Forget about telephone solicitors – they talk to my answering machine because I don’t answer my phone anymore. And donation solicitation at the cash register is too much like panhandling for my likes.I like to choose when and who I’ll donate money to, although that still has a lot to do with whether I have any money in my pocket. And that’s not too often.But if I do hand over my loonies and toonies, it is to groups in our communities. If I don’t, it’s because there’s nothing in my pocket to give, and no one carries debit card readers.I do agree with our Councils’ reluctance to donate money to school activities. It’s not because I don’t think the activity is worthwhile, because I think they’re very worthwhile. And so do the Councils.But schools have their own pools of money, part of which the Village collects for them through taxes, and the rest of which the provinces provides them with through taxation. We’re already paying for it anyway you want to look at it.Some 30-40 years ago, I recall fundraising for my Brownie pack and later fundraising for my school band travel.I’ll tell you, Girl Guide cookies in those days were worth every dollar. In high school, our band went on tour every year – to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Pennsylvania… Staying in dorms and eating cafeteria means cost a lot of money even 30 years ago.But we sold a lot of chocolate. And my dad was a great help, taking boxes of chocolate candy with him to work every day (in the yard at Chrysler’s) and hitting up his hungry co-workers. I flogged a lot of candy but never had the success that he did.During a donation debate at a recent council meeting, a councillor stated that they would have paid money for students to shovel her driveway. Personally, I’d rather have chocolate, but the point is that successful fundraising should always be about give and take.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal.