Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 11:20 am in Teens.
We’ve all seen them — the form letter begging for money for the sender’s sports team, school organization or church group. Unless coming from a family member, these letters usually end up in our shredder. Not because we purposely avoid being charitable. We simply don’t believe that authority figures (coaches, sponsors or church leaders) should be turning kids into solicitors.
Consider the kids. My friend’s son was in tears because his coach insisted each player send out 10 letters asking friends and family for money. If he didn’t, this young man had to run laps after practice. Since when did begging for money become a stipulation for playing high school sports?
Perhaps these authority figures are looking for the easy way out. Maybe it takes too long to hold a car wash (where teammates would learn more about teamwork) or takes too much effort to actually have kids sell items, such as candy bars (where kids learn the ropes of selling and those giving money get something in return).
Even so, there are tons of easy fundraising ideas that won’t leave our kids feeling uncomfortable or penalized. Tons of resources exist providing tips for effective fundraising. The popular eScrip program even offers a solution that provides a continuous stream of revenue without the outright demand for cash. Kids simply collect and register numbers from grocery loyalty or rewards cards. Once the cards are registered, participating merchants make donations based on the individual’s purchases.
My friend’s son sent the obligatory letters, along with a note from his mother asking the recipients not to return the envelopes with money. Her family already has made a financial contribution to the team. She and her husband have offered to help coordinate actual fundraising activities. They aren’t looking to take the easy way out; they want their son to enjoy his sporting experience — and that doesn’t include running laps because he is unwilling to ask for a handout.
— Ann Tatko-Peterson