Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Raising Money and Hurting Feelings

My older son's school sent home a flyer a few weeks ago about a Valentine's Day fundraiser.  For $1, a friendship bracelet could be sent to any student at the school.  My heart sunk.  I had sort of hoped that these fundraisers had gone the way of the dodo bird.  I mean, what better way to raise money than to show elementary school kids, in a very direct visual way, who the popular kids are?  What could possibly go wrong with that?

Another mom I know once bought each and every child in her child's class one of the tokens (a rubber duck in that case), so that no child had to be the one who didn't get a single one.  We contemplated doing the same for our son's class, but in the end, decided that making the fundraiser a success probably wasn't the best way to combat it.

But then we wimped out.  We made sure one would be sent to our kid, but we also let him pick a few friends to send a bracelet to.  He chose five friends - 3 in his class, and 2 in another kindergarten class.  So we did contribute to this awful fundraiser.  And today, when my son received only the one bracelet that we sent to him, his feelings were hurt.  And I feel like a bad mom.  I wasn't brave enough to speak out to the school about what a bad idea I thought this was, and I wasn't even willing to not participate in it.  Do I complain now?  Would it matter?  Or do I just refuse to participate in the future?  When this comes up again next year, do I pay the silly $1 so my son receives at least one? Or stand firm that this is a terrible way to raise money?

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