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Julie Seedorf: How can schools get most out of fundraisers?

Sprinkled Notes by Julie Seedorf


As I write this, I am sitting at You Betcha Cafe in Alden waiting for my scrumptious breakfast; chocolate chip cookies are also on my mind. Last night I baked a few cookies from a cookie mix I bought from my neighbor kids when they were having a fundraiser at school.

In the past month, I have spent almost $200 on school fundraisers. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping my neighbor kids and my grandkids raise money for their schools, but it does take a hit on my pocketbook all in one month. What I do mind is the amount that actually goes to school. I have a feeling it is very little, and I otherwise would never buy $18 cookies.  You get very few goodies for your money.

There was one fundraiser I thought was excellent. I pledged $1 a lap for a fun run at my grandson’s school. It was more costly than I thought it would be. Who knew he could do 35 laps? I was happy to pay for more reasons than one — his school got the entire amount I pledged. I like these kinds of fundraisers.

I don’t understand why more schools do not ditch companies that lure the kids with wonderful prizes that are very hard to earn unless a child has many family and friends. There is also the safety factor in letting kids visit houses where they don’t know the occupants. Many parents send a shout out to their Facebook friends and get the orders for their kids.

And then there is the neighbor factor that many kids in the neighborhood are doing the same thing. How do you say no to a cute neighbor? If you are my neighbor I say yes because I want to, not out of guilt, so you can keep selling to me — you know who you are. I hate the look of disappointment on those that come to my door who isn’t my three next-door neighbors, but I just can’t do it for all.

I also think of those whose parents and relatives can’t help them out because it is already hard for the family to put food on the table, and buying these items would be clearly out of their price range. What do those children feel like when others in their class contribute, and it is made a big deal and prizes are awarded?

Think of what would happen if the pledges were tied to an accomplishment all could do, such as the fun run or book reading, volunteer hours at the library or some activity such as that. The upside would also be the school getting 100 percent of the proceeds.

I am not the first one to come up with this complaint and I won’t be the last, but nothing seems to change. So if you are reading this, agree with it and want a change; share it, talk to your school and ask others to do the same thing. Let’s get the biggest bang for the buck to help our children and also to help them feel good about their accomplishments.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Thursday. Email her at hermionyvidaliabooks@gmail.com.