"What time of year" you ask?
It's the time each year when our school kicks off it's annual fundraiser.
Every year it's the same thing. A lady comes to talk to all of the children in the school. She's usually dressed up in some great costume (rumor has it that this year, she was a pirate) She spends a good amount of time telling the kids about ALL OF THE COOL PRIZES THEY CAN EARN just by selling all the
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against school fundraisers, I just really don't like this one.
Why, you ask?
Because each year, my kids come home all hyped up about selling the stuff in these catalogs. and "YOU ONLY NEED TO SELL 250 ITEMS TO EARN OURSELF AN IPOD!!"
The "items" are usually very overpriced wrapping paper, but have now been expanded to include various overpriced nick-nacks and overpriced chocolates, and this year, they've also included jewelry, which isn't terribly overpriced, which leads me to wonder about the quality.
I won't buy this stuff, and I won't allow my kids to sell it.
(I will say that I have been known to buy fundraising items like cookie dough that I can hide in the back of the freezer, to be used in case of extreme stressed outedness, or a really bad chocolate craving fit, or breakfast, or whatever, but that's OK, because HEY! IT'S COOKIE COOKIE DOUGH!!!)
One of the rules that the school has set for selling the above mentioned items are that the kids can't go selling door to door.
Sidenote: When we were kids, this was the only way that we could sell our overpriced wrapping paper. I always took my brother with me whenever I needed to sell something, because he was a cute little kid, and he had these huge blue eyes , and he was really good at looking sad.
Plus he could cry on cue.
Whenever I took him with me to sell things, I usually sold about 5 times as much as I would without him.
I think my favorite time was when he came with me to sell that darned wrapping paper, and we went to a door where the lady said that she didn't need any wrapping paper, and as we turned around and started to walk away, he looked at me and said in a very sad voice "Well Jill, there goes Christmas." (He really did!) The lady suddenly decided that she did indeed need some wrapping paper, and called us back and bought some. (click on the link about my brother, you won't be sorry) (probably)
Anyway, back to the fundraiser. The "Packet" that they give the kids had a booklet with pages that the kids were supposed to fill out with "contact information" for people to sell this stuff to. If they brought it back, filled out, the next day, they would get a candy bar, and get to chose a cheap plastic toy out of the prize bucket!
I told my kids that I would buy them a candy bar, and they didn't need the cheap plastic toy from the toy bucket. They could just fish through the garbage and get back the Happy Meal toys that I just through away because I kept stepping on them with my bare feet.
These fundraising people suggest that my kids to sell stuff to our co-workers, neighbors, friends and family.
Our co-workers don't want any of this stuff (Besides, sometimes there are rules against this type of thing at work)
Our family doesn't want any of this stuff.
Our friends don't want any of this stuff.
Our neighbors don't want any of this stuff, and besides, all their kids are selling the same stuff!!
I can't imagine that the school really gets much out of this type of fundraiser. I think the real profits go to the companies who provide the items being sold, and even then, I can't imagine them having much of a profit margin with the amount of money they spend on printing those darn catalogs. My kids fundrasing packet included not one, not two, not even three, but four different catalogs, plus the nifty prize brochure, the order forms, collection envelopes and another sheet with instructions on how to order these things online.
This packet weighed over a pound!!
(Seriously, I got out my postage scale and weighed it. 1.05 pounds to be exact)
So that's one packet per child, times (approximately) 700 kids in the school
700 pounds of paper!
Times that by the amount of schools that these fundraising companies send these packets to, and you're looking at an obscene amount of paper.
That's a lot of dead trees.
Now I don't want to be one of those people who complain about something, but then don't offer any suggetsions. Nope, not me!
I has me an idea!
A while ago, I read about a fundraiser called "Willy Bingo." This fundraiser has the potential for earning $2,000 in mere minutes!
First, you start with a large field. You mark it off in 300 equal sections. You number the sections, and sell them for $10.00 a piece. When all of the sections are sold, someone lets a calf loose on the field.
You wait for the calf to take a dump. Whoever bought the section on which the cow pattie lands wins $1,000! (and the rest goes to the school)
I think it's a brilliant idea! It would be entertaining, because seriously, what's more fun than standing around watching a calf wander around a field waiting for it to................
What? Did you say that you live in an area where this wouldn't work because you don't have access to a field or a calf?
Well, my friends, do I have a solution for you!
Instead of the big field, use the school gym.
Instead of the calf, use a toddler.
Yes, we could call it "Max bingo!"
Unless, of course, you live in a state where gambling is illegal.
Does anybody want to buy some wrapping paper?