Is it 5:00 pm in the Hundred Acre Wood?

By Gretchen

My two oldest children need your money.

They plan to extract it from you by wooing you with homemade fliers advertising babysitting and leaf-raking services. One of my children promises to provide his own tools, which makes my husband laugh heartily and do a mental checklist of his tools’ whereabouts. I better not find a rake under anyone’s bed.

If my kids can raise enough money through earnest kid business enterprises, they’ll enjoy educational trips to southern California and New York City next spring. One kid will be on each coast during the same week, which is a thought that takes a mommy’s breath away—especially when she lives in the center of the country.

I find myself in a quandary, though. I am generally unimpressed by fundraisers. I have a very easy, guilt-free time saying no to the most earnest, gap-toothed, sparkly-eyed first grader peddling frozen cookie dough. Unless I am 2 weeks postpartum and mentally weary when he appears on our porch with a pamphlet. Then? He has my heart and a good chunk of my grocery budget.

The cookie dough kid, who I don’t know, caught me at the weakest possible moment. 5pm, weeknight, hungry, with judgement as razor sharp as Winnie the Pooh’s.

I admit I am a hypocrite of epic proportions. Think of the length of all the gift wrap ever sold to provide funding for new jump ropes and smart boards. Double it. That’s how hypocritical I am. I get annoyed when kids try to sell things I don’t need to me. But I find myself hoping that everyone else in the world, or at least our subdivision, will fork over their hard-earned dollars so my kids can fly to places flung far next Spring.

Are you more likely to support a fundraiser if a service is involved, like snow shoveling? Or would you rather buy something out of a catalog?

I wonder if Winnie the Pooh needs his lawn mowed.

Gretchen blogs at Lifenut.

14 Responses to Is it 5:00 pm in the Hundred Acre Wood?
  1. Stephanie
    October 3, 2010 | 8:59 am

    Oh I HATE buying from catalogs or door to door candy (UNLESS I am caught at a weak moment and I actually have cash in my purse). But I would love to give towards a *service* – excellent idea. I hope it works out!


  2. Kelly
    October 3, 2010 | 9:04 am

    Pooh needs his lawn mowed. Rabbit doesn’t, as he does it all himself. Piglet doesn’t like lawn mowers, as they are a little loud and scary. Tigger’s lawn has been trampled to death. And Eyore? He doesn’t see the point in lawn mowing, as the grass will just grow back anyway, probably with more weeds than before.

    I would much rather buy a service than another roll of wrapping paper or another bar of candy. Good idea.

  3. Babysitting Roo « Lifenut
    October 3, 2010 | 11:33 am

    […] wrote about it at 5 Minutes For Parenting. It’s called “Is it 5:00 pm in the Hundred Acre Wood?” Go, at least to read Kelly […]

  4. Stephanie
    October 3, 2010 | 11:34 am

    I would rather by a service over anything else. I don’t really care for the stuff sold from catalogues because I don’t use it, but if a kid wanted to pull my weeks for money I would be all over that.

  5. nicole
    October 3, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    Love Kelly’s comment! 😉

    I would also be much more likely to pay for a service, or just give a flat donation if I knew the kid/appreciated the goal. Our school did a fun run this year for a PTA fundraiser. I like that idea because it is essentially just a donation, where you pledge an amount per lap. No junk to clutter up my house, my kids have to exercise and since our PTA organized it and kept it local all of the money goes to them. Win for everyone.

    Good luck to you!

  6. Anitra
    October 3, 2010 | 4:18 pm

    I will generally give a little for candy or a bake sale… but if you really want to make money from me, offer me a useful service. It’s a win-win: I get some time back, and the kid gets the full benefit of the money they raise (rather than some meager percentage of the cash I handed over).

    I made a lot of money back in my youth raking leaves and shoveling snow…

  7. MartyD
    October 3, 2010 | 10:01 pm

    Could I just make a donation?

  8. amy
    October 4, 2010 | 10:20 am

    I would pay for babysitting and yardwork, fundraiser or no. I dislike door to door sales, even by cute kids. I refuse to purchase magazines at 3x the cover price, overpriced bad quality candy, wrapping paper (although I’ve never been offered this) raffle tickets, etc.

  9. edj
    October 4, 2010 | 5:15 pm

    My twins are selling magazines for their school. We struggled with even letting them ask people, and they learned quickly to preface remarks with “No pressure–only if you were going to buy magazines anyway.”
    But they want to earn money, and I have no problem with them earning it in age-appropriate ways like yard work and babysitting. I hope your kids find plenty of work, and that people pay them well. 😉

  10. Goslyn
    October 6, 2010 | 2:08 pm

    I don’t think babysitting and leaf-raking qualify as “fundraisers.” They’re work, and I applaud your children for being willing to work. I don’t like popcorn, gift wrap, or other “fundraisers,” but I would entirely support a young woman or young man who wanted to rake my leaves because she or he was trying to earn money towards a school trip. Good luck to them both!

  11. Kristin
    October 6, 2010 | 4:46 pm

    I would love for Aidan (sp? sorry!) to come babysit my boys! Or as a mothers helper, nah, I’d leave her with my hooligans!

  12. Celeste
    October 7, 2010 | 2:08 pm

    I would totally buy things from a catalog!

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