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Do you agree with chocolate fundraisers for schools?

by Naomi (follow)
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Chocolate fundraiser

Do you agree with chocolate fundraisers for schools?

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I think it's a great idea. People are going to buy chocolate regardless so why not put their splurges to good use?
At my work, parents often bring in fundraising chocolates. It is placed in the kitchen next to the vending machine which is also stocked with chocolate. The employees will mostly buy the fundraising chocolate instead of the chocolate from the vending machine because it's not as big as the whole sized bars in the machine so they still get a treat, it's just a smaller one. If the fundraising chocolates weren't there they would still buy chocolate, just from the vending machine instead.

I agree it's not the healthiest of options, but I'd rather buy 1 or 2 Freddo's for $1 each than buy pies and lamingtons from a lamington drive, cookie dough from a cookie dough drive or cakes and slices from a slice drive that I've seen as well.
A lof of families can't afford to spend $15 on a tub of cookie dough (and why would you anyway?) and this can make children feel excluded. Something that costs $1 is affordable, won't break the bank and everyone can contribute.

I understand where you are coming from. People who buy chocolate will buy it any way. That said, I still don't like it as a fundraiser for schools.

Interestingly my work got rid of the chocolate vending machine and coke machine!

The problem I and other parents at the school have is that a number of children have intolerances, allergies or behavioural food plans which mean that they are excluded. They can sell, sure, but they can't eat it. This is with lactose and gluten intolerance as some Cadbury products are no longer gluten free. This is a learning experience for those kids, but is tough and can be tricky for parents.
by Naomi
I feel bad for my kids and others who are like them. I love chocolate though, just not as a fundraiser.
by Naomi
I am one of those children that was not allowed to buy/eat fundraising chocolates due to illness in the family. My mother would not let us eat the fundraising chocolates because it wasn't fair on family members who medically could not eat it.
I was taught that fundraisers were to raise money and my contribution to selling was what was important. I was proud of my contribution. I was brought up that fundraising chocolates were for fundraising not for eating so I never knew any differently.

Why not contact a fruit shop or local farmer/s and see if they'll allow your school to sell fruit/veg boxes instead. I've always thought this was a great idea and have not seen it done. The same as a pie drive where you get a different list of products and the buyers can pick what they would like in their fruit box. The fruito delivers the boxes to the school once a month/week. A bit like online shopping without the online bit. It would be a great way to support local farmers as well as the school.
No. Given the obesity crises I do not think fundraising with chocolate is a good idea.

Hosting a fun and active event that the kids can participate in and get sponsored for is better. The Heart Foundation successfully raises money for cardiovascular research in the Jump Rope for Heart program.

Schools could mirror this with an alternative fun, activity that could be linked to the reason for the fundraising event, then it's not fundraising for fundraising sake.

I agree
by dwatk
I know brownies sell cookies each year. I guess it was OK back in the day but now with the poor diet the children have its not such a good idea.
I think Lions still sells Christmas cakes, which is good for non-bakers 😊
by Naomi
Yes, as a member of Lions, we still sell Christmas cakes. Look out for them at banks and Bunnings for them. We sell them at shopping centers closer to Christmas too
by Lluxi
Yep, the Brownies still sell cookies, even (*cue dramatic music*) chocolate ones. I keep hearing people say that kids have a poor diet "these days" and I wonder if it is actually any worse than what people ate 20, or 50 years ago. I doubt it. There were certainly plenty of sweets and junk food around when I was a child (in the 80s), and we enjoy a wider variety of fruit and vegetables than was available when my grandmother was young. I think it's a media beat up.
As a seasoned fundraiser of close to 30 years experience, I know that chocolate fundraisers are probably not ideal and don't send out quite the right message, but the simple fact is that they sell, and make a lot of fast money quickly. You don't have to buy them and eat them. Our kids ran around the street selling them and they sold out very quickly, plus they developed their social skills and got exercise at the same time. Those Jump Rope For Kids, and fun runs etc take A LOT of planning. Over a year in most cases, but once you have done it once, and made your contacts, it should work like clockwork the following year. There will always be parents who stand on principle with chocolate fundraisers. The goal of fundraising is to have many small fundraisers throughout the year, and one big one, like a trivia night or a fete. Our local kindergarten has a Sustainability fete, with a focus on teaching about sustainability, and the role the children at the center play in that. Why don't you join the P and F if you have ideas? They would love to have new blood I'm sure. In my fundraising we sometimes have hampers and raffle them off. I don't think a hamper filled with Fit Bits, gym membership, fresh fruit and Paleo recipe books would sell as many as one with chocolates, wine, cheese and other goodies. You just have to be practical, and do things that sell and make money, with a proven track record of doing so. The kids like to get involved, so it has to be something achievable for them too.
I agree that chocolate sells and usually sells fast. This year they aren't selling quick and we are not sure why. There is a main fundraiser event that does well and usually the chocolates complement this activity. This year though we wondered whether it was as parents were starting to be more treat-wise?
by Naomi
I'm not sure why. There is nothing to say that parents have to buy them. Sell them to family, friends, neighbors, anyone. Most people like chocolate and that is the premise behind them as fundraisers. My friend is a fitness and health fanatic, but still sells chocolate for the kinder or school fundraiser. At the end of the day, the money goes toward the school, and that is the end goal. If we found a fundraiser wasn't working, we would put it on the back blocks for a couple of years and then try again. That's where the original ideas come from, because then you have to think of a new idea, which just might be a real winner.
by Lluxi
I agree Lluxi. I haven't been very involved with fundraising at my kids' school (coming up with ideas etc.) because transportation (I don't drive) and time are a problem for me, so I'd hesitate to criticise all the work other women have done to raise money. I think whatever they do in that regard is great, they're doing the best they can, and their time and resources are limited, so something that's easy to do and works is a good choice. They also do mother's day and father's day stalls and Easter and Christmas raffles of hampers full of donated goods (each family puts in something). It cracked me up when our vegetarian household won the ham. My non-vegetarian Dad was pleased with it though.
Chocolate is not the right product, seriously there must be something else?
Sure they may make a lot of money.....but it's not just the kids that need to cut down on the stuff!

