Sep 3, 2012

The blog in which I discuss the insanity that is Box Top for Education

First off, I'd like to start by saying how amazing our PTA is at our elementary school.  When I dreamed of the day that my children would be attending primary school, I dreamed of being involved in the PTA, maybe, even volunteering to be a president.  See, I'm always a little delusional, seeing as I already had myself pegged as the number one person in an organization that for years has prided itself on relating and fostering healthy relationships between the parents, teachers and students, while promoting financial help in order for the school to continue to aide the education process.  While there has never been a more dire time for financial help in our public school systems, I have recognized that since I don't know how to play nicely with others, nor do I know how to balance a check book, perhaps I might not be best suited to head the PTA.  So, I throw money at them.  Not much.  We don't have much.

In fact, they weren't so thrilled at the last round of money we threw at them, seeing as it was coins, and apparently, coins hurt.  Whatever.  It's all I had for that "Duck for a Buck" they are doing each Friday morning as the migits get off the bus.  The little rubber duckies are all hanging out chill and waiting to be picked.  All you need to do is send in a buck, and the proceeds will go to the PTA where they have already allocated the funds for relevant projects or purchases to the school.  I was totally able to support this fundraising idea, however, that day, all I could scrounge was some coins.  Not even all quarters.  Dang it.  I know that when bus loads of elementary students are headed your direction, all you want to do is open an envelope and count by tens, and sometimes, fives, to make up two dollars in coins.  (I have two children.)  Sorry Duck for a Buck volunteer!  But we just love Huey and Duey as they cowboy and police our bathtub, I mean, collect mold.

So, we attended a back to school bash that the PTA put together for no charge.  In fact, if you were a paid PTA member, you got a free hot dog!  They offered free snow cones to all, and did sell, for a nominal fee, drinks and chips.  The hair painting, tattoos, cake walk, bouncers, carnival style games, dunk tank, etc., were all free!  (We all donated to the cake walk, but that was super inexpensive to send in a box of Little Debbie.) While at the bash, the families were invited to learn about the many opportunities that the school offers to get involved in the many diverse areas of need.  I signed up for the library book shelving again, as well as a new assignment, called "Worker Bees."  I will be contacted to help with things like other events like the back to school bash, Bingo Night, working for the teachers outside of the classroom to do laminating, cutting, etc.  I'm in for all that.

Here's the one table, that totally got me.  Box Tops for Education.  This lovely lady, Michelle, who I had met last year, was sitting at this table, explaining how easy this program works.  Here's the explanation.  You clip the little coupon like symbol on consumable items you purchase that participate in the Box Top for Education program, and turn them into the school, and for each symbol redeemed, the school will get ten cents.  Well, in a school as large as ours, that will certainly add up, and the technology our school is employing will certainly benefit from such a program, and all it takes is us parents to stop, clip, and turn in.  Oh, wait.  Here's where things get all screwy.

First, once you start clipping, you will see that they are all different sizes, and only certain brands have them.  I purchase about 50% generic brand, therefore, I have less to search out.  Then, they are not all on cardboard packages.  I actually found some of those suckers on plastic packaging that I get when I buy my Scott Soft toilet paper.  Not the plain you fools.  Of course I buy the nice stuff. Yes.  It makes a difference.  It is so luxurious, I wrapped a roll and gave it to Lisa for Christmas last year.  Just one roll.  I didn't want to be decadent or make her feel bad if she didn't have a gift for me.  It was just one of those thoughtful gifts.  Like, next time she poos, she would think of me and what a "crappy" gift giver I am.  No, really.  I gave her a box of See's chocolates as well, since she mentioned those once.  But I thought the t.p. would be a practical partnered gift.  Plus, after I cut the plastic little label out, it really messed up the packaging, therefore, I could only give her the one roll.

Second, once you start, you become obsessed about it.  Well, when I say "you," I mean me, seeing as I become obsessed with anything that I do.  Like PVC pipe crafts.  Or matching doll and girl pillow case dresses.  Or growing miniature roses in my childhood bedroom in my early 20's.  Or making cake pops.   or.... Seriously, this list is too numerous to continue, however, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing until you never want to see it, taste it, or speak it again.  So, I am continuously checking, and cutting these little boogers from the most difficult of places.  It's kind of like when you make a Kraft Mac and Cheese, and on the box, it has a little corrugated area to push your finger and that is to be your opening, and really, that is the most difficult way to enter the box.  Lies, right?  Well, cutting these little symbols is akin to that.  But worse.

Third, you have to affix them to a piece of paper that has little boxes to attach each one in a nice little neat row, probably making the accounting of them easier.  Um, there is a flaw here.  They are not the same size, and often times, over lap into other boxes!  Then you are dealing with attaching plastic.  That needs like Gorilla glue or something, seeing as I glued the toilet paper roll ones a plethora of times in order to get it to properly "adhere."  I considered using deer semen, as that seemed to be the only type of fixative that I had not tried.  This is turning out to be very expensive, time consuming, and anxiety ridden seeing as I could have simply attached them to a white piece of paper and put as many as I could have on there seeing as 1. it would have saved a freakin' tree that my son is so attached to, and 2. I would have stayed within the lines since there wouldn't have been any.  Michelle, I'm calling you, and the only question you can answer is, "How do I get a permanent supply of medication while I help out my PTA or is there a OCD friendly version of this Box Top nonsense?  Poor Michelle.  G-d love her. I think I'll stick to Duck for a Buck for the remainder of the year.
You see the angst I must have? 
Poor Michelle.  There will be a special place in heaven for her.  And for the bastard that decided to share the wealth if only us parents would suffer in silence for the sake of our offspring.

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