Why am I afraid of our school’s jog-a-thon? It happens annually, this same time of year. Normally, we just pay some money and be done with it. Typically, I’m working and have enough money to spare so I’ll do $50.00 for each kid and opt out of asking people for $$. I HATE asking people for money.
I remember the first time, my son’s 1st grade year. (He’s now in 6th) We went all out, sent notices to extended family, only daddy’s aunts, uncles, and adult cousins. (no families with young school aged kids were included because we knew they had their own fundraisers) We raised a little over $300.00 that year. And, their class still did not win the highest amount donated resulting in a limo ride and lunch with principal. It’s difficult when one girl’s daddy works for Google and Google matches their donated amount. If you weren’t in Cathy’s class, you weren’t winning.
Although our extended family is well-off financially, they still had their own kids preparing for college or grandkids’ fundraisers, and due to our request, that opened the flood gates to ask us for $$ in return: high school graduations, college graduations, weddings, babies… It was more costly (in the end) for us asking multiple family members for 1 fundraiser.
Therefore, the following year, we reduced down and just asked my husband’s sister, and my mom and dad only. Then I thought about how my mom and dad were on a retired/very limited income and my mom will never say no, but really can’t afford to spend extra $$. So, I stopped asking her. That limited us to just my sister-in-law, but then she had her kids hit us up for their multiple fundraisers (not just school, but sports and theater too) Again, we ended paying more $$ out…and we were basically “swapping” checks for each other’s events. So we talked and agreed, we’d not ask each other anymore and just pay from our own accounts for our kids.
This worked fine for us this past couple of years. Except, this year, I’m not working. We don’t have the $$. However, our school really PRESSURES you stating it’s “the only fundraiser of the year” which is a total lie! We are constantly being asked for $$ or a product, to donate some socks for the less fortunate, coin drives for the community, carnival for the school, Jog-a-thon for the PTA, … my favorite is the school ASB, our elementary has an ASB that requires separate funds? Isn’t that high school? Every time we turn around, $5.00 here, donations to a basket for Teacher appreciation or silent auction at the carnival. Room parties. It’s too much.
Back to the Jog-a-thon MONSTER
Of course, they wanted us to turn in our PLEDGE ENVELOPES today, regardless if we are participating so they can keep count. I think it’s because I feel badly we don’t have the $$ to participate this year, but I’m really annoyed. Because we’re not donating any money this year, and refuse to ask others, there’s really no point in our kids participating in the actual event this Friday. (here’s your blank/empty envelope back- with embarrassing notes we aren’t participating- please don’t give us a guilt trip.)
To have our kids attend school that day, but not participate in the event would be cruel as they would have to sit out and watch as a DJ is blasting music and popsicles are offered after to the participants. It’s quite the spectacle, neighbors can hear it from all around. You cannot “not” have your child participate without them feeling left out and badly (kids will tease them)..but they can only participate if you send money (pledges). (so, the parent feels pressure) – later the classroom coordinator will send this envelope back to us requesting pledges to be collected and $$ turned in- they will claim they did not see our note. (they have done this scenario on an earlier request for money at the start of the school year)
There is more to this nightmare scenario. My son has a learning disability, and they (the school/district) disqualified him recently from free help from the OT. Yet, all the thousands of dollars we raised for the school over the years (we’ve always given to all requests), and my son cannot get assistance because he “scored too high” (right on the average line just missing qualifying) on the national tests, but can’t keep up in his classroom / and with his peers? I’m a little less motivated to ask people to donate to the school to reach their $55,000 goal (yeah, 55,000 and we don’t qualify for help), when we might have to ask them to donate to us on “go fund” as a family to pay for occupational/speech therapy and other tutoring my son might need, but has to come out of our pocket.
Of course, to other families, we appear to be cheap skates, you can’t donate $10.00? I have always DREADED THE JOG-A-THON, but more so this year.