Home > Move over, Scrooge!

Move over, Scrooge!

October 15th, 2011 at 01:19 am

I'm warning you, this is a rant...

This has been a week where we have been hit up by kids and fundraisers.

I get the fundraising idea...I'm a teacher and schools and organizations are trying to raise money.

But, it has gotten to the point where some folks know no shame in my book.

We were out for a walk the other day and the neighbor girl stopped us and asked us politely to buy something for Girl Scouts. I had no problem with that. We know her and we are friends with her family. She was polite and thanked us for our order.

We were at Lowe's last weekend and there was a group of Boy Scouts at the exit asking if we wanted to buy stuff. We politely said no and they were courteous and didn't push it. I can live with that.

Tuesday the doorbell rings and it is a little boy and his mom. He's selling popcorn for Boy Scouts. I don't know either him or mom. I do think these folks ought to at least let us know where they are from -- if they are from our neighborhood, it would be nice to know. We bought some very overpriced popcorn. We figured we'd be equal opportunity -- Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

We've had other folks stop us and ring the doorbell in the past few weeks as well.

However, the kicker was we went to eat for a belated birthday celebration for my husband with another couple on Tuesday. Two girls ran up to our table and asked us to buy a a box of chocolates. I have no idea who they were and where they were from. We declined and they repeated the request. I told them no again, and one asked why we wouldn't. I was honest -- I told her that I had just bought some popcorn off of a Boy Scout earlier that evening. I guess I was the first person to tell her no. I guess some folks would say I'm mean, but I figure I've bought off of two kids this week and I have different organizations and charities I support. I really don't want to purchase overpriced junk from children I don't know. I have a budgeted amount of money for things and right now chocolates aren't on my list. And as for giving them as a gift, if you've ever opened a box of these fundraising chocolates, it is almost all packing and few makes one look cheap! I may be cheap, but I'd prefer not to look that way for gifts.

So, I guess Scrooge better move over, because I may have just bumped him out of his cheapo place.

7 Responses to “Move over, Scrooge!”

  1. Jenn Says:

    I am SO with you on this. We're even in Cub Scouts and we don't do the fundraising. Instead we make a donation to the pack. That way we don't have to ask friends & family to buy overpriced stuff and 100% of our donation goes to a good cause. (vs. 50% or less if you buy the 'stuff')

    I decline the school and sports fundraising too. Now you know you're not the worst scrooge!

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, hot button time. I don't support any fundraising for scouts. It's not that I don't think they are nice organizations, but in my opinion if you make the decision to put your kids into scouts (or any other activity) you need to be able to fund it yourself. Otherwise don't put them in. Besides the "food" that they sell is extremely unhealthy.

    I dislike them setting up at grocery stores and asking you both on the way in and on the way out. I don't think the grocery stores should allow all entrances to be used for fundraisers, there should be one you can go in and out without being bothered. Then again, I don't like it when the grocery stores want you to contribute a dollar to some random cause.

    The parents of those girls that came up to you at the table in a restaurant should be ashamed of themselves. I'm surprised the restaurant staff didn't put a stop to that.

    I will, on occasion, support a car wash or the March of Dimes walk-a-thon where the kids are actually putting out some physical effort to earn money, but I prefer to make my charitable contributions where I want to make them and not because someone is trying to push me into something I don't want to support.

  3. ktmarvels Says:

    While I think the above story illustrates there is a good way and a bad way of selling items, I think that in general these activities are good and important lessons for children to learn. I was in Girl Scouts all throughout my schooling, from 1st grade through 12th grade and I got SO MUCH from those fundraisers. First, it taught me how to deal with the public, to develop the courage to ask someone if they want to buy those cookies, then it taught me how to smile and say "have a nice day" if they were rude or just tried to ignore us.

    Second, the money raised from selling those cookies help fund the normal troop activities, but also took me on fantastic trips to the 1996 Olympic games and an International Girl Scout event in England. There is no way my parents could have just footed the bill, nor should they have to. I wanted to go on the trip and fundraising was how I was able to do it.

    It's everyone's choice whether to donate or not, but I really try to because I got so much out of it and think those kids will to.

  4. NJDebbie Says:

    I bought some overpriced popcorn the other day from my neighbor's grandchild. I rather make a donation than buy things I have no interest in.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Ugh, reminds me of the activists on every corner of downtown the past couple summers in Minneapolis. Mind you, not a single cause I wouldn't support, but I already have regular donations and I don't like to make decisions based on someone haranguing me on the street. Summer is so short and I spend a lot of time in downtown; it really ticked me off after a couple months of dodging dozens of them a week.

  6. retire@50 Says:

    I really hate this type of thing also. I especially dislike having to run the gauntlet to get into stores. I shouldn't be accosted to buy junk just to get into a store. However, I don't believe I am the rude person in that scenario, I think the sellers are rude. I donate to the charities that are important to me, and don't see why I have to be bombarded with pleas for help everywhere I go.

    Also, I distrust most big charities. I feel way too much of the money is wasted on overhead.

  7. baselle Says:

    I'm with you and I work in the industry. (I'm part of a non-profits' overhead. Frankly everybody is someone's overhead.)

    I say no often and liberally especially to the "chuggers" (charity mugger) - what we call those street corner harangers that ceejay mentioned. I say no to door to door sales people. I say no to the candy sellers who blitz through the coffee shop ... its usually an older guy and a bunch of kids and it looks like a 21st century version of Oliver Twist. I say "no, I'm sorry" to the panhandlers. I say no to school fundraisers (the candy, candles, and gift wrap stuff) when it was all the rage. I say no to the phone solicitors.

    I have my traditions for my giving and my budget. I buy one box of Girl Scout cookies IF the girl scout asks me (deal is off if the parent asks), I put in $5 bill in the Salvation Army bucket, I buy a Real Change weekly from a regular vendor, I sometimes round up to give if the cause interests me. I give a large gift to the non-profit where I work.

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