I’m a sucker for a school-aged child selling popcorn, candy, cookies, or candles for their school or community organization or athletic club. I know some people resent being asked by a child or their parent on behalf of the child. I know some people believe the participants solely should shoulder the expense of their activity. I know some people feel schools are wasteful or have other reasons to object to the fundraising. They could be right, but I don’t care.

If a child has the courage to ask me, probably a stranger to them, to support their cause, I want to reward that effort. It takes confidence to ask for a sale; ask anyone who makes a living as a salesperson. It takes many no’s to get a yes. I enjoy talking to the young fundraiser–asking them about the product, which one they like best and why they are raising funds. This is good practice for the child.

I know the hassles of fundraising for the parent and that is nothing compared to those of the coordinator. I am a former Popcorn Kernel, aka person in charge of popcorn sales for a group. Nothing like the smell of artificial butter wafting through the garage. I digress. If your child is an accomplished fundraiser, there is receiving, organizing, and delivering the merchandise plus counting and depositing the money still to be done. That takes adult effort.

All that considered, if a child asks, 9 times out of 10 I will say yes. I am delighted to see the joy and surprise in their eyes when they know they got the sale. It’s fundraising season. Before you hastily say, “No, the item is overpriced,” won’t you consider this an investment in a child? That’s what it is in many ways, an investment in your community. And community is worth your investment.