The 3rd grader came home with a fundraising packet from Grafton Elementary School yesterday, marking the first fundraiser of the school year in our house (any other schools earlier?). This year, the GESPTG is going with a company that has a very eclectic catalog — you can basically buy jewelry, candles, candy, wrapping paper and… cheese spreads and meat.
I ended up calling a GESPTG member because of a condundrum: my office policy doesn’t allow me to hit up my co-workers, every other student in the neighborhood is selling this stuff and few of our relatives live close enough to look through the catalog. Last year, we were able to get around this with a Web site, but there weren’t directions on how to make sure our kid, and the school for that matter, were credited with the sale.
If you have this same issue, here you go: go to www.minkco.com where your victim will be able to shop from any catalog, whether they were the ones sent home with your child or not. Once they pick what they want, they need to indicate that they are supporting Grafton Elementary School, and there should be a field indicating which child is their salesman. They will be charged shipping, however.
I may just end up sending in a check. I’m all for raising money for the PTG, but I hate this method of doing it. It may just be fatigue from having these catalogs come home every season for the last 11 years — our daycare at the YMCA did them too and, really, my infant never really cut it as a door-to-door salesman.
The crux of it is, we’re rewarding the kids for having big sales — they all receive prizes depending on how much “they” sold, from a light-up whistle key chain up to a “1 GB MP4 player” that looks like an iPod Nano but probably isn’t or a “game console” that looks, at a quick glance, like a Wii, but is actually something called a MiWi.
But the kids aren’t selling. Door-to-door doesn’t really work in a neighborhood where every child is selling the same thing. Sales really depend on which child has the most relatives with money to burn or who has the parent who can con their co-workers into buying. This isn’t really a terrific learning experience because the child is taken out of the equation entirely. It’s more like “The Celebrity Apprentice,” without the benefit of Donald Trump’s buying power.
I just wish there was a better way and, believe me, this isn’t a criticism of the PTG. It’s how every school in every town has had to raise funds. Anyone have a better idea?