Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who put the FUN in Fundraising?

In August we crossed the threshold into the world of public school. The world of PTA, school buses, cafeteria lunches – things private school Kindergartners can only dream of. We are definitely enjoying the sense of community – seeing families from church and the neighborhood in the drop-off line and at parent lunches, everyone wearing the same school shirt with pride, singing the school song… It’s like being a part of a fraternity for the zip-code appropriate families.

With our entrance into public school came a little pocket-book relief and we gladly bid adieu to private school tuition. Since this ISD has been on our payroll for the past 9 years, thanks to our property tax, it is nice to finally take advantage of our tax contributions. When I wrote that tax check last April, I viewed it as ChellBell's "tuition" for the year.

Evidently, we didn't pay enough "tuition", because ChellBell came home yesterday talking non-stop about needing to sell 25 items and winning a limo ride and a light-up bracelet, and then she handed me the Fundraising Packet of catalogs and told me to get everyone I know to buy something from her. Always up for a good shopping spree, be it in person or through a catalog, I could not open that packet fast enough. In my mind, I checked off my Christmas gift list and wrapping paper needs and even thought I would go ahead and get gifts for Valentines’ Day. Forget the limo ride, ChellBell would definitely bump up to the Level “J” prize and be awarded the Light-Up Mini Refrigerator with Home & Car Adapter!

And then I opened the catalog. And was greeted with item 0282 The “Snowman Glow-in-the-Dark Window Clings,” which evidently, for $7, will create a wondrous winter scene when stuck on the window of your choice. Also on the page was the Slip Sliding Snowman Candle Lamp for $22.50, guaranteed to add a whimsical touch to any room. Pressing forward, I moved away from the Snowman section, hoping to find something that was more reflective of my personal style of decor. Instead, I found item 7327, the Words of Wisdom Tissue Box Cover (tissues not included) and a Pummice Stone for removing calluses. Item after terrible item, making the Lillian Vernon catalog look like Horchow. I kept looking at the items like I used to look at my old boyfriends, “I guess I could make use of this one… I could probably find a need for this…” The money is, after all, going toward curriculum materials and staff development. Frightening, though, that we are relying on the purchase of chicken-shaped egg separators to ensure that our children get a decent education...

I finally settled on some magazine subscriptions and item 1120, the all-beef summer sausage basket. Needless to say, I will not be knocking on the neighbors’ doors asking them to purchase anything, and I'm back to square one for Christmas shopping.

Perhaps next year they could just take up an offering?

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