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Would you like to buy?
September 23, 2011 - Kylie Saari
With the start of school comes the start of sale season — and I don't mean discounts on school clothes.
Within weeks of the first day of school, my family has been sent on two different fund-raising campaigns — to raise money for the kids' school (2x since I have two in the school) and one to sell popcorn for cub scouts. I know this is just the warm up to what will be a year of sales, soon we will be selling magazines and Girl Scout cookies and more.
I know I should be pleased to have an opportunity to teach my children that their activities come at a cost and they are responsible for doing some of the work to raise the money. I should be happy they are active participants in their school and community, and that the people they ask to buy their various items are always polite and kind.
But deep down, what I feel is shame and embarrassment.
My sisters and I were taught from a young age never to accept money from others. I remember a stern talking to for accepting a quarter from a classmate to buy an extra milk at lunch. Never owe anyone anything. We weren't allowed to trick or treat because it was too close to begging. We were encouraged to go out of our way to help anyone who needed anything, but never to accept it.
I get where my dad was coming from. And I sold Girl Scout cookies as a child. My dad standing at the end of the driveways refusing to approach the door. I understand my kids are selling things, not begging. And as much as I want to leave them with the understanding that asking your neighbors for help reaching your goals is nothing to be ashamed of, deep down, apples don't fall far from trees.
So when you see me standing just a little away from your door step while my children solicit and sell. Be kind, I am having an internal war while you get your popcorn.
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