate time rather than money? I would always rather my children gave some of their time or effort to a charity rather than just drop in a donation and forget about it. The team could sort food for the food drive or make up the baskets or ???

The tournament fees are to be expected, but is it vital that the team have a social event? Maybe talk with the other parents and see if they are as frustrated as you are about the nickel and diming. It certainly does seem like time to scale back.
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#6 of 20 Old 11-08-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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I would be really annoyed by that as a parent. The point of hockey is to play hockey, not to be oding a bunch of totally unrelated charity projects. I would feel different if it was a hockey player who needed help for some reason.

As a parent I would feel like I paid to be in the league, I paid for a bunch of other random expenses, and now this?

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#7 of 20 Old 11-09-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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I agree with the PP. I would be so annoyed with that. It is just over the top to be asked for one thing after another. And what does Yellow Ribbon or baskets for the Lion's Club have to do with hockey???

We've never been asked to fundraise for a charity as a part of a sports program. Quite honestly, I would probably decline to participate if I was asked to do so. I can understand fundraising for equiptment, travel expenses, uniforms, etc. But to me it doesn't make any sense to fundraise for a charity that has nothing to do with the sport.

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#8 of 20 Old 11-09-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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I agree with the PP. I would be so annoyed with that. It is just over the top to be asked for one thing after another. And what does Yellow Ribbon or baskets for the Lion's Club have to do with hockey???

We've never been asked to fundraise for a charity as a part of a sports program. Quite honestly, I would probably decline to participate if I was asked to do so. I can understand fundraising for equiptment, travel expenses, uniforms, etc. But to me it doesn't make any sense to fundraise for a charity that has nothing to do with the sport.
Yeah, I can't recall fundraising for charities through sports either. My dc have played soccer, hockey, basketball, softball...lots of different league sports. Maybe there was a fundraiser for cancer or heart and stroke at some point, but nothing on a regular basis. Certainly not several, and from the same league.

I think fundraising for the team's needs - equipment etc. - is the priority. If there is a pet charity that everyone wants to help out then a single fundraiser would be fine.

Wouldn't it make more sense to hold an exhibition game, though, and sell lottery tickets at the game, and donate the gate proceeds and the ticket money? Much easier on everyone and it shares the fundraising burden more equally.

I'm curious about who in the league executive has initiated all this fundraising? Are they pet charities of 1 or 2 people on the executive who are using this other volunteer opportunity to raise money? There's something a little inappropriate about that, if that's the case.
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#9 of 20 Old 11-09-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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That is usually what we have done, attended a charity event night by a local pro team or donated canned goods.
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#10 of 20 Old 11-10-2009, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses. We had a meeting on Sunday and I was able to make these points:

1. It isn't really charitable giving if you have to do it to feel like part of the team.

2. The point of signing up for hockey is to play hockey.

The other mums cheered!

The driving force for this comes from the "rep" side of the organization. All the rep teams are expected to do one charitable activity. It's been pushed a lot lately by one mum who thinks the kids should realize how lucky they are to being playing an expensive sport in an expensive league. I don't really understand the benefit of linking guilt to charity, but it works for her.

We've reduced it to a food/toiletries/toy drive with optional participation.

One poster asked about the team social. It's something the coach likes... he thinks it's fun to have the boys get together outside of hockey and do something together. I think it's a nice idea. Sometimes the best hockey players aren't the best at other things, so weaker players have a chance to show their skills. They see each other without equipment on, as well, which is nice. And they talk, which they really don't have a chance to do when they're on the ice. They're going to LaserQuest, so it is expensive. I'd thought about organizing a Capture the Flag game, but the weather can be iffy in November. I'll try for that in the spring, and we'll have couple of games of shinny when the outdoor rinks are made, so the costs will be less.
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#11 of 20 Old 11-10-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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Thanks for your responses. We had a meeting on Sunday and I was able to make these points:

1. It isn't really charitable giving if you have to do it to feel like part of the team.

2. The point of signing up for hockey is to play hockey.

The other mums cheered!

The driving force for this comes from the "rep" side of the organization. All the rep teams are expected to do one charitable activity. It's been pushed a lot lately by one mum who thinks the kids should realize how lucky they are to being playing an expensive sport in an expensive league. I don't really understand the benefit of linking guilt to charity, but it works for her.

We've reduced it to a food/toiletries/toy drive with optional participation.

One poster asked about the team social. It's something the coach likes... he thinks it's fun to have the boys get together outside of hockey and do something together. I think it's a nice idea. Sometimes the best hockey players aren't the best at other things, so weaker players have a chance to show their skills. They see each other without equipment on, as well, which is nice. And they talk, which they really don't have a chance to do when they're on the ice. They're going to LaserQuest, so it is expensive. I'd thought about organizing a Capture the Flag game, but the weather can be iffy in November. I'll try for that in the spring, and we'll have couple of games of shinny when the outdoor rinks are made, so the costs will be less.
Umm, well, yeah, the kids are lucky. Some of them are playing because their families have already made big sacrifices to pay for that expensive equipment and that expensive league. A few are probably only playing because of the charitable support of other parents in the league. I know we contributed money and equipment quietly, along with a few other league families, so that a couple of kids could play. Then there are the families who are volunteering time to keep the leagues running - volunteer coaches and equipment managers and schedule organizers etc.

