Jump Rope for Heart and Other School Fundraisers are on my nerves…
Do you get annoyed with kids at your door selling their wares? Rarely are they selling anything but junk. Whether it’s school candy sales (like we need more candy in our life), the Boy Scouts selling microwave popcorn (can you say ‘chemical preservatives’?), or the band selling discounted meats (“mystery meat” I call it), we’ll usually just make a straight donation to the organization if we’re close to the kids who are selling, and they get more profit that way anyhow.
Besides, I’ve never had someone come to my door selling anything that wasn’t bad. (Unless you can find wrapping paper in the back of a candy catalog.)
Here are a few instances that put me on a rant recently:
- Not long ago our daughter came home with a “Jump Rope for Heart” flyer, the American Heart Association’s school fundraiser that goes on in schools all over. She loves to jump rope and was excited to do it. She showed me all the prizes they would give to kids that raise a certain amount of money, but there’s no way I’d have her raise money for the AHA. Look at the crappy information they’re still spreading: “Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.” Blah blah blah, When are they going to get it?! Thankfully her gym teacher said she could still join in the jump roping, even if she didn’t raise money. (Learn the truth about healthy fats.)
- Recently Christina wrote a great post on Girl Scout cookies, and told how she was torn on whether or not her daughter might join someday because of the issue of selling their junk food. (The comments there got cookin’ on a related topic, milk! A few people who were still misinformed about raw milk had a good back and forth going with some raw milk supporters.)
- This reminds me of the rant I went on a while back with the post, “Politically Incorrect Thoughts on Breast Cancer” where I questioned giving to organizations like Susan G. Komen or Relay for Life.
Have you ever seen kids selling something worthwhile?
The PTO leaders at our kids’ school have done some really great fundraisers instead of junk-food sales. Some are new this year and some have been going on for a few years now:
- A parent’s night out auction – this brings in a lot of money, but it’s a ton of work.
- T-shirt sales have done pretty well with the school’s logo.
- A fun one last fall was the mile-walk where the kids walked around the nearby neighborhood. There were signs along the way with health tips, and a healthy snack when they got back. Kids got pledges ahead of time (we just made a donation), and everyone was pleasantly surprised with how much this made.
- Scrip sales or those Entertainment books are always a good option, too.
- Kent loves it when kids come to our door collecting bottles and cans so he doesn’t have to do it.
What are some good alternative fundraisers that you’ve heard about?
Lynne Richardson says
I always hated those school endorsed fundraisers…aimed at using peer pressure to get all the kids to participate. If you don’t participate, you may miss PE.
Tracy Hobar Woolbright via Facebook says
Alison Edens Pruitt via Facebook says
Sarah Jones-Pereira, I disagree. Whole grains are good for most. Whole grains the way they are prepared by mainstream are not. Why, after thousands of years are they suddenly not good? Because they are no longer soaked to break down the phytic acid, releasing all the nutrients. Research Caleb Warnock/Melissa Richardson (the bread geek). They explain it so well. Caleb healed his whole system accidentally by just switching to natural yeast for his bread. He was developing a hole in his throat from acid reflux. Bread made with the natural yeast does not spike blood sugar. In fact, it kept it down even when test subjects also ate a slice of white bread hours after eating the wheat made with natural yeast.
Alison Edens Pruitt via Facebook says
I’d have them look into the research on salt (table) and sugar that shows that it harms the cardio system. And also the simple fact that fat, (good fat) is needed for so many reasons including absorbing certain vitamins, lining your nerves, keeping brain healthy. Anyone who has taken anatomy and physiology (ALL doctors) should know that. Telling someone to cut out fat it so wrong. Telling someone to cut out packaged processed foods is what is needed.
Amen Keights via Facebook says
Crap crap crap and more crap
Cathy Finnesgard via Facebook says
Read The Big Fat Surprise! It’s absolutely astounding how a hypothesis turned into ” settled science” without ever being confirmed with actual science. Everyone worried about heart disease should read this book. The “cure” is causing the disease!
Terri Warriner via Facebook says
This could have been my husband a couple of years ago. After being on the GAPS diet for a year he is feeling much better and able to do the activities he once did without pain. He eats eggs daily, meats and healthy fats, but organic and no GMO or grains.
Sarah Jones-Pereira via Facebook says
Please, please read the Cholesterol Delusion and Wheat Belly. Whole grains are not good – a slice of wheat bread has a higher glycemic index (74) than a tablespoon of straight sugar (51). Sugar damages your arteries like little razors and your body produces cholesterol to repair the lesions like little Bandaids.
