Thursday, November 8, 2012

Here's a pet peeve about fundraising for schools

It always warms my heart when I see children selling chocolate bars for a field trip, or when parents chase after you at the supermarket so they can get the 2 percent or something of your purchase for their school. Even though education is a right, we should not take it for granted, and in fundraising we become aware and make our children be aware of how costly it could be.

(Often I see these fundraisers as remainders that schools don't have enough to educate children: not enough music teachers, not enough funds for transportation for field trips. But that's another story)

Here's my peeve. It's usually the wealthiest among us, those of us who are blessed with wealthy friends and neighbors, who get to raise more money for schools when the schools are probably already doing well. The poorest among us, with no social connections, no healthy tax base, no affluent neighbors, who need more money for their schools and are probably least likely to raise funds by going door to door selling candy.

The problem is likely to be exacerbated in cyberspace. Low income families are less likely than affluent ones to be online. They are less likely to try to raise funds through or, sites that specialize in channeling money for your favorite causes.

Call it a conflicted relationship. I understand the value of these sites (hence the plug), as I understand the value of fundrasing. But my heart aches when I think the activity likely has little impact in areas where it's most needed.

In a perfect world...

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