Before I get into the specifics, let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? Do you all remember last year, when I was all pissed off about demands for new and unwrapped toys? (It's the second half of that post that's relevant here.) And how, even after I'd thought about it, I still didn't entirely buy the argument? (And for the record, the really cool Tasmanian-devil-playing-golf shirt I found at Goodwill is STILL one of N's favorite pieces of clothing. So screw you all. And I say that with love.)
So, guess how I greeted the flyer that came home with the kids from school today...the one that read, in part:
Your donations of new toys and books will let these children and their families know that our community cares about them.The flyer goes on to mention how the toys AND BOOKS have to be new at least four more times. Each time with the word in bold, and sometimes underlined.
And so, just moments ago, I emailed the woman on the PTA board with me who is in charge of this program for our school:
Hi, Woman On PTA Board With Me:
I was wondering if you perhaps had a contact at Our District's Healthy Start regarding the holiday book and toy drive. I wanted to pass along my disappointment at the idea that we're only allowed to give to our community if we're willing to spend money--the implication that only people who have extra money these days care about their community. I sort of understand why they care so much that toys be new...but books? Does a crease in the spine of a book really devalue it so much? Why would you turn away used books?
Maybe I'm just touchy on this subject because those tough economic times are pretty much everywhere, and it's been ages since I have bought my kids a book that wasn't used (from Local Kids' Consignment Store, or the library, or Goodwill)...and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
Anyway, I shouldn't be dumping this on you, and I doubt that one cranky, stressed-out parent's opinion is really going to make a difference to the folks down at the district office, but I feel like I need to share it with them. So, if you could point me in the right direction...
When I indicated, just a few days ago, that I wasn't planning on rejoining the PTA board next year, that I feel like I need to step back a bit, take a break after SIX YEARS of doing this, one or two people told me how disappointed they were. I didn't buy it; I'm pretty sure they're secretly planning a We're Rid of TC party. But after this? I'm thinking there's going to be an open bar.