Monday, November 21, 2005

Ding Dong...

Not the Avon lady,
Not a
And no, the witch is not dead. (but I have to believe there are days my husband wishes it was so)

I am quickly becoming rather particular to door-to-door solicitors. Before we were established with our own home and our own kidlets, it was easy to turn everyone away. Yes, everyone, even the Girl Guide cookies (but only when we didn't even have $4 in pennies laying around). But now with our own children, knowing that one day they too will be carousing the neighbourhood selling oranges, chocolates, soaps and asking for sponsorship for swim-a-thons, skate-a-thons, Terry Fox runs, can I say no?

Here are the current guidelines being followed when the doorbell rings:

(1) If it is Gramps, let him in.
(2) Friends, let them in.
(3) The mailman, greet him nicely, he may have a parcel in the mail for you.
(4) Anyone from a religious background other than ours? Close the door - VERY quickly. Claim you are in the middle of washing your hair, even if you are fully clothed and not dripping wet.
(5) If person is of high school age or younger, selling anything, buy it (except sex, that would be bad).
(6) If person is raising funds for your sports team/club or field trip - pay them.
(7) If there are little girls selling cookies, buy however much you can with however much $$ you can find in entire house including childrens' piggy banks. Then ask them to return the next day cause all 13 boxes will be empty.

I have only ever questioned a child twice. Both times I was a little skeptic. Now I know it sounds absolutely horrible grilling a 9 year old boy on the validity of his photocopied, filled in the blanks sponsor form that has been folded and re-folded many times which appeared from his pocket when I opened the door, and being the very first one on the list. The school is not in our area, he claims his elderly aunt lives around the corner. As hard as it was for me, I did not sponsor him telling him I had already sponsored many kids from the schools in our neighbourhood. In hindsight, I made the right decision.

I have recently committed to volunteering for the Missing Children's Network. An former teacher and dear friend of mine, recently retired is planning on cycling across Canada next summer in hopes of reaching his goal of raising $100 000 for the MCN. (This is not the last you'll hear/read about this one, we are just getting started). He asked me to be on his working committee. I am thrilled. He is in the process of trying to get schools across the country involved. We have learned that all charities SHOULD (not mandatory) but in order to ensure the validity of the charity and the event, all sponsor forms should be those duplicate/triplicate forms, and not just a photocopy. This is likely for official, registered charities and not necessarily for the band's trip to Alaska. Anyway, it got me thinking about who we sponsor/donate to and how often frequently.

I used to shake my head at my Beloved who would gladly hand over whatever he had, and now? Not so much...


Blogger Silver Creek Mom said...

Good for you Nancy...I know you are going to be awesome at this. You can talk. And that's a compliment.
I don't get much door to door people selling anything. BUT I do get one guy who comes every 6 month raising money for his disable child trips. I always give what I can and I support anything that goes with my nieces and nephews. Anyone that calls me on the phone gets a NO! hate that. They don't call as much anymore.

8:23 AM EST  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

I know that this is so hard. I had an experience this summer with a teenage boy wanting to do yard work, but he wasn't from here--and was kind of shifty. Luckily--and I have no idea why--my husband came home at that moment and we were able to make that decision to help the boy together. But a lot of times, I keep a no solicitor sign on the door and I just don't answer it.

6:21 PM EST  
Blogger BeachMama said...

Nancy, good for you in getting involved with the MCN. You will be such a great asset to the committee.

As for the kids coming to the door. It breaks my heart that we don't buy or sponsor more, but I just can't always tell if it's legit or not. Last week a kid came selling chocolate bars. No charity link or anything, just selling chocolate. Had to say no on that one.

And we try our best to sponsor "A" through friends and work. And our neighbours hit us up all the time for their kids, so we will be sure to hit them up when necessary ;).


7:46 PM EST  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Yah, this is a rough one. When I was growing up, my dad's job was helping the schools raise funds through selling magazines and choco-bars and whatnot. But I've read a lot of bad stuff lately about kids working for "charities" which basically pad the wallet of the guy who recruited them. (We see a lot of this through the charities division of the CRA.)

I sponsor the ones I know personally, but will buy treats from just about anyone.

8:43 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love to hear your involvement with the MCN, should be exciting, keep us updated!

As for charities, donations...well, with the nature of my previous job and my dh's current one, we are CONSTANTLY bombarded with requests for one kind of contribution or other, pretty much on a daily basis at times, ranging from chocolate bars to sponsoring a hockey team. We've established for ourselves a yearly amount of donations and picked our favorite charities. I don't give to stangers at the door anymore and definitely not on the phone. Friends of course get sponsored.

On the other side of the equation, having an older child, she comes home with fundraising pledges. It very rarely occurs that she receives contributions from elsewhere than from us. She never goes from door to door. Maybe I'm thwarthing her salesmanship abilities? Mostly, could be that I'm being hit upon so much that I don't want to hit on others.

12:02 AM EST  

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