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#1 of 11 Old 01-31-2005, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do your children in school (or outside activities) have fundraisers frequently? Or is it just around here? We have had a fall school sale (overpriced wrapping paper and candles, etc.), Brownie nut and candy sale, Girl Scout cookies (wonderfully yummy but SO unhealthy), Candy bars for the preschool (which we already PAY for ) and now dd has brought home a flier from school with frozen foods and cookies which also has Nestle items so we didn't really support that one. Add that to the pennies we sent in for the Tsunami and the money for the holiday child, the collection for the class gift at the holidays....Geez, who can afford school? Am I just a scrooge? Or is it more and more expensive to send your kids to school these days?
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#2 of 11 Old 01-31-2005, 01:01 AM
 
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Our school doesn't do any fundraisers. They did something for the Tsunami and Operation Christmas Child but it was all optional. They hold hot lunches once a month that the Parents Group puts on. It is roughly $1.50-3.00, depending on what the particular meal is. The Parents Group buys alot of stuff(microwaves, new stove, etc) for the school but doesn't fundraise either.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-31-2005, 01:44 AM
 
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Yep, add boy scout popcorn and your list pretty much matches mine. I try not to buy what we don't use anyway, but it does add up. DH is a softer touch than I am though.

Our PTA runs a wrapping paper/candle sale at the beginning of each year. We don't buy from it at all. I object to the prices, the stuff they are selling AND they promote it as a school activity instead of a PTA activity. When the PTA spent $6000 on a new school sign with a decorative border instead of $2000 on a plain sign and $4000 on new library books, I stopped supporting them.
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#4 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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We're in California, so I have no doubt that the schools need this money, but do the rest of us need more JUNK? The cookie dough, wrapping paper, See's candy--yikes! Plus, I'm disinterested in helping my daughters force this stuff on our acquaintances, many of whom are trying to sell us all the same junk. Consequently, I write one check for $200 at the beginning of each school year and donate supplies throughout the year to their classrooms if I see they need it. (This year we gave the third-grade teacher a new pencil sharpener because her old one was so noisy no one could stand to sharpen pencils.) I also support my kids' efforts in the jog-a-thon the school puts on every spring to raise money for playground equipment. But I won't buy anything that's going to add to the landfills or overload us all with sugar.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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We probably get accosted for fundraisers at least once a week. I'm very sympathetic to the schools' needs to raise money. Yes, they are public schools, but so much of what they do is inadequately funded.

I also will not participate in the "selling junk" fundraisers. As I've said before in similar threads, corporate American can sell it's own damned wrapping paper, candles, frozen pies and assorted crud, and they will not do it on the backs of my children.

If there is a space on the form for a cash contribution in lieu of purchasing the overpriced junk, I send them a check and thank them for making that an option. If there's no space for a cash contribution, the flyer goes immediately into the recycling.

I know that some schools will do a direct appeal for contributions. I'm all for that, and I'd be happy to write them a substantial check. I suggested it to the president of our PTA and she looked at me like I had two heads. I think there are a bunch of ladies involved in our PTA who have way too much time on their hands, and they like organizing these sales.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-02-2005, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom
I think there are a bunch of ladies involved in our PTA who have way too much time on their hands, and they like organizing these sales.
:LOL Guess there a few in every bunch. Some people just don't get it but there are a lot of good people at school too. Glad I am not alone!
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#7 of 11 Old 02-08-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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I'm the PTO president for our school.

We do a couple of fundraisers a year. Our school is totally low income; there is no way people could write a check for a school fundraiser.

But I agree, selling crap sucks. We were supposed to sell crap last year; we just didn't participate. One reason I'm president is because of this. This year we sold flower bulbs. We got 50% of the sales, and the flowers were really cool.

Our other fundraiser is a winter party. We have local musicians play, we supply food for purchase, and solicit donations from local businesses for a silent auction. It's alot of fun; the idea is that it is a fundraiser *and* a community event.