Susan Waite Blanchfield via Facebook says
At this point in time and with the world wide web, I would just say, Bon Appetit.
Heather Markhart Waring via Facebook says
I would point out the studies coming out now that are showing otherwise, and I would point to some current researchers that believe, based on their scientific work that this thinking is in error. You can really only leave it at that. Some people are more prone to question the status quo and medical “authorities” and some choose to trust because to do so is just too confusing. You really can’t force someone to not trust. All you can do is give her information and let it go. I stress thought that you can really only point to scientific studies, not pseudoscience books, even if they are more approachable.
Cecilia Krueger via Facebook says
what can you say other than that we know that information to be false and the institutions to be in error…
I don’t like fundraisers either. They get the kids all excited about prizes that are impossible to win. The instructions say you are not to let your children go door-to-door. So…that means the kids who win the best prizes have parents who are the good sellers. Not at all fair to kids who actually do make an effort. I caved and got certificates for magazines from my granddaughter. So far, no magazines but I have gotten emails telling me my subscription is about to run out. Never again. I’ll write a check to support the PTA.
Sara Vance at ReBalance Life via Facebook says
I would also recommend Dr. Mark Houston’s book – What Your Doctor may not Tell You About Heart Disease.
Dr. Houston is the Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Director of the Hypertension Institute, Vascular Biology and the Life Extension INstitute at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN.https://www.amazon.com/What-Doctor-about-Heart-Disease/dp/1609412540
Dena Lacis via Facebook says
The foods her cardiologist recommends (fish, veggies, fruits, whole grains) are good but so are healthy natural fats.
Aida Kling via Facebook says
I would recommend Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore. read the book, listen to any podcast on the subject.
Christie Lynn Edds Cali via Facebook says
Well consider your information source. I don’t know but I would guess the heart association is made up of cardiologists……they work on damaged hearts. Now….it is possible that the advice they give may not be to get you healthy but rather to get you to come back.
If you are worried about heart disease try to eat as naturally as possible. Major on veggies and good meat, minor on carbs and sweets.
Lynn Tarasek Minney via Facebook says
i could send them a copy of my bloodwork & also ask them who has ever been cured by taking those pills.
Gaby Knodel via Facebook says
I would suggest that this person should see this movie for a start https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yoni-freedhoff/nutrition-labels_b_4181633.html
My cardiologist has instructed me to avoid saturated fats! He said it’s those very fats that cause artery blockages. I cut fat out of my diet as much as possible and take a statin to prevent any blockages from forming in my arteries. Why would such a reputable organization like The American Heart Association want to mislead anyone? They are responsible for a plethora of research and development in curing and preventing heart disease. I used to eat meat, eggs and fatty foods and that’s why I need a cardiologist now. She has me on a diet consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and fish. I’m confident that I’ll be cured with medication and diet.
[email protected] says
Our Elem school sells wrapping paper in the fall and “green” tote bags in the Spring. We also have a school carnival, t-shirt sales, parking spot raffle, coupon books and several other things in addition to the “opt out” option. My daughter did the Jump Rope for Heart this week (though we didn’t collect any $) and the diabetes walk last Fall.
Our local swim team does a “Splash for Cash” where the swimmers accept pledges for how many laps they can swim in a set period of time. I was shocked how many my little swimmers could do and paid dearly for it. 🙂
Our boy scout troop will place a large American flag in your yard for several federal holidays for a $50 donation a year. I love this fundraiser.
As a PTO Co-President, I can tell you that we wrestle with the decision of what fundraiser to have the kids do (we are parents too!) We are trying a trivia night this year with teams of 4-6 parents (adult only). The money will be made from the team registration fee, the “mulligans” they can purchase if they are in trouble with a question and various raffles and auctions we will have going on during the event. It’s a great night out – tons of fun and hopefully we will generate some money for our school. We also offer an “opt out” option to all parents at the beginning of the year, where they can donate an amount and not be asked to participate in any fundraising. We got quite a bit of money that way for some much needed extra funding for classroom grants. 🙂
I’d never heard of schools offering an “opt out” option, what a great idea! 🙂
My son’s school sells trashbags good quality ones. They are expensive but a lot of people buy them. I don’t like the idea of the pto rewarding the kid who sells the most though.
