Um, have you heard about the group of Girl Scouts in Oregon who were scammed out of $24,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies? Yes, I said they were victims of a cookie hoax that wound up costing them $24,000.
When one parent was approached by one of her co-workers and told there was a "large company" who wanted to place an order for 6,000 boxes, the two troops selling the cookies were no doubt thrilled to receive such a massive order. After all, the money they collect from selling the cookies earns them credits to attend camp in the summer, so you can only imagine how happy those little girls were when this "company" asked for so many boxes.
When the cookies arrived, however, the parent who had initially been approached by her co-worker learned the order was nothing but a cruel joke, after the co-worker admitted to the whole thing being a hoax. (WTF? Who does something like that to kids?)
Luckily, as you will see in the video clip below, the community rallied around the troops and plenty of people turned out and stood in line to buy the cookies from the girls so they wouldn't be $24,000 in debt.
Ok, it's all well and good that people were willing to step up to the plate and help these kids out, but this story is yet another reason why I don't let my son get too involved with selling anything for school, Cub Scouts, or any extracurricular activity.
Sigh. I guess it's confession time. Every time he brings home an order form for any sort of fundraiser, I usually just pick out a few things and write a check instead of having him "sell" anything for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don't want to burden friends and neighbors with having to spend money on something they don't need. And second, I was scammed as a kid while selling gifts for a holiday fundraiser -- and I don't want the same thing to happen to my son.
I can't remember exactly what grade I was in, but a woman in the neighborhood ordered about $50 worth of Christmas goodies from me. But when I went to deliver them a few weeks later and collect her payment, she looked at me like I had two heads and insisted that she NEVER would have ordered those items, and she refused to pay for them.
I was so humiliated -- and my family was out $50, which really sucked. Based on that experience, and now hearing about this Girl Scout cookie hoax -- there's no way I'm ever forcing my son to set himself up to be taken advantage of like that. Yeah, yeah, I know most people are honest and good and would never do something like this to a group of innocent kids, but still -- I'm not willing to take any chances. Just because I'm scarred for life doesn't mean he has to be.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for him learning business skills. (But there's gotta be a better way to go about it.)
How involved does your child get when it comes to selling things for fundraisers?
Image via KATU