Putting the “fun” in Fundraising

So this is not the usual post about some cool place or fun event in the area. It’s one of those rare parenting “aha” moments when you think you feel one way about something and life surprises you.

Once school and fall sports started, it was time for the inevitable fundraising. Only this time, my daughter had TWO campaigns going at once, one for softball and one for band. We had done one for softball last year and absolutely dreaded it. It felt like something the parents had to take on more than the kids, and my husband and I hated asking people to contribute. So we mostly covered what we were supposed to sell.

This time around, with double the demand to sell, I realized it was time for a different approach; after all, you can only ask so much from extended family! So, determined to pick up some sales and not take it all on myself, my daughter and I went old school, and hit the streets (specifically, OUR street) last week. The plan was to walk the street with her, but have her go door-to-door with her sales pitch(es).

Here are the results, and my conclusions:

– People are lovely. We know some people on our street, but not all, and after visiting about 90% of the 55 house street, everyone outside of two ordered something. Some even bought a couple items or bought both a raffle ticket and food item from both fundraisers. Lesson: Always answer the door when a kid is on the other side. And: It only takes a few bucks to make someone’s day! Support other’s kids as you would want the same done for yours.

–  It’s so easy to just drive in and out of your driveway each day but doing this reminded me of how important it is to foster a sense of community where you live. A place where kids can put their social skills to the test and be supported and rewarded for their efforts. Lesson: Get out there and walk the neighborhood and get to know folks!

– It was a great experience for my daughter. She can be shy around adults and this was a good way for her to push herself, interact with adults, use her manners, speak about a subject and answer questions. I wasn’t sure she would be up for it but not only did she do well; she actually got really into it, encouraged with each sale and wanting to keep going. Lesson: Eventually sending your kids out into the big world starts with small steps in your neighborhood.

– It’s also such a relief for parents, when you realize your kids can take on some of these types of efforts. And it’s good for kids to understand where the money goes and what it takes financially to participate in various activities. Lesson: Sometimes, your kids are capable of doing more than you think.

– Once home, it’s also a lesson in organization and finances — maintaining the list of orders and counting all the money and checks. Lesson: Involve kids in the finances for their activities. And learning to be organized will help in all aspects of life.

Thanks to her efforts, she sold all that she needed to sell for both fundraisers and thanks to the generosity of our family, friends and neighbors, we both learned some valuable lessons along the way. Thank you! Thank you!

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