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Well we are right in the swing of things with back to school.

And with back to school and back to sports and fall activities, comes back to selling… coupon books, wrapping paper, frozen foods, gift cards, and more.  And let’s face it: it’s just one more thing that usually falls to the parents to take care of!

Kids don’t usually go door-to-door anymore for a few reasons – mostly because of safety issues or just being too busy.  Some groups are able to set up shifts in front of grocery stores (or even better, liquor stores!).  Once you’ve hit up your grandparents and bachelor uncle, the usual way of selling off your inventory is to take to social media. “Who wants girl guide cookies?!”  Then, it’s up to parents to coordinate payments and delivery.

I always start off with so much enthusiasm.  If I’m selling something – I’m SELLING IT.  My first year of fundraising, we were selling frozen pies and cookie dough. YUM!  I sold to a number of people.  Then reality kicked in: the product had to be picked up at a certain time, and coordinating the delivery of perishable goods was not exactly smooth sailing.  So congratulations to me on a bunch of time spent organizing and driving around to net about $12 for preschool.  Sigh.

For those of us without larger extended families to sell to, it does get difficult to find buyers.  Let’s face it, if you buy raffle tickets to pay for my kid’s soccer fundraiser – I will feel obligated to purchase the same monetary amount of whatever you are going to be selling for your team/school!

What are kids fundraising for, anyway?!  Don’t we pay taxes as well as registration fees?  Truth is, our taxes and fees seem to just cover the very basics.  In sports, fundraising covers things like referee times, tournament times, special events and trips – and of course the big events like grad.

At school, the parent community has to raise money to help pay for field trips, extracurricular activities such as a school play, technology like iPads, and even school playgrounds.  Most of the things that are purchased at schools have to be procured through a specific process so there aren’t really any “deals” to be had.  New schools are no longer built with playgrounds, and older schools may have playgrounds that no longer meet safety requirements.  That is up to the community to pay for and to meet those safety requirements and proper labour/installation can be very costly.

I applaud the creativity coming up with new things to sell and make money on, especially when it’s something we’ll be buying anyway.  And I know that sometimes the only reason that it feels like we’re selling sooooo very much is to try to find something for everyone.  It just always feels like there’s something to remember, pay for or return… or eat, in the case of the chocolates and girl guide cookies!