Sunday, 17 August 2008

Fundraising

Warning: I’m climbing onto my soapbox for this...

Sausage and Dynamo are due to take part in a “skipathon” at school in a couple of weeks. They’re expected to take a form to all our friends and family and get them to sponsor them to skip for so many minutes. All the money raised will go to medical research – a very worthy cause. It's a great idea. The kids get fit and raise money at the same time. What has annoyed me, though, is that as an incentive to raising money, they are offering prizes. $25 dollars will get the child this prize, $50 that prize. The top prize is a mountain bike, along with all the smaller prizes as well. So, instead of fun, it's a competition.

When did we become so mercenary? As a child I was given weekly pocket money and I was expected to do chores. The two weren’t linked. If I didn’t do my chores, I’d be in trouble, but I still got my pocket money. Most of my friends worked on the same system. Chores were a part of being in a family. Pocket money was given to learn how to save and economise and spend. These days, kids do jobs around the house and then hold out their hand. Not in my house!

Money for charity should be raised because it’s needed, not because we might win a prize. This what’s-in-it-for-me attitude is very sad and not one I want my children to learn. It seems strange that this type of fundraising is allowed, when later in school all 15-17 year-olds are expected to do twenty hours of Community Service before they can receive their School Certificate (a great innovation brought in just recently). It’s all rather confusing to me as an adult. So what message is it giving the kids?

Now, I’ll just step very carefully off my soapbox...

3 comments:

Luc2 said...

I understand your annoyance. Also, the prizes cost money, which I assume is deducted from the money raised? That's a pity.

Angela said...

Ugh, the Boy Scouts do this every year with their popcorn sales. It bothers me, because it is a competition and unfair at that.

How can Joe kid with a single mom working as a cashier compete with another kid who has one or both professional parents in a big office building with floors of 'office buddies' as customers? (Yes sadly often it is the parents who end up 'getting' most of the sales from their work, to suppiment what their kids get on routes...especially when it means ipods or digital cameras for their little darlings for the big sales).

*grumbles and steps off soapbox*

Kate said...

I'm so glad I've not been standing on my soap box all alone! :)