At the end of August I wrote a post - a rebuttal of sorts, in response to a uniquely honest and humorous middle school PTO fundraising letter - about the importance of student-involvement in elementary school fundraising. The response to that post was overwhelming (in terms of numbers), so I decided a quick follow-up was in order...
Here we are, just three days after the finale of our elementary school's biggest fundraiser of the year. (I consider it "our" school, rather than just Will and Hallie's school, since I sit on the Board of the PTO and take great pride in the work we do on behalf of our teachers, parents, and students.) I think I speak for the entirety of our team when I declare us EXHAUSTED. We worked l…o…n…g hours for the nine days leading up to and on the day of our Fun Run. We temporarily put the rest of our lives on hold so we could give this fundraiser the time, energy, and focus it deserved. We have fallen behind on work, house cleaning, laundry, groceries, and errands, and I for one am woefully behind on preparing for Will's upcoming ninth birthday. We will spend the next two weeks catching up on life in general while simultaneously wrapping up the collection and assessment stages of the fundraiser.
It was worth it to hear my kids and their friends talk about the character lessons in which they participated. To listen to them overcome their nervousness and both explain the fundraiser and ask for donations over the phone. To see their faces light up when they secured another pledge. To see them run their hearts out on the day of the Fun Run. To watch them cheer for their friends who needed a little extra help on the racetrack.
I could be wrong (I'm wrong quite often, as Hallie would gladly verify), but I bet 95% of the parents who attended our Friday Fun Run feel nothing but grateful their kids participated in this kind of fundraiser. I bet they didn't mind helping their kids make phone calls and enter pledges online because they realize how significantly the benefits outweigh the negatives. I bet they understand that in many cases, easy isn't always best. And isn't that what we're trying to teach our kiddos?
Thanks to everyone who supported our fundraiser by donating money and/or time, and thanks to all of you who support your kids…and your grandkids…and your nieces and nephew and other people's kids...as their schools try to teach them how they too can make a difference.