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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wants To Opt Out Of Door-To-Door School Fundraising

DEAR ABBY: My daughter's elementary school has many fundraisers each year where the children are asked to sell things like takeout pizza coupons and cheap wrapping paper to raise money for schoolwide events. I'm happy to support the school, but do not want her to participate in the selling.

She's too little to go door-to-door or make phone calls on her own, so I end up doing it for her. I am very uncomfortable when individuals ask me to buy things. I don't want to put that kind of pressure on other people. Also, some of the items for sale are unhealthy or not things we'd use, so it seems wrong to ask others to buy them.

Instead of selling, where they only get a small portion of the funds, I'd rather donate directly to the school. However, I'm not sure how to do that without making our family stand out in this very small community.

When a new fundraiser is announced, should I ask the teacher or PTA member how much our share is and then write a check? I'm afraid I'd be inviting gossip about being too stuck up or wealthy to participate (we are neither). And how do I explain to my 7-year-old why I don't think she should be selling things, without seeming critical of her friends who are? -- JUST WANT TO DONATE IN IOWA

DEAR JUST: This is a concern you should discuss with the person who is in charge of the fundraiser. If you prefer to donate the money you would be expected to raise, rather than have your child solicit door-to-door, your wishes should be respected because the result will be the same for her school. Frankly, I think you have a point.

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