Check, please! Season of school fundraisers upon us

By Melanie Yingst - Guest columnist

My girlfriend texted me earlier this week to see if I was interested in buying an Entertainment Book to help her twins afford the annual trip to D.C.

We are in Full-Swing School Fundraising Season, folks.

Boy, that sure didn’t take long.

I’m as thrifty as it they come, but I knew I’d never use this brick of a book other than for a doorstop. I pleaded with her to just let me write a check towards their trip and she immediately felt bad for the offer. So I compromised and told her to hit me up when the Poinsettia sale kicked off. She finally agreed.

I can’t be the only one that would rather give pure cash than be saddled with something I don’t want, like or need, right? Why has this become such an odd concept? I don’t need a catalogue of coupons to feel as though my support was worthwhile. In fact, I’d rather write a check for the $30 straight to the child rather than they only receive $12 per order out of it. It doesn’t make much mathematical sense and this is a school fundraiser!

I’d rather write the check and receive a “Thank You” note which costs 50 cents for the stamp. That would be enough for me. Yet, somehow we’ve bought into the guilt of the giving and receiving circle of nonsense.

My son, of course, was caught up in the “Reward Hype” where if they sell so much junk, I mean items, they receive prizes. I gently explained that if he wanted a glow stick for selling $100 worth of stuff, I’d gladly go buy him one at the Dollar Tree. Heck, I’d buy multiple glow sticks for him and his friends if only they left me alone about these ridiculous fundraisers.

He then shared how if a student was to sell hundreds of dollars worth of junk, I mean items, he could be the owner of some kind of gaming system I’ve never even heard of. I’m sure the games are $75 apiece, too.

I then informed him if he’d just let me not buy anything or solicit anyone in our family, I’d gladly buy him that same game system for Christmas as long as he didn’t shove another candle order form or wrapping paper flyer in my face.

Is it too much to ask that these fundraisers would just sell stuff that I like such as cases of Corona Light and refills for my vaping pens?

Local FFA groups sell fruit each fall, why can’t they compress some of those grapes and just sell cases of wine? What? School children selling wine? Psh. Make sure the sale falls sometime around book report season and watch those cases sell themselves folks! Wine never goes bad!

OK, please note that I’m totally joking about schools selling wine to raise money (but, if you steal my idea somehow I totally am trademarking it).

OK, how about selling something else practical like, let’s say, oil changes. I mean, we are driving these children to and from every activity under the sun. Those recommended 3,000 miles come up fast!

Or, how about something for those who enjoy the outdoors? How about bulk mulch? If I could write a check and have mulch delivered to my home and know that some of that money went to Johnny’s leadership conference in Billings, Montana, I’d be thrilled. And my flower beds would never look better.

All in all, I know all the money that is raised throughout the year goes to support great kids who want to do great things.

But, please, just let me write a check.

By Melanie Yingst

Guest columnist

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News.