School fundraisers: The time has come for unfundraiser

In this tough economy... (the perfect lead to any WalletPop post, by the way)

... school fundraisers -- the sort where students sell products made by some third party company -- need to go. Actually, they've needed to go for as long as they've been around, but now? They really need to go. I've been tooting this horn for years but thought Miss Britt, writing at Work it Mom!, hit all the salient points; "I'm frustrated because many of these fundraisers are based around items I wouldn't buy in a good economy and things I've definitely eliminated in a crap economy. But most importantly, I know how little of my money will actually end up going to support the school itself ... [and] those plastic trinkets that I'll find in the bottom of my son's bookbag after the last day of school? Completely unnecessary. I'd rather see my money going towards supplies for his classroom," she writes.

It's so true. Many moms wrote in to discuss strategies; many, like me, write a check to the school or the PTA instead of the World's Finest Chocolate company (really? the World's Finest?). One idea I thought was brilliant; the Unfundraiser. Write a check once a year, skip the assemblies working kids into a furor over the chance to win a really great (and super-disposable) boombox or off-brand Gameboy. I hereby demand that, "in this tough economy," every school institute an Unfundraiser. We'll keep unhealthy frozen cookie dough and candy out of our bodies; we'll keep broken plastic toy prizes out of the landfill; we'll keep stress from getting "no" on sales jobs away from our poor kids. Best of all, we'll keep parents' blood from boiling. Who's with me?

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