A local religious organization sells wreaths and trees at Christmas
Clay Boggess says
Discount cards offer value to consumers because they get to save money at their local favorite establishments and the merchants benefit as well from the increase in foot traffic. The cards pay for themselves after the first couple of uses and the card holder can use the card with every merchant each day for a full year. The key is remembering to pull them out of your purse or wallet when the opportunity arises.
I hate fundraisers. There, I said it. I do…all the stuff they have the kids sell is a) overpriced or b) of poor quality or c) some combination of both! I think it is so sad that we are bribing people to donate to good causes by “giving” them something in return for their donation. More than half the money goes to keeping this fund-raising companies in business and they’re selling made-in-China stuff. Why not just ask people to do penny drives or have a twice a year fundraiser whereby we just solicit donations…no need for junk to change hands…no need for people to feel guilty for not wanting to spend money on stuff they don’t need or shouldn’t eat. Just ask people to give $10 or $20 bucks to donate their neighborhood school. Simple, transparent, and right.
Have you ever heard of Wildtree? It’s a direct sales company that sells foods with no preservatives, dyes, MSG, corn syrup, or GMO’s. They carry sauces, oils, spice blends, baking mixes and more. And they also have a fundraising option! The food is not perfect, but it’s a HUGE step in the right direction compared to some of what’s out there! http://www.mywildtree.com/angelaheatwole will tell you more.
Rachel J. says
My son is now being enlisted to do these. I HATED fundraisers as a child, even the ones asking for money for doing math problems for the children’s hospital. We did one, selling overpriced chocolate bars, and ended up having to buy a dozen left over from the box that didn’t sell. I felt bad offering them to friends and neighbors who don’t need any more junk food in their lives. The next sales were candles (which are extremely toxic, won’t be allowed in my house and will not be offered to others) and frozen danish braids. I had thought about approaching the school about selling seeds or plants as a fund raiser but I don’t know how well it would go over in our community. I like the idea of just giving a donation in lieu of a purchase (not that I would feel I need to do that for every fundraiser that comes my way). It’s still providing support without supporting the junk.
I’m a chapter leader for a local chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and being a completely volunteer run non-profit organization we have to find ways to raise our funds. I refuse to sell stuff that I myself wouldn’t eat or use (except for the yard sales we hold, that’s exactly what’s being offered there, lol). Some successful ideas for different chapters have been flower bulb sales, speed babysitting (similar to speed dating where lots of babysitters are brought in and parents can do quick interviews), or sales set up with companies like Usborne books or Pampered Chef.
My comment on fundraisers is, ugh! Crap and nonsense. What happened to kids *working* to raise their money? To raise funds for our bus rides to our sporting events, we had to work a full day in the summer wearing an itchy burlap tunic picking up garbage and scooping elephant poop at our local Renaissance Fair–one full day for each sport/extra curricular activity. The most palatable one going on right now is with the Boy Scouts who email us (they know us) and sell and deliver bags of mulch in the spring.
Thanks for the rant, Kelly! These are really good comments, too. I feel the same way about kids selling junk food, but when I try to explain to my top-seller boyscout popcorn nephew that I won’t be buying it because we won’t eat it, or the neighbor girl that $24 for a dozen uncooked cookies (yes-$2 per COOKIE) that we won’t eat is too much…I feel like a heartless freak! I am SO glad to know finally that I’m not alone! (and I don’t mean by that that you all are heartless freaks too….) 🙂
Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama says
We did a silent auction when I was in high school. Lots of local businesses donated items and gift certificates, for things like massages, dinner out, etc. and people bid on those. We’ve done it at my midwives’ office, too, though then it was “green and natural” gifts, like home canned salsas, cloth diapers, etc. Those have gone over really well!
While my kids were in public schools I hated all those fundraisers…. if it wasn’t junk food…..it was junk for the home. I told them NO we would not be selling the stuff. So on the day when the “prizes” were distributed at school I would take them to buy a new movie and watch it that afternoon. When my older boys began playing highschool football and baseball they sold Vidalia onions 10 – 20 – 50 pound bags (we live in Georgia) and we also sold Christmas trees. Loved those fundraisers! So now we homeschool the two younger boys and no more fundraisers! YAY!!!
