Why Honesty is the Best Approach for Dealing with Kids who are Trying to Raise Funds

Leigh feels that honesty is the best approach when dealing with kids who are trying to raise funds.
Leigh feels that honesty is the best approach when dealing with kids who are trying to raise funds.

It’s that time of year. Schools, civic organizations, health associations, professional service groups and non-profit organizations are either calling, sending you mail, or knocking on your door to raise much-needed funds, all for a great cause.

My own son is donning his own blue-and-gold uniform, trying to raise money for his Cub Scout pack for the next two weeks. My own husband told me that he was glad to go to work on Monday because after manning a stand at a local grocery store for two hours in the hot sun, and walking to 39 houses, each separated by an acre lot for two days, he was dog-tired.  I, on the other hand, am as fresh as a daisy because I just set up my son’s Internet sales site for those people who want to buy online or may want to send popcorn to our military troops.  So far, the site is hearing crickets.  But that is OK.  We are trying our best.  If we had not set it up, then we would not have tried our best, which is a Scout motto.

It would be nice if all of us could easily support every organization that is trying to get funds for a great cause, but we simply cannot. As families, we have to buy groceries, pay mortgages and car payments, buy clothes, and pay utilities. The list is endless.

Paying $10 may not seem a lot for one bag of popcorn that goes to a good cause for some of you, but if you had supported a good cause the day before, then it all adds up to expenditures in the checking account.

I was lurking in the grocery store lobby this weekend, and I heard a little girl plea to her father to buy some Scout popcorn on their way out.  She asked several times. He said, “No!”  She asked, “Why not!?”

He paused.

I wondered what he was going to say. He finally said, “Because it’s expensive.”

I applauded him for being honest with his child.  It was a lot better than saying that they didn’t need popcorn.

But what did he say to the Scouts when he was leaving the store?  Did he go out the other door to avoid them altogether, or did he keep his head down so no eye contact could made with the Scouts as he exited to the parking lot.

My two kids think that we have a money tree in the backyard, and it is difficult for them to learn that we cannot buy everything they see.

As hard as it may be to face the child selling the popcorn, it’s best to say to him, “No, thank you. It’s not in my budget right now. Hope you understand.”

He may be bummed a little for not making the sale, but that is real life.  Making a sale is hard work, and a child may hear no many more times than a yes.

We owe these children our honesty. Don’t avoid them by looking down and pretending that you don’t see them, or you are not home when you see a wagon full of popcorn coming up your driveway.   Your honesty will teach these children a great lesson. 

But if you want popcorn, I heard the caramel corn delights every palette.  You can learn more about popcorn, send popcorn to military troops, and hear more tales on the HinesSight Blog