Please, please, please stop asking me to finance your kids travel baseball, travel soccer, dance team or competitive cheer leading team.
Look, I don’t mind supporting my friends, neighbors and family with the occasional Girl Scout cookie purchase, five-dollar coupon book to support their school or whatever-a-thon to raise money for a cause. If I’m feeling generous I may even purchase the $15 bag of popcorn from the Boy Scouts outside my local grocery store.
What I do mind is constantly being hit up in-person, via text, email and all over social media for big-ticket items like $100 football squares, $25 bags of popcorn or $20 candles. When I don’t respond to your initial solicitation, it means I am ignoring your request for cash. It doesn’t mean you should follow-up because I might not have seen your text or accidentally missed your email.
Ironically, the people typically hitting you up time and time again (likely family) for these types of fundraisers are the ones who rarely support the fundraisers of others. Thanks for purchasing one $4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from my kid when I’ve probably spent hundreds on your kid over the past few years!
I was even sent a link to a Go Fund Me page to finance a kid to march in the Rose Bowl parade. Congratulations, but are you kidding me!? In my opinion, Go Fund Me pages should be reserved for people needing financial support to fight a serious illness, recovery from a natural disaster (like a hurricane or fire!), help someone support their children after a spouse passes away, etc. You get my point.
I completely understand it’s expensive for your child to participate in sports. For sports teams there are team fees, uniforms, equipment, the cost of travel to various events, including weeklong trips for the entire family to tournaments in places like Myrtle Beach. I can only imagine the expense of flights (or gas if you’re driving), hotel and food.
Pretty much the same for dance teams and competitive cheerleading, but on top of travel costs and monthly lessons, add in the expense for multiple costumes, matching dance shoes and accessories and extra rehearsal time.
I get it. I really do. But involving your kids in these types of activities was your choice and you should not expect everyone else to fund your choices of extracurricular activities for your kids.
My kids are involved in extracurricular activities that run me around $300 a month, which is what I can afford. Would I love them to also participate in a few other activities? Yes, but that’s not in my budget right now and I would never dream of asking others to fund my child’s activities.
I hate to break it to you, but the chances of your child going to the Olympics, getting offered a college scholarship or being “discovered” by a talent agent are slim to none. As much as you think your child is a superstar for making the travel team or competitive dance/cheerleading team, the organizations will take anyone they know is willing to pay the fees…be it out of their own pockets or someone else’s.
If travel sports and competitive teams are a passion of your child and make him/her happy and you can afford the fees, then I say go for it! But if you are expecting friends and family to finance your child’s passion or the passion you’re living through your child, please think again and take another look at your household budget before signing up to participate.
This writer has chosen to publish anonymously.