Allentown
81° F
Clear
Clear

Life Lessons: The ups and downs of school fundraisers

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 18 2014 04:00:00 AM CST

Are they worthwhile or waste of time?

Miranda Westrich’s favorite subject is math. Fundraising? Not so much.

"They put a lot of pressure on us" Westrich, a fourth grader, says.

So far this year, she has raised $350 selling cookie dough. She’s also gone door-to-door with candles and wrapping paper.

"They flash all these toys and prizes, limo rides and SpongeBob lunches at them, and they come home and they’re brainwashed.” says Mandy Westrich, Miranda's mother. “They're like 'mom we need to sell like 800 cookie doughs.’ "

Westrich limits where the kids can sell. Dad doesn’t bring it to work and no knocking on neighbors' doors.

But not all students and parents find fundraising as a burden.

Angelina Woodring, another elementary school student, is a fan of fundraising.

"I go to my grandma’s house a lot so when I go over there I would bring the envelope with the catalogs over there," she says. "We only have it for a couple of weeks and I like to sell as much as I can."

“The money for the teachers helps them to buy things in their classrooms like science kits.” explains PTA President Tanya Hilkert.

If there’s good participation, an organization can raise $60,000.

"A lot of parents are under the impression that public education should be completely free,” says Amy Christensen, with Leading Edge Fundraisers.

"The schools really do need the parent’s support." She says the money raised can pay for books, clinic nurses, and copy paper.

Schools usually hire a fundraising company if there is a product involved.

Companies keep 40 to 50 percent of the profit.

Christensen says walk-a-thons can be done without a company since there is no product involved. She says typically there is 25 percent participation in most school fundraisers.