I’m a new kindy mum. (For those of you who are not in Australia, that means my first child has just started kindergarten, the first year of “big school”.)
We had a cake stall at school today. A fundraiser. It was for a worthy cause, so I guess I can’t complain too much or I’ll be labeled as a whinging, whining, lazy s0-and-so, too lazy to mix up a bit of flour, butter, egg and sugar to help out her fellow man, woman and child who has lost absolutely everything in a huge fire ball that swept across their state through no fault of their own.
Anyway, a note came home saying that all parents were to bake (or buy) cakes, slices or biscuits to sell at school today, for one dollar per piece. Now, I’ve not really got a head for numbers, but it did occur to me that if every family baked (or bought) said items there would certainly be waaaay more cake/cookie/crumble than kids to buy it. Turns out I was right.
Come pick-up time at the end of the school day and who should I hear over the PA? The principal. Urging parents to come and buy some flour, butter, egg and sugar that some other parent had mixed together for the fundraiser. Of course, my child heard the principal’s plea, too. So off we went to make a purchase (when all I really wanted to do was head home to mix together some carrot, zucchini and rice for the baby’s dinner). So, that’s one dollar from my child at lunch time, and five dollars from me after school.
In effect each of us put in time and effort mixing together flour, butter, egg and sugar to swap for someone else’s flour, butter, egg and sugar. And we paid six dollars for the pleasure! (More if you actually bought flour, butter, egg and sugar already mixed by someone at a bakery.) Surely a gold coin donation would be simpler!
I really don’t want to be labeled as an unsympathetic whinger, so here’s another way to help out: I will follow in the footsteps of photographer Kris Leigh and donate all sitting fees for portrait sessions booked in February, March and April 2009. If you want to help out, all you have to do is make a $100 donation to the Australian Red Cross (instead of paying my $100 sitting fee) through their secure online donations page and then email me the electronic receipt. I’ll contact you to book in our session. Can’t wait to hear from you!