It all starts about the second week of September. The dreaded fundraisers begin before autumn cools the air and changes our leaves to bright vibrant hues.
Jump rope for heart, chocolate sales, danceathons, farm fresh fruits and veggies and pepperettes. These are just some of the fundraising things my kids have been tasked with. School fundraisers and sports team fundraisers for two kids means asking a lot of people to buy things or donate money.
And I won’t do any of it for them.
I’m not saying that I won’t support their school by buying a big box of apples or sponsoring my kids for their danceathon. I will buy the pepperettes and the chocolates and I will sponsor them for jump rope for heart. I will donate all the money I can.
What I won’t do is fundraise for them. I already did my time.
I recall walking my neighbourhood, knocking on doors asking neighbours and family friends to buy anything from Girl Guide cookies to magazines to oranges. Did my parents bring my Girl Guide cookies to work? Sometimes. But I remember doing to heavy lifting. Somewhere along the way this shifted.
Somewhere along the way, it’s become easier for parents to peddle their kids fundraising items to coworkers and other family members. Schools have helped in this shift by turning to online payments, making it hard for kids to walk the neighbourhood. Parents don’t necessarily feel it’s safe for their kids to go door-to-door anymore. We have shifted the burden of fundraising to the parents.
Not in this house.
Last year my son came home excited to sell three entire boxes of pepperettes to raise money for his soccer team. He didn’t even change out of his soccer uniform before he started knocking on every door in the neighbourhood. Before I knew it, two entire boxes were gone. It took him one afternoon and he hadn’t even hit up his grandparents yet. He was proud of himself and I was proud of him for doing it on his own.
Fundraisers are meant to raise money. But participating in fundraisers can be an opportunity to teach our kids life lessons. They can feel the thrill of success and the elation felt when you work hard something and reach your goal.
So you may get a knock on the door or a phone call from my child asking you to help support his fundraising goal. I ask you, from one parent to another if my child comes and knocks on your door peddling something, please consider buying it. He’s out there hitting the pavement working hard rather than expecting me to do it for him.
In return, if your child is raising money for their dance troupe or chess club please send them to my house. If they knock on my door I promise I will answer and will buy whatever it is they are selling.