we lived in a neighborhood FULL of kids. We were legendary on our street because most of those kids attended the local parochial school. For those of you not "in the know," parochial schools are notorious for fundraisers. The PS Mr. T currently attends sends home at least one "fundraising opportunity" every week. Anyway, Mr. D and I cannot refuse a kid peddling frozen cookie dough, pizzas, gift wrap, fruit, Girl Scout Cookies or magazine subscriptions. We bought it all and we bought it with vigor. Consequently, the neighborhood kids figured out how to maximize the profits at 621 Taylor Street.
They'd hit me up when I'd get home from my teaching job around 4:00. "Sure, Angie. We'll take five pizzas." I'd leave the house around suppertime for my evening gig as choreographer of the high school musical and Mr. D would roll in the driveway at 6:00. The neighbor kids would ambush him. "Sure, Angie. Put us down for six pizzas." Delivery day would come and one of us would stand at our front door cutting a check for TWO separate orders. Smart kids. Suffice it to say, our freezer was never empty the entire time we lived in that town.
Even now we don't deny the kid standing on our front porch trying to raise buck for band or football or Scouts. And if they're selling something we don't want to buy, we're usually soft-hearted enough to cut a check directly to their organization.
As for our own children, they don't participate in any fundraising. At the PS, we paid the "fundraising buy-out fee," entitling us to a guilt-free year without hitting up our friends and family to buy anything. Since I'm President of the Happyland Elementary PTA, I've insured that almost all of our organization's fundraising is event or service based. We have only one "sale" fundraiser each year and I usually don't take part in it. My sons never bother anyone to buy anything on behalf of Happyland Elementary. The park & rec teams they play on are paid for through membership fees and a very lucrative concession stand. Mr. T is the only "fundraiser" in our family since he's part of Boy Scouts.
This year he wanted to sell popcorn for Scouts and I was okay with that only because he's really really really into Scouting. The organization gets 70% of the profit and Boy Scout popcorn has a reputation of being a good product that people appreciate buying. He did all the sales himself at his dad's office because his dad's office allows kids to do that kind of thing. And Mr. D has a reputation of being very generous to other people's kids fundraising efforts, so it seemed like fair game. Mr. T sold a ton of popcorn, making enough money to purchase a badly needed tent for his troop. He did such an outstanding job pitching his product and his cause that we even got emails from Mr. D's colleagues complementing his sales skills. But Mr. T did it himself. The only thing I did was drop him off and pick him up since he's too young to drive. He organized the orders, kept track of the money and wrote thank you notes to attach to the product when he delivers it next month.
And Mr. T only sold at his dad's office. We didn't bother our neighbors because they've got their own family members (children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews) to buy things from. We won't call on family because they're all out of state and/or on fixed incomes.
This said, I'm all for event-based fundraisers. In fact, a few years ago I suggested to Mr. D that his baseball team hold a clinic for little league players instead of selling those discount cards and they actually did--and made a tidy profit. I'm all for bake sales, lemonade stands (a particular weakness--I've been known to circle back around a block to get a Dixie cup of lukewarm Kool Aid from some enterprising kid), rummage sales and carnivals. The idea of giving a little to get something back best fits my philosophy on these matters.
And for the record, my favorite fundraising product of all time? Girl Scout Cookies.
Spill it, reader. What do kids sell that you cannot refuse to buy?