I just had to speak up on this one! We opted out on fund raisers when my kids were little. I really felt convicted at the time by the Bible verse that admonishes us to “prefer others above ourselves.” One of the items being offered was cheap chocolate at $10 for 4oz. That’s $40/lb!! I called the best candy shop in town and their chocolate was under $30. If my neighbor truly wanted chocolate, he could get it at a far better price elsewhere. I thought that gouging the neighbors was not the best example of Christian love, so we passed. I do like the idea of kids doing honest labor for honest money, however.
My HS band did a Citrus sale every year. The boxes were shipped straight from Florida, and were very fresh for what we could get in NY. Everyone always looked forward to that one.
I used to seel the fruit for band too. I don’t know whatever happened to that, but it was always super fresh and probably the only fundraiser my Mom ever got excited about.
Stanley Fishman says
I have never had anyone come to the door with anything worth buying.
I particularly dislike professional charities like the ones you mentioned exploiting children to make money, especially when these charities, which live off the disease they are supposed to be fighting, spread misinformation.
I stopped buying Girl Scout Cookies ages ago when I realized that their price had doubled since I sold them. Seriously, I’m not even 30 years old! I’m too young to give a kid the “When I was your age” speech outside a grocery store. The really sad part is that kids just don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to buy cookies (or whatever) for charity. They’re not really trying to guilt you; they just haven’t learned the gritty reality of “charities” and manipulation.
And thanks for the link to your Komen post. I was trying to find it the other day to explain to my mom why I no longer supported “Race for the Cure.”
The kid’s fund raisers got to me as well, but for a slightly different reason. I’m tired of kids being resellers and this year I am trying to only support fundraisers where the kids are having to put forth the effort themselves. For example, I will not buy chocolate bars, wrapping paper, or raffle tickets anymore. But, if I see a local kids car wash or lemonade stand… I’ll make a detour (and I rarely participated in car washes before). Or a pumpkin patch where I know the kids did the picking, and preferably the growing too!
Skipping on girl scout cookies this year was a hard one for me. That’s my comfort food once a year. But my resolve was encouraged when not one girl scout asked if I wanted to buy cookies, but at least three moms posted on facebook and sent emails that “cookies are now for sale”! hmmm. Who’s doing the selling?
Kids are going to have to show me they are working, participating, and learning something to earn my next donation. Oh dear, that sound so harsh! Tough love? Will the sweet little girl scout at my door understand? Now comes the duel of principles vs. guilt.
I personally did not like the pressure of selling.
1) First of all, it never settled well with me to go door to door to bother people pleading for their hard-earned money. They did not know me, or what I would really need that money for, nor did I know them and if they were crazy or not 🙂
2) I did not like the pressure in the classroom. If you do not sell, you are kind of being “singled-out” but if I didn’t sell something, my fees wouldn’t be significantly dropped and I don’t think $ would have been provided from my parents to go on the choir trips we took (ex, Disney’s Candlelight in Orlando – sang for a Christmas show)
3) Now that I am out of school, I do not like the pressure of the co-workers to buy something. One of my jobs, practically all of the office ladies had kids, they all were selling at the same time (talk about really blowing a budget!) I wouldn’t buy anything at first. I did end up getting a belt hanger from one catalog though, which has a purpose, but I ignored all the other “stuff”
I like some of the other good ideas that I read on this one. A new one I learned about before moving from South FL was with a buffet chain – it was called Sweet Tomatoes (healthier version of buffets), and even though I don’t think any of it was organic, I thought it was good, & a good way to get your money’s worth instead of the super rich cheesecakes I sold.
When I was in elementry school, I remember selling christmas cards and wrapping paper. Now that is practical! When I was in band in High school, we put a cookbook together and sold that, and we also sold atlases. We also sold “Safeway” bucks. A person would buy $100 of bucks and the organization would get $10. That way no one lost out but Safeway, I like that! My niece is selling magazine subcriptions for her Jr. High, sorry, but we don’t buy magazines. Even if she is my niece. We homeschool and have to fork out money for our own education, I probably won’t give money or buy from my niece just so she can win a prize. Some people might call me cold hearted, but that is life. I still love her and she knows it.
