March 3, 2010

Door-to-Door Fundraiser Sales

In my neighborhood, there is a girl named Jody who plays the clarinet in the high school marching band. Last summer, she climbed a neighbor's tree and couldn't get down. The fire department had to rescue her. What Jody lacks in common sense, she more than makes up for in well-roundedness. In addition to being a musician, she is also a Girl Scout, 4-H member, and the scorekeeper for the girls' junior varsity basketball team.

I know all of this because every two weeks Jody rings my doorbell.

"I'm selling this to raise money for a band trip/sleepover at the aquarium/herd of miniature goats/monogrammed t-shirt."

Jody will say this as she holds up a laminated picture of a frozen pizza/tub of refrigerated cookie dough/coupon book.

I've purchased a couple of things from Jody over the past year. Jody's visits to my house have decreased significantly in number, however, ever since I hinted that I would be more likely to buy something that I don't need from someone who helped me shovel the driveway after it snows.

Yesterday, it was desperation that brought Jody to my door.

"I need to sell 23 more of these if I want to go to a band competition in Newark next month," she told me. She held out a box of chocolate bars.

If I were her, I would sell 23 chocolate bars to avoid going anywhere near Newark, but I kept my opinions about that part of New Jersey to myself.

"Hmmm,"I said, scratching my head. "I don't know. I have a hard time with chocolate on account of my Crohn's Disease," I told her.

Jody looked confused, but shrugged it off. She asked me flat out if I would buy her remaining supply.

I told her I would consider it if she would agree to watch my kids this Friday night so my husband and I can go out to dinner.

Jody ran down my driveway.

Suddenly Newark seemed less desirable.

36 comments

Carrie Stuart said...

OK...that is the most excellent idea for dealing with juvenile solicitors I have ever heard. I've got leaves to rake...BIG, hairy, tropical leaves. And grass that grows like nobody's business. Thanks for the tip! =^)

Gwenevere said...

I've retyped my comments FIVE times! I can't seem to property articulate how I feel about your neighbor...I'm sure your children are just as you say...why would you exaggerate such a thing...but come on...not even shovel your driveway? She's like a politician in training and it's scary!

sewmanybooks.blogspot.com

Vi said...

I love it! Sorry that your kids weren't a hit, but it was worth a shot. Keep the stories coming I am so addicted.

http://yeahyoucancallmecrazy.blogspot.com/

Kelli said...

I'm gonna remember that one next time there's a knock on my door! ;) Trouble is, it's usually the phone ringing. They've learned to sneak up on you that way now, since our county BOE no longer allows door-to-door sales by students.

sarahandmatt said...

Thank you for being funny. And thanks for keeping it real. I love a blog that's not about "how amazing my kids are". We love our kids, but let's face it--there are hard, exasperating and annoying times in there too!

Laurie said...

When I need a GUARANTEED laugh, this is where I come. And today did not disappoint. I am rolling! Won't you even consider writing a book? Seriously, BIG sales!

HW said...

My kids weren't allowed to bother the neighbors with fundraisers like that - because it makes neighbors want to run the other way when they see you coming.

I know because our neighbor children are not living under such a restriction. It's starting to get quite old.

Another hilarious post that's spot on.

prettybyrdie said...

Haha, my husband and I lived in Newark for two years. It's definitely no place for Jody!

Katie said...

Well good for you. During this Lenten season my children were so overwhelmed with the idea of giving something up that they loved (technically they don't need to yet anyway) I told them that instead of giving something up they could give more of themselves by helping. So again good for you! These kids need to give more of themselves.

annie said...

That is funny!

Anonymous said...

bless you for the brilliant ideas, although my house is scary and intimidating enough to keep most idle passers-by away.

Son and Julie said...

Haha - too funny. I just noticed that you mentioned about having Chron's disease. That is something that I struggle with too - it was really bad after my son was born, but now we seem to have it {mostly} under control. Do you talk more about your experience in some of your older posts?

julie.vuong at hotmail dot com

Emmy said...

Lol! What a good idea.. unless it was someone crazy who takes you up on the offer that you wouldn't want to :)

I was in band and had to do many fundraisers myself.. it isn't fun

Raggedy Sarah said...

Unloading junk like that is a family responsibility. Like the hams my darling aunt used to by from me every winter. She found one recently, at the very bottom of her freezer. Now, that's love.

agent99 said...

Hilarious, but accurate!! I will definitely use that one next time!After getting stuck with a couple hundred dollars worth of GS cookies, and a boat load of un-paid-for chocolates another years, I put my foot down! I refuse to participate in any fundraisers that require my child to sell something (overpriced and useless) or put money out of pocket. The pressure on my kids is ridiculous, and often, the vendor is the only one making the $$.

Anne said...

