Last Sunday my wife and I packed up the kids and headed to Applebee’s for a fundraiser breakfast hosted by the girls’ swim team. I had been hit up earlier in the week by a student – the tickets were only 5 bucks and promised pancakes and a bottomless cup of coffee, so I was all for it. It seemed like a symbiotic venture for both the swim team and the franchise. Applebee’s is typically closed Sunday morning, so they gained by charging a small building fee, and the rest was profits for the team.
But that’s not the only reason why I liked this fundraiser. Once we bundled the kids, piled into the car, and arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted at the door by several students acting as hostesses. Several other girls soon came to the table with our meals, and a girl who normally sits in my 2nd period class cleared my empty dishes. What a fantastic idea.
There’s a level of obligation to participating in fundraisers because the kid standing at your desk trying to convince you to buy candy/popcorn/wrapping paper/raffle tickets/candles is the same kid that just humored you in class and laughed at your dumb jokes. Forking over money for junk we don’t want comes with the territory of being a teacher, right?
I liked the breakfast fundraiser because it involved the kids working for the money. Maybe it's just my optimistic nature to try and see everything as a teachable moment, but you can bet those girls learned more than the kid whose mom dumped a box of fundraiser chocolates in the middle of her office with a sign saying something like “My son wants to go on a class trip to Montreal!”
You know and I know that I will probably cave regardless of the fundraiser (the $20 box of microwave popcorn sitting in my pantry is proof enough). But I appreciate it when the student at the helm and made to work for it.
In the end, whatever it is they are working toward will be more rewarding.
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