Fundraisers at Affluent “Public” Schools

Econ-mom: Ok, I’m a little short on time for blogging since I’ve been solo parenting for 11 days (not that I’m counting!!) – but it’s time for a mini-rant. I do not like it when the kiddos’ school has a fundraiser that takes place during school hours. This week they have a book fair, and they’re bringing the kids to “look” at the books – parents were encouraged to send money with their child to purchase books. They do a similar thing with a “gift shop” over the holidays. I didn’t send any money – I wish I could say it was on principle versus the fact that I didn’t check my emails last night – but honestly I am not a fan. I am quite sure that no one at our school can’t afford a book for their kid, but do we really need to wallow in our affluence?

Law-mom: I 100% agree! 1) Middle-of-the-day anything is hard on working parents; 2) the constant “asks” for money around here drives me crazy. Our book store sale happens just a month before Christmas, when they herd in unsuspecting visitors for a “Special Someone Day.” The kids pounce on their “Special Someone’s” with wish lists — written at the command of the teachers!

This phenomenon is layered with problems. The first being: Not everyone has a “Special Someone” nearby who does not work. Second, most working parents already have to ask for too many favors from relatives and friends. And some of us (ahem) don’t particularly LIKE having to ask for such favors. Third, the “Special Time” with each child is sprinkled inconveniently around the day, so that your Special Someone has to stick around the area for hours at a stretch. (E.g., this year, one child’s time slot was at 10:30 and the other, 2:30. Each Special Someone time period is 30 minutes.) Fine, I suppose, if they live nearby (many grandparents around here do) but not all Special Someone’s live right next door. And then, while they are there, they (the Special Someones with the the children) get herded into the “sales” room to buy the books off the child’s wish lists!


My children now know: “Do NOT expect your Special Someone to buy you any books!” But the first year this happened, I had no clue about it and could give no warning to either my children, nor my mother, who felt completely bamboozled by the experience.

Could this ruse by any less of a thinly veiled disguise to straight-jacket people into spending more money on books for already spoiled children? Should I go on? Needless to say, I’m sure my views are unappreciated by whomever came up with this devious ploy. But I find the day extremely distasteful, irksome, and inconvenient.


Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this post, we used the abbreviation “SS” for Special Someone as shorthand, not realizing the acronym also referred to a sub-group of Nazis. We apologize for any offense taken as certainly none was intended. Apparently, our history education was quite deficient. Either that, or motherhood has caused more brain atrophy than previously thought possible.