The money covers stuff that the lack of federal and state funding leaves hanging. Like books for the library, classroom supplies, that sort of thing. This year we have bought books and magazine subscriptions for the library, specific supplies for the classrooms (like math flashcards for the fourth grade), and some special reading books for the upper grade book groups. That sort of thing.

I know that some PTOs go way overboard. We were comparing stats with another PTO (*not* low income); they have a $20,000 a year budget, and do stuff for the playground, end of school carnival, and teacher inservice. Which are fine things; but not really a priority for our school.

Every day I get solicitations in the mail from companies like Readers Digest, Nestle, Pizza Hut, frozen cookie dough, plastic crap from china, etc. It is amazing; it's a huge market. I am definately not into that, and luckily neither are most of the parents on the PTO (all 12 of us....). Next year if we don't do the flower bulbs, we have found a small firm in a neighboring town who makes organic candles. We've contacted them and they are interested in doing some sort of fundraiser.

I totally understand the complaints about the crap, and the constant bombardment and solicitation. I guess my advice would be to get on the PTO and have a say in what is sold. Look around at local businesses and see if any of them (candle shops, local artists, local restaurants, flower shops, etc) would be interested in working with you on a fundraiser. The winter party that we put on is a huge pain in the bum, but it is a lot of fun. Right now it doesn't raise enough money that we can quit selling something in the fall. But our hope is that it continues to grow to the point where it raises a couple thousand a year consistently; that's all we need to fund what our PTO wants to fund.

Lori
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#8 of 11 Old 02-08-2005, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like your group is doing a wonderful job, Lori. Sometimes I wish that I were more involved with the PTA but I have to say I am quite intimidated by the bunch here. Nice people but there are alot of politics involved and it seems that there are alot of the same people year after year pushing for the same things. With a 3yr old at home and being a part-time student myself I have chosen instead to go to my older dd's class and volunteer there once a week. At least by being there I am more in tune with what is going on and maybe by the time my youngest dd is in school I will be able to be more active with the school itself after hours. I do like a lot of your ideas and will put them aside with the hopes of bringing some better alternatives to our schools too. Thanks for sharing!
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#9 of 11 Old 02-08-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Yep our kids bring home a fundraiser flyer at least once every 2 months. It does get annoying. They sell magazines the first week they are in school...then it's the Operation Christmas child...then it's the wrapping paper, etc....then it's Tupperware (which I will not support anymore now that I know how much that one mom who is a Tupperware director makes off the sales...aye aye aye!) ...then the frozen streudels, cheesecakes and cocoa mixes...the list never ends! Some I buy from and others I toss. I would be completely broke if I supported every single one of them.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-14-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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dd's school only does see's candy, raffle tix for a silent auction and a calendar sale. that is it. i don't think that is alot. and only the silent auction is a mandatory event . you have to sell 90.00 dollars in tix or it goes on your tuiton bill. it is a catholic school
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#11 of 11 Old 02-16-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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Wouldn't it be great to simply have a good enough relationship with
the teachers, school, local business to say - what do you need, what are you paying out of pocket for and send along that extra box of tissue or paint or whatever? Do small donations like that count anymore?
Think of all 10+, 20+, 30+ parents in each class did that? Skip the $20
to eat out and give it to the teacher. OR use the talent of the parents and the community to do something collectively - fix things, clean up day, write a grant, refurb a computer?

Can't someone develop a fundraiser of TIME and EFFORT?
Challenge the parents to use their skills and creativity
as a family and effect a change?

Is it always easier for people "buy" a change rather than "make" a change?

Or at least pick a fundraiser where the children a sponored for
doing something - jumping rope, reading books, volunteering somewhere.
No cookie, wrapping paper sherpas here.

If you feel you must sell, take a page out of my neighbors (w/6 children)
book: You can sell x for set amount of time only. Usually sell what
you wish in 2 hours on one day. That's it, no more. - go back to being children (and studying).

This is yet another reason I love silent auctions for schools.
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