I realize it kind of makes me sound bad. The mom that doesn’t want to support her child’s school. But I promise you that’s not the case at all. I am in love with my son’s school, and I am so amazed by all the work the PTA does, which of course could not be acheived without the near-constant fundraising.

When my oldest started Kindergarten last year I was so excited. I wanted to do everything – and do it well. The first fundraiser they bring home is that fun catalog full of wrapping paper, candy, and gifts. I don’t know who was more eager to sell – him or me. I asked everyone. I even reached out to friends in other cities and states, sending them the online link to buy from.

My son was thrilled when we filled out the form and he saw how many prizes he would be getting. I couldn’t wait to turn in the order form. What a great mom I was! When I handed in the money and orders, the woman glanced to see how many cheap little toys to give my son. “Great job!” she told him. I have to admit I felt a little insulted, I mean who really sold all those things?

Fast forward to this year. The packet came home again, same as before. My son came home, anxious as ever to get his rewards. He told me about the assembly they attended about the fundraiser, complete with a super exciting demo video and a big poster of the prize levels. Clever, I thought, to amp up the kids so they’d be motivated to sell. But this time I wasn’t biting. I took my son aside and explained to him that we wouldn’t be selling from the catalog this year. I just couldn’t bring my self to bombard my relatives with anymore sales pitches.

I wrote my check – what I would’ve spent on a couple of trinkets – and instead of getting a portion of it, the PTA could keep the whole thing. As for my son, I let him pick out a toy at the store, something that didn’t fall apart the minute he opened it.

It was way less stressful to do it my way, and I think a win-win situation for everyone. I will continue to support the PTA and the school as much as I can throughout the year, without having to beg for donations or peddle merchandise. Family and friends, you can thank me later.

How do you handle all the school fundraisers?  How do you find other ways to support the PTA? 

7 Responses to Why I’m not selling wrapping paper this year

  1. Many schools are coming up with more creative ways to raise money. Our elementary school is holding a benefit dinner, and one of the sponsorship opportunities is for a martini! For $75 you get a martini named after you to be served during the event. So of course I am sponsoring one using the name of my hyperlocal blog. Support and advertising all in one!

  2. Suebob says:

    I think your idea is awesome. I hate buying overpriced crap, knowing only a tiny portion is going to the school anyway.

  3. Erika says:

    I love this! I’m going to take your approach and do the same thing. No pitching to my family this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. What an interesting idea! Gonna have to log this one away for when I will have to peddle fundraising merchandise.

  5. Catherine says:

    I’m with you Angela. I love to support my daughter’s school but with all that extra fundraising work, pestering friends and family and dealing with the junky prizes the school doesn’t even see all that much of the money. I think it’s a much better deal to just donate the money you would have spent.

  6. I completely agree with you. My son is in preschool and he’s already had 4 fundraisers just this year! So, I did the same thing – I gave his classroom a cash donation and they keep it all plus I donate products throughout the year. I feel the teachers appreciate volunteering time and goods needed more anyway. :)

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