I don't see how pressuring families to make further contributions to unrelated charities is going to foster a sense of gratitude. It sounds like it's backfiring and creating a bit of resentment instead. If that mom wants to promote pet charities, good for her. She and her family can participate on their own, and invite others to help out if they want.

Personally, I like the idea of team socials. It helps with the team spirit aspect of playing. I don't think they have to be expensive events though.
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#12 of 20 Old 11-10-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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My kids have participated in volleyball and basketball, and never been asked to donate to charities as part of those teams. We do donate personally to the charities of our choice, as well as through Girl Scouts and the schools which request participation - and I think it is great.

But this is a very hard time financially for most families and asking for more and more from families who may already be stretched having their kids in an expensive sport isn't really fair IMO. Why not have the kids make cards for seniors and visit an assisted living facility or vet organization? Trick or treat for canned goods to donate to the food bank (for older kids who aren't as "into" trick or treat)? Help serve at a soup kitchen or pick up litter in a local park or something they can do to serve instead of asking for more money from these families?
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#13 of 20 Old 11-10-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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I didn't say I didn't like the idea of the team social, I just wondered if it was vital. If everyone thinks it is important, then it is. But it doesn't have to be expensive.

I am still not getting how the KIDS learn anything about charity and gratitude if their parents are the ones making the donation. Some examples of things my kids and their teams have done for charity include blowing up balloons for a Cancer Walk, serving water and iced tea at the Senior Citizen Christmas party, bell-ringing, walking food baskets out to cars, wrapping gifts for a toy drive - you get the picture. The kids get to be part of it, it isn't just the parents making out a check and the kids maybe not even knowing about it.
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#14 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are great ideas! I am going to approach the organization and ask them to re-think their ideas about "charity" and "contribution".

We live in an affluent area. Most people think about charity in terms of money. Maybe a lookout for the contribution of time is important.

Thanks!
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#15 of 20 Old 11-12-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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Enkmom has the right idea. Sometimes charities would prefer to have money from parents. Sometimes it's much more efficient than a bunch of kids doing acts for them. However, if the point is to make kids aware that there are people who don't have enough food or clothes, not to mention that they don't have the re$ources to play on a sports team, then putting the kids to work, doing something, may get the point across to them better.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#16 of 20 Old 11-13-2009, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interestingly, I can tell I'm making an impact.

I had a very rude email from the Hockey Assoc. president today. His take on things is that I am not supposed to question what he decides should happen. Initially I was upset, but my husband read it and said, "This guy is trying to bully you." That is what I was feeling, but it is so wonderful to have someone else articulate it.

Because I'm a grown up, I can recognize the problem and deal with it. Admittedly it's using up a lot of my personal time. On the other hand, I'm glad that I made this post so that I have some background. I'm also glad that I can make a stand. My family supports me and I do good research to find out what is expected. The silly president is... well, silly.

Thanks, everyone! I'll let you know what happens.
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#17 of 20 Old 11-13-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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Bestjob, I admire you for taking this on. Don't let the bullies stop you. Good luck!
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#18 of 20 Old 11-14-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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I had a very rude email from the Hockey Assoc. president today. His take on things is that I am not supposed to question what he decides should happen.
It ain't charity if it's forced.

He may be the Hockey Association president, but he isn't your boss and doesn't decide what you or the other moms on the team need to do with your time or money.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#19 of 20 Old 11-14-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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It's been pushed a lot lately by one mum who thinks the kids should realize how lucky they are to being playing an expensive sport in an expensive league.
The more I think about this, the more offensive it is to me.

Frist, kids don't have any control over how much money their parents have. The idea that a child *owes* more in charity because of choices their parents made (possibly including working really long hours, moving for promotions, or just being gone a lot due to travel) irks me. I think of several kids who would choose *less* money and more of something else, so telling them that they need to do *more* charity to make up for something they don't control is just icky.

Second, kids whose parents don't have lots of money also have something to contribute. This really struck me last night at a girl scout meeting when a girl who is being raised by only her father (I'm not sure what the story is with her mom) and buys her clothes at goodwill kept suggesting great ideas for service projects.

I don't just buy into the idea that how much money a kids' parents have relates in ANY way to charity on the part of the child -- it doesn't coorelate to what they can or should give. We only get something back out of giving if it comes from our hearts, and anyone can do that regardless of how much money their parents have.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#20 of 20 Old 11-15-2009, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the association president thinks I have a bad attitude. I agree that at least one of us does.

Everyone else, from the vice president throught to the lowly equipment manager is cheering me on.

I have to admit that I am the sacrificial goat. I'll be the one they will talk about in years to come as the crazy lady who complained about this, that, and the next thing.

But I figure that as long as people can look me in the eye and say thanks, I will carry on. This organization has really lost sight of its purpose, and I will work to ensure that the kids who want to enjoy hockey benefit.

Thank you to every voice of support.
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