pug - jade and oak

Recently I went to Walmart. (I rarely do this since I’m a diehard Target girl, but they had what I wanted and were open early.) Anyways, as I was walking in, I saw two teenager girls standing outside of each entrance and exit door. They looked to be in high school and were all holding plastic tubs/jars. I figured they were collecting money for some sort of charity but as I walked by they asked if I wanted to donate to their high school’s cheerleading squad.


When I was in high school, I was in the marching band (nerd alert). Whenever we needed new uniforms (super nerd alert), we did different fundraisers like selling hoagies (which might better be known as submarine sandwiches in other parts of the country), candy bars, raffle tickets, etc. We also had some different events where part of the admission fee would go to the band. However, we did not just ask strangers to give us money for nothing.

I know we could all be more charitable. I donate a little to the ASPCA each month, I’ll donate an extra dollar or two at stores for animal shelters or local hospitals and I try to donate to friends who are doing runs/walks for charities like the Humane Society, the American Heart Association or when we did the walk for the American Diabetes Association last year. I’m not rich and can’t give a ton but I do try to help out these charities. Of course I could do more, but it’s something for now.

Likewise, at different jobs, I have bought hoagies, popcorn, candy, wrapping paper or whatever for people’s kid’s fundraisers for school activities. And obviously I love Girl Scout cookies and love seeing the cute Girl Scouts hustling outside of grocery stores to sell some cookies for their troop.

To me, these things are different – donating money to a charitable cause versus buying an item for a school fundraiser where you get something and part of the money goes to the school/organization.

So this brings me back to the cheerleaders. I was perturbed by the fact they were asking for free money for a non-charitable reason. Yeah their squad probably needs the money for whatever, but it seems a little (a lot?) presumptuous to just ask people for cash. What do you guys think? Do you think this is a legit way to raise money or does it seem a little off to you too? Am I just a scrooge?


  1. says

    I’m going to tell you something that both confirms your feelings and makes you feel a little sick…

    My grandfather is considered by the New York Times to be the grandfather of fundraising. Basically in the 60s / 70s he started companies to write campaign letters / organize events for huge companies to “raise” money. It basically takes a HUGE team from his own companies and the companies who are paying (also presidents and celebrities). Do you know where I’m going…?

    Most of the money actually never gets donated. Most of it goes to pay salaries. The little bit left is the money the actual cause gets. Now, that’s not to say that some organizations DON’T donate the full amount of a majority – it’s just that most don’t….

    I never donate unless I absolutely know where it’s going.

  2. says

    I bet the money wasn’t even going toward cheerleading at all. If they were performing a service, like car-washing, I would have been willing to donate – even if it wasn’t really for school. But giving them money for nothing? No.

  3. says

    I donate to save animals and for a tax write off. You drop cash in some cheerleader’s bucket, who knows where that goes?! And no write off. It’s fine if they’re selling candy or something but no, I’m not giving cash for no reason. But then again, I rarely, if ever, donate to human causes. I’ll donate if a friend asks for a race or something, but otherwise, all animals all the time.

  4. says

    Yeah, I also think that’s weird that they were asking for donations instead of doing fundraising. I don’t like giving a donation unless I know the charity is legit and my money will be used for something useful.

    Spray Tan Giveaway!

  5. says

    I’m definitely with you on this one- when someones asking just for cash you never know if they’re actually doing anything with it or just keeping it in their pocket! Of course you don’t want to assume the worst of anyone, but you never do. The craziest thing I’ve seen lately is people creating those fund pages just to raise money for themselves because they need some extra money for random things.

  6. says

    I grew up in a country where panhandling is a business, a very lucrative one, people “rent” out their babies while they work, saving on daycare, and whoever takes the baby shares the profit with them, they sit for hours in the street begging for money, sometimes they even give something to the babies to stop them from crying, it is so sad, but that has made me very wary of who I help. Unless I know, like most people have said, where the money is going, or is a volunteer run organization I’d rather help in other ways, even with big organizations like the red cross, you always hear people say “help them with goods, not with money”. It really is sad to see people take advantage of others.


  7. says

    Hey Jackie!!! Awww I love the photo at the top!! Too cute!! I totally agree Jackie. I think there needs to be something behind the cause rather than a jar. Although, if one is homeless that’s completely different. I believe what the girls were doing were pan handling- I could be wrong though. I love to donate or give to the homeless. I usually keep a very open mind about that! But I have never heard of doing this for one’s school before. And thank you so much for all you kind words during my break!! Great to be back!! 😀 XO


  8. says

    Wow, that’s really strange. I know when I was in the Drama and Art Club (super nerd alert! haha!!) we would sell candy bars, hoagies, chocolate covered pretzels, lollipops, whatever! But they never had us collecting money like that…so weird

  9. says

    I don’t think you’re a scrooge at all. I had similar thoughts last fall when I saw a girls basketball team asking for money around town. I was in marching band too and I remember selling hoagies to go on trips. That’s just what you do to get money – work for it by doing fundraisers. Guess we’re old-fashioned now!

    As for donating money. . .as long as it’s a reputable organization, whatever. I realize that 100% of my money might not go towards the actual cause. But I mean, thinking that is a little naive sometimes. The people who are working for charities need to live too, and there are certain costs associated with just having an organization. And the bottom line for me is, it’s a rare occasion when I donate my time for free, so I’d rather give a few dollars than not just because I don’t know where all of it will go.