Lisa @ Happy in Dole Valley says
I’m not commenting about the fundraisers (although, as a homeschooling mom, I often consider sending out my kids to sell homemade cookies to raise funds for our summer camping trips, etc. hahaha). Kelly, you linked in this post to your post on healthy fats. We’re still fairly new to the “Real Foods” way of eating and find overcoming the brainwashing we’ve received for most of our lives to be a daunting task. Just last week I received word from my MD that my cholesterol is TOO HIGH and that I’ll have to go on drugs if I don’t go on a low fat diet. Give up coconut oil? Butter? I don’t think so. Thank you for all the thoughtful writing you do on this topic as well as the many links you provide. 🙂 Blessings, Lisa
When I was a kid, our school had a great fundraiser that they still continue now. A Jog-a-thon. Kids ask friends and family for pledges depending on the number of laps they run. People can pledge a flat amount or a certain amount per lap. It can be something really small, like a nickel a lap, but the kids exercise, work for a cause and people can help as much or as little as wanted. I’d way rather do something like that than those cookie dough sales, etc.
Mike Lieberman says
My nephew’s school in Florida was doing a fundraiser where they were selling seed starter kits, but they were geared towards kids like a “Pizza Garden” that had tomatoes, basil and onion seeds.
They were raising funds for a school trip to Washington, DC.
Heather M says
I don’t like the fundraisers.
I had a mother with 2 young children come to my door and no one was buying anything, I felt bad for the little ones so I bought an $8.00 ceramic thing to put in the bag of bread so it would stay fresh longer. She never brought me my stuff nor gave me my money back. After that I put a No Soliciting sign on my door.
I also agree that kids are given way too much candy and the sorts now a days. My daughter is 4 and after Sunday school class they pass out 2 pieces of candy. Why do they need the candy. I have a real issue with this, which I will be addressing my concern with the teacher. My husband thinks I am crazy and over react with my concern with the junk food issue. We as a society are being assulted with all this crap/sugar and the other evil imposter “foods”. As you know most people have no clue what their food is about. Everytime I am in the grocery story I watch what people have in their carts and it is no wonder people are sick:(
Sorry, went off track a little, but it had to do with all the junk in fund raisers.
Haha, that’s a good point about the candy and SS. I did teaching and gave out candy. Although, it was rare, and they were preteens, but I figured at the time it was not a huge issue since it was a treat. Treats are still fun, but now I know differences, I would have been better off making them something instead (although, I was still living at home w/ my parents going to school and PT job, so I had some difficulty when it felt more like Mom’s domain 😀 )
Just in case though, I would let her know nicely just in case she takes it wrongly.
Thanks for the good point 🙂
Jenny Hughes says
I forgot. They also sell flowers and vegetable plants in the spring. They all come from a local nursery and the flowers and vegtables are very hardy. These sell themselves and we still have repeating customers who really like the flowers.
I have never been crazy about fundraisers either but the pumpkin sales and flowers sales haven’t been that bad. It’s nice that the boys get something for their time.
Jenny Hughes says
YES!! My sons Scout troop sells pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks etc., in the fall to raise money for their troop. Those who work it can get a percentage of sale in their scout account. This runs about a month long and each scout signs up for at least 3 shifts.
All these fundraisers basically exploit our kids as cheap labor so they can win a few trinkets. Schools are desperate for money so they buy into it. I agree with just writing a check sometimes.
However, a friend’s school has a Holiday Shopping Bazaar for the kids that is just great. Parents donate assorted small items from their homes (great way to clean stuff out) and then the kids can go shopping for gifts. Everything is priced between .25 cents and $5.00. The kids feel grown-up and the school gets all the proceeds.
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says
Yes, I hate those fundraisers! They want you to sell 1000 boxes of something just so the kids can get some worthless “prize” for selling and they have a “party” for the class who sells the most. I have 3 kids and they ALL want to sell the stuff.
I agree, the ones that offer healthy motivation like a run or a walk are better. The ones just asking for loose change as a donation or something simple. I think getting children out there to sell junk is annoying. The kids ONLY do it for the prizes or the party, they don’t care what the CAUSE is. I homeschool now so I don’t have to worry about that anymore, just one less thing to stress over! 🙂
We’ve always been fans of kids *working* for a fundraiser. Even if my car was just washed, I’ll spend my money at a kids car wash. Around holidays gift wrapping fundraisers are fabulous. One of our local high school sports teams even paints houses (the paint is donated) as a fundraiser.
I would like to see a school do up a little cookbook with kids favorite recipes for their fundraiser. I see them from churches, so apparently it is practical to do, does it take too much time, is that why they do not have them? I know not everyone cooks, but any school could find a handful of parents who cook and gather recipes and have kids illustrate them. Even if they are not true real food, it is a positive step, way better that the frozen cookie dough stuff my daughter brought home a catalog for last fall, and it reminds kids that food is not always something you take out of a box and microwave.