It's December and the kids have been in school a mere four months or 16 weeks, to be exact. With school supplies and the holidays coming up, the last quarter of the year is always hectic and expensive.
Yet, in the midst of all this activity
we've been hit with 24 school-related fundraisers! WTF!
I've been pressured to buy Scholastic Books, overpriced wrapping paper, candy, coupon books, gifts for underprivileged kids, and an assortment of school logo clothing. We've been asked to bring in unused clothes, cans of food, new books, school supplies, water bottles, and snacks. And my kids have come home enthusiastically asking us for financial contributions to The American Heart Association and for us to sponsor various “a-thons” like “walk a-thons,” “jump-rope a-thons,” and “cartwheel a-thons.”
Now I understand that the PTA needs to raise money for equipment that public schools can no longer provide (although I question why they spend an insane amount on incidentals like decorating for the faculty luncheon and top-of-the-line flowers for outdoor plantings). And it's wonderfully altruistic to raise money for those in need. I believe it's vital for children to know it's their duty to give and be thankful for all that they have.
BUT THIS CONSTANT ASKING FOR STUFF HAS GOT TO STOP!
The kids feel pressure to give and most of us are getting damn sick of being asked to give, give, give until we have nothing left!
I was at yet another fundraiser last night. Teachers were reading at our Barnes & Noble. The kids were excited to hear their teachers (whom they've spent all day with) reading a book in the Kids' section. Of course, the PTA had boxes set up asking parents to donate (aka BUY) a book for the classrooms and the organization would get 5% of all sales for the event. Parents around me were grumbling. “It's the middle of Hanukkah, my kids have already gotten presents with more to come, and now they want me to spend a lot of money for books for the classroom,” one mother said. “My kids want me to give, but I just can't anymore,” said another. I empathized.
My family gives to charity. We write checks to various organizations. And I love donating used goods and food for those in need.
But those are causes WE choose to give to,
not ones my kids are pressured to support!
24 fundraisers in 16 weeks? That's sick! If I get one more email starting with “in this season of giving” I'm going to barf. Of course, if I take it up with the PTA, I'm going to look like Scrooge, so gritting my teeth is the only option. That and I'm reminded that it's time to have another talk with my kids about how WE make choices with our money and don't give in to peer pressure, even from the schools, on how we disperse our funds. We're tapped out.
How do you feel about this? Comment below, please!