  10. says

    I wouldn’t have given them the cash either… I mean, it might not have been legit. Maybe, but maybe not, and I’d rather give my $ to better causes. I had a friend who had a friend (though he sounds like a complete jerk) who held up a sign (around Pgh, actually!) saying that he was in a rough place and needed money. He paid for his whole Spring Break trip to the Caribbean that way!

  11. Laurie says

    I hate buying overpriced wrapping paper, candy bars and other stuff I really don’t want. It’s overpriced and the school or organization gets about 30% of it. So I spend $20 and the school gets $5. You can’t beat a bake sale or car wash for low over head. In general, I’d rather donate $10 and they keep $10 or at least $8. With that said, if the girls were legit, they should be in uniform with their cheer coach and a big sign telling you they’re raising money for regional competition or something.

  12. says

    There’s actually a pretty common scam where I’m from where high school/young 20-something guys get on the subway and ask for money to buy uniforms for their sports teams. I’ve been told numerous times not to donate because the money just goes right into their pockets. I’m with you on only donating when you’re absolutely certain where it’s going. When I was a kid we did fundraisers for our sports teams or schools too, but we always offered goods or services–we would hold a car wash, sell holiday wreaths that we decorated, etc.

  13. Samantha says

    I think it’s important to assume the best of people. You don’t have to donate if you feel that they should work for the money, but I wouldn’t assume that it isn’t going to go to their cheerleading squad or that they hadn’t tried other methods that had failed first. In general, people have good intentions. :)

  14. says

    I probably wouldn’t have donated (cheer fund….or beer fund?). in general – I’m pretty picky when it comes to handing over charitable cash. my #1 go to? pug or animal rescues!

  15. says

    If you want something, ask for it. If that doesn’t work, earn it. They got the first part right, they just need to figure out the second part. Lol.

  16. says

    nope, totally agree. it seems that people ask for “donations” left and right these days. we always did those good old-fashioned fund-raisers, too…the candy, chili (local fave here), etc.

    red cross or food bank will stand on the medians and hold out fish nets to collect donations from cars once or twice a year….which is fine, good cause. but now there are random sports teams holding out nets. like, seriously?? or random kids will pop into our office or approach you in the parking lot (not from a table in front of the store) asking if you want to buy candy. i mean, how do i know where THAT candy came from, lol?? i’m not a scrooge, but a single mom trying to afford my own kids!


  17. says

    We used to do this all the time as a kid for Softball. Though it was an all volunteer league. It is a different day and age now though.

  18. says

    The cynic in me would not believe it’s going towards their uniforms. I think it teaches this generation to not have to work for something and it just goes along with my feeling of them acting as though they are entitled. Ugh. No bueno. Also I was a band nerd! :) I bet you played the flute lol

  19. says

    First of all, where are you from that you called them hoagies? I’ve gotten made fun of a fair share for calling them hoagies. :-)

    Secondly, I guess it would depend on where you are and what their school is like. I live in the D.C. area, and I’m pretty sure that I could tell you just by looking at the students who were asking for money whether or not their school 1) needed the money and 2) really had no other options.

    There were some boys standing by the road the other day collecting money for a community center’s youth activities. They just had buckets collecting people’s loose change. I understood that, because the community centers around here don’t charge for anything, and the programs are to help protect the youth and give them something better to do than to get into trouble.

    So, I guess I would partly say that there are instances in which I would think it was acceptable, and instances in which it wasn’t. However, there is still the issue of perpetuating an outstretched hand and the idea that people should just give rather than the fact that it is our responsibility to work for what we need. So . . . I guess for me it’s a case by case . . .

  20. says

    I’ve actually been seeing a LOT more of this stuff lately. There are several street corners here in Little Rock where nearly every single weekend you can see a group of kids standing around with buckets and signs saying, “Please send us to summer camp!” They aren’t offering any item or service in exchange… just cash. It does kind of bother me and I’ve never given to them. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for supporting kids going to summer camp! But geesh! Sometimes you can even see the parents standing around on the corner with them waving at cars and I’m all like…. “Seriously?”


  21. says

    I feel you on this. I feel the same way when I see people making kickstarters for really silly selfish things. I am happy to donate money for worthwhile causes, but I am not donating money cause your mom won’t buy you a new computer and I feel angry when people do that because it can take away from the amazing important charitable projects happening.

  22. says

    I could not agree more! I have to admit I feel the same way about homeless people asking for money. At least the homeless, like in San Francisco for example, do SOMETHING for your dollars. Whether it’s singing, playing guitar, painting themselves silver and pretending to be a statue, or dressing as a bush and scaring people (true story). AT LEAST they are putting up some kind of effort! Not just asking for a free hand out. Maybe that’s harsh, but I have to work for my money, so should they right?

  23. says

    As a senior coming from a very poor, non state funded school in an area of high poverty, we often times don’t have the money to buy the things to sell. Our school basically runs on donations. I know it sounds crazy to most, maybe even impossible, but it provides excellent education (we placed third in the top five high schools in Austin, Tx). These girls may be in the same boat. Even if they’re not and they’re out there faking it, truth is, they more than likely need it for other reasons and are too ashamed to ask for it on the streets.

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