If Jody were smart, she'd know that the easiest way to do school fundraisers is to guilt teachers and other school staff into buying stuff, usually each other's. Band teacher making you sell chocolate? Hit up the basketball coach who made you sell cookie dough last month. That sort of thing. It works wonders.

And I agree it probably is for the best that Jody isn't going to Newark. New Jersey is not exactly Disneyland. Shame you couldn't offload your kids on her though.

Anonymous said...

i go to school in Newark everyday, she's not missing anything, TRUST ME.

actually, you did the girl's general safety and well being a favor by not supporting her cause.

Brianne said...

Living out the country we never get solicitors of any kind, while in the throws of oh-my-gosh-i-need-chocolate-right-now tantrum, I would imagine some kid magically showing up at my door with chocolate to sell. I never thought about the fact that they would be there to sell other things besides chocolate, and I'm the worst at saying, no. I also HATE people randomly knocking on my door. So I am thankful that I don't get solicitors. To make a long comment, not as long, thanks for a a good idea were I to have any random high school kid show up at my house.

The Carew Family said...

I am totally going to start bargaining that way when I am asked to buy things for fundraisers...wonder if it will work on my own kids???

Margaret said...

That is a great idea to get rid of them! I am going to use that from now on.

Emz said...

newark? really? Now give me a child knocking for New Zealand ---- ---- then we'll talk.

DiggyDaddy said...

Love it. I direct a church choir that includes some children of the adult members. Each week someone has something to sell. If I’m not paying $15 dollars for 2 oz of chocolate covered almonds I’m buying a plaster turtle thermometer or cheap plastic jar openers. I'm taking your idea and putting them to work!

SkippyMom said...

I lost my patience two years ago when my daughter's school's fundraising packet [cheap gifts, expensive chocolate and wrapping paper] came home on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

The wasted two hours of THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL to hype our kids up for a fundraiser.

I refuse to let my kids do it but I will purchase some paper for our personal use. The person that said only the vendors are making money is SO RIGHT - I have never seen a print out or a highlight detailing all the money that was made for the school.

I love your ruse but since I have kids that sell too I just get to say "Sorry I bought from my own kid". Works.

Laura said...

Ingenious idea. Though I would rather little Jody be ringing my doorbell than the weekly round of parents who are hocking fundraisers for their children!

The Parent Trapped said...

Fundraisers suck for all involved. I'd rather the kids just ask for money for the school. That way 100% goes for the kids, not some measly 30% and the rest to the crappy paper companies. We took down our "No Soliciting" sign when we bought our house. Why, oh why, did I ever do that?! Good luck with Little Miss Salesgirl!

The Beckster said...

Hee Hee.

This is why I don't answer my door.

Love your blog :)

Miss A said...

Brillant! Love-love your humor and perspective.

The Novelist said...

Ahhhh, the fundraisers. I hate them so much that when one of my children is asked to go door to door peddling for their team/group, I just quickly write a check and hand everything back.

I put my child in the program so I should pay for it, not my neighbors.

Sarah G {austinbygeorge} said...

Oh my gosh...I'm dying in laughter...love it!!!

Teri said...

Snow? Chocolate? If you buy me some chocolate I'll come shovel your snow. Ha Ha

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K8 said...

Okay- I have a different take on door to door fundraising. I have 4 kids ages 8 - 20 years old. All have attended or are attending Catholic Schools so as you can imagine fundraising has been a huge thorn in my side for many years! Last fall my youngest, 7 years old, changed the way I feel about fundraisers. She is painfully shy and came home from school determined to sell 10 things to earn a certain prize. I refused to participate and after several days of begging she took it upon herself to go to the neighbors (all of them she knew) without my knowledge! She managed to sell 10 things! When I realized what she had done I was shocked. However the look of pride and accomplishment on her face was an amazing moment. It was than that I realized the value of allowing her to participate in the fundraiser far beyond the obvious! She set a goal, pushed herself out of her comfort zone, accomplished that goal and best of all she gianed life skills that will help her through out her life! It is opportunities like these that help kids build real self esteem! In a world where they are given trophies for just signing up for a team our children need to take advantage of truly earning something...In the year since this experience I have seen her come out of her shell and approach life with more confidence. I think I did my other kids a real disservice by not supporting their fundraising efforts! Of course I gave my daughter a long talking too about never going door to door alone again- but this year she won't have because I will be out there supporting her! One more note on this subject- they also learn about commitment and follow through because when the stuff comes in they have to make phone calls to their customers and set-up and deliver the products to their homes. Yes it's a pain in the tail end for me, however I wish I would have understood the value of it many years ago!! As far as your reaction to the neighbor girl- you are correct she should not have asked you to buy all her remaining candy however- that fact that she was participating in fundraisier was a tough job all by itself! Unfortunately most schools and youth programs need to do fundraisers to meet short falls in their budgets and provide our children with the best possible programs they can.- Thought I would share a different take on this subject- school is about to start and fundraising season to get into full gear!

K8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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