We all do.

It's 2017 time to re-invent the wheel, I don't care how much money it makes.
Is your chocolate photo of milk or DARK chocolate, Jonaj?!
by Miro
Miro :) it's just the lighting, of how the pic was taken ..
by jonaja
I never bought them, when the kids came around after school to the houses, as I have never liked milk chocolate!
by Miro
I caught a crowded school bus home last Friday. A young high school girl who was standing near my seat had a box of chocolates to sell. I thought straight away, "Oh you poor thing, having to sell all the chocolates." I really didn't think they 'had' them anymore! I love the card w/seeds idea better!
by Miro
I don't like it . I know it sells . My son was sent home with a package of chocolate. We bought some and I asked him to return the rest to school. He was on a diet that restricted his sugar intake due to behavioural issues. I didn't want the temptation. We received a bill from the school for the whole amount. Sadly I t turned out my son stole the chocolate and ate the lot. Not good.
I don't think we were the only family this happened to. No wonder they are successful fund raisers!.
Oh no!!! You poor thing. Your poor son as well, I hope it didn't make him too sick.

by Naomi
Thanks Naomi. You are kind. If he was sick I didn't know what caused it at the time. Sugar affected his behaviour. I probably wondered why he was out of control. Sugar made him emotional , make bad choices and act out. When not on sugar he was like a different child. Happy and eager to cooperate. Like chalk and cheese.
by annfi
I was at a play date with a new mother who didn't believe me when I said my child was allergic (not intolerant) to lactose when questioned why I was not giving the yoghurt that was provided. I had given my child fruit. I took something to the sink and turned to find her force feeding yoghurt. The consequences were dire. Not just physically but emotionally for my child. Needless to say we do not see her anymore.
by Naomi
Oh no Naomi! How terrible. Was your son alright? I hope that the other Mother learnt from it. So many people bandy the word allergy around now, it can be very dangerous.
by annfi
Trust is a big issue now.

The other woman was upset but I don't know why she did it!!
by Naomi
I imagine that she thought she knew best and would prove your son wasn't allergic. Silly woman. I don't think I would remain friends with her under the same circumstances, although I guess she wouldn't do that again.
by annfi
We had nightmares etc for over six months. It was traumatic, We saw her once after that with months of nightmares. She decided she would cut off contact as she felt guilty and couldn't cope with the trauma she had caused (her words not mine).
by Naomi
When I think about kids getting this box of chocolate to sell....in all honesty! What kid would not want it for themselves? Seriously....I have a grandson, who takes other peoples chocolate at Easter! He hides it, and he is a very skinny boy.(lucky him) and I have to be totally honest, I think a box of it would tempt any normal kid. Chocolate is addictive, my eldest son has a real problem with it.
by jonaja
That's terrible Naomi. The other mother had no right to interfere with your parenting decisions and force feed your child. :( I have had also had someone feed my child something she wasn't supposed to eat against my wishes, but at least they didn't force feed her. That's pretty much assault.
Re Annfi's comment, maybe there should be an age limit, so only kids over a certain age would have to sell the chocolates, or younger kids' would have the box collected by the parents? When I was in high school we were given a carton of blocks of chocolate to sell, and did eat a fair few of them, though I paid for them. At 15 I was old enough to understand that the consequences- that I'd have to buy them, not steal them.

I remember when we had one when I was in school. I don't have any problem with it as a fundraiser in moderation, though I guess you wouldn't want to have them all the time since there are other things you can do (my kids' school had a contest in each classroom to see which class could fill a jar with 5 cent coins from home first, to pick a random example). It's not as if families can't buy chocolate at any time anyway, it's just that this time the money they spend on it goes to the school (for stuff like playground upgrades, I think the last fundraiser we had was for air conditioning in the classrooms, badly needed when temperatures can reach 42 degrees celsius during summer days here).
I don't mind it, it doesn't do any harm, it's totally up to the individual if they want to but them, I know I do.
It's a great way to make money - people don't need much convincing to buy chocolate for a good cause.

But I don't think it sends a positive message to the kids, or does your coworkers' health any favours.

Last Christmas our kindy sold Christmas cards with native flower seeds inside them, instead of chocolates. I thought this was a terrific idea.
I love the card/seed idea, Wellness in Words. Hooray 4 no more chocolate!
by Miro
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