Long ago, in the dark ages, there was a girl who was a band geek. Ok, it was me. I loved being in the band, despite the social stigma. Ok, the stigma really wasn't bad for me, but it was for a lot of people. It never stopped me from dating or having friends outside the band, but the stereotypical band geeks had a hard time socializing. We worked hard all summer to perfect our half-time show. We competed in marching competitions. When that was over, we practiced for hours on symphonic band - we also competed with that. And once a year, we took a trip to compete somewhere out of state. One year it was Panama City Beach, FL. One year Chattanooga, TN. And we paid dearly for these trips. We did fundraiser after fundraiser. Washed cars, sold doughnuts, sold wrapping paper. We worked. And all profits went to offset the cost of the trip. And whatever we didn't raise, we (or our parents) paid. But we worked so hard, that the costs to our families were minimal.
Fastforward to today. I work for a pretty large company. We have an electronic 'bulletin board'. Glamour Girl knows what I'm talking about. It's a pretty neat tool. If you lose something, a ring, a watch, earring, whatever, you can put up a little post and hopefully someone will find it and return it. If you are having to do a school/scout fundraiser, just post it out there and interested people will make a purchase. If you are participating in a marathon to raise money for whatever cause is near and dear, post it and people will donate.
Today I was picking through it and found a post that just pissed me off. This is not a rant against social programs - believe me, I know those are needed. So don't twist what I'm about to say into me being 'anti-helping people out'. I believe in working for what you want. So when I came across a post asking for donations to fund a student's $6,500 trip to Europe (Spain, France, Italy) I was shocked. When did students start asking total strangers to just donate cash? Is this the norm? He may have participated in fundraisers, but that was not mentioned. Just a straight out request for cash.
I honestly believe that kids who are given everything lose the ability and will to work for things on their own. What is he learning if people just hand him cash in exchange for nothing?