The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Little Beggars

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Beggars

I support the Girl Scouts when they sell cookies (I donate my portion to the troops.)  I support the Boy Scouts when they sell popcorn (I donate those boxes to the troops, as well - I don't need all those carbs anymore!)  I even support the local high school band boosters when they sell their $20 discount cards.  But I have a huge problem when organizations stand by the door to the supermarket or WalMart with a bucket, expecting handouts.  I look at it this way.  If a sports team needs money, their participants are strong enough to work for their donations, right?  If the soccer team canvassed our neighborhood at this time of year and offered to rake my yard for $X, I'd gladly pay what they charged.  I'd be happy, my yard would be leaf-free, and the kids would have money for their trip to the soccer competition.  I'd even be more likely to donate to the cheerleaders if they did one of their routines in front of the store. Or to the football team if they helped carry my bags to the car. 

When did it become acceptable for children to become beggars? What does this teach them?  That begging on a street corner will get them free money for doing nothing at all except smiling at the people walking by who have money in their wallets.  Did I say begging on a street corner?  Last summer, the girls' softball team had a coin toss in the middle of town on Memorial Day weekend, catching all the unsuspecting shore traffic as people sped through town on their way to vacation.  Not only does this send the wrong message to the kids, it's downright dangerous! 

So, leaders and coaches, listen up - teach your young participants the value of hard work or getting something (anything!) for your money rather than begging for money.  I will refuse to donate to you every time if you beg; offer me something and I'll support your effort!

Happy coaching!

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