I am turning into that women. You know the one. The one all amped up on school spirit that you try to dodge at the supermarket and when you're getting your gas? That's me now. And here's why.
Last spring, I was elected (and by elected I mean that no one else wanted the job) to the PTO Board as the Secretary and I was optimistically excited. I was ready to get in there and mix it up and find new ways of doing things and just be more involved in my son's elementary years. The other board members and I met regularly over the summer, planning activities and fundraisers that would bring our school the fun and money we needed to purchase a new (and desperately needed) piece of playground equipment. I felt extremely confident that we could do this job, do it well, and get what we wanted.
Yeah, about that? I was WRONG.
Yesterday was our first fundraiser, The Fun Run, and we were hoping for a raging sucess. We visited various PTO websites from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY who swear that this is the main fundraiser they do and it brings in anywhere from $15,000-$25,000. We were STOKED. We desperately want this equipment for our kids because they deserve it and a lot of them worked hard for it last year. It's very disheartening to try and explain to a 9-year-old why the playground wasn't installed over the summer because, well, their family bought 5 school shirts last year and isn't that enough? Not quite. By about $75,000. But whatever.
Anyway, we planned to really advertise the Fun Run at the first PTO meeting. You know the first meeting, where every kinder mom is there with her yellow pad and poised pen, ready to sign up for every committee and offer her undying support? Um, ours was attended by about 25 people. In a school of over 800 students. In a nice neighborhood. Where people have picket fences, a dog and all of their teeth.
We sent home fliers, money collection envelopes, and did everything we could to make the Fun Run a success.
But it wasn't.
We made about $4,000, which I'll take, don't get me wrong. But seriously? WHERE IS THE SCHOOL SUPPORT? How can we do what we're trying to do, which everyone agrees is a good idea, if we can't get people to show up and participate? It's so frustrating! And now I feel like crazy PTO lady because when you have to stand in the hallways of school and have parents yell at you over the $5 PTO membership fee, and then these same people won't come and help, WHAT THE FREAK DO YOU DO? Yeah, I'm all sorts of riled up.
And here's the thing; yes, I am more invloved this year than I have been the past two, but I always collected the money, bought the books, did whatever I could to support the school even if I wasn't attending every meeting with my three small children. How do you get people involved when they'd really just rather sit and complain about how they could do it better?
So our next fundraiser happens in a few weeks and where I used to feel rather confident, I now feel like it's just going to be another huge drain on my time and resources only to be poorly attended. How's that for school spirit?
Anyone out there with PTO experience who can offer some advice? Cause I'm all tapped out and it's only the middle of September, which I'm thinking is a bad sign. HELP, PLEASE!
One bright note: they playground should be installed just in time for our kids to take their grandchildren to play on.