August 25, 2010,
J.B. asks from Mesa, AZ on August 24, 2010
How My Son Can Raise Money for His Field Trip
My son is in the 7th grade. His teacher is taking the first 35 students to sign up to Washington DC in May 2011. The trip costs $1800. I would love for him to take this trip. The $1800 covers everything. I would like to find a way that my son can raise some of this money on his own. I thought maybe we could send out letters to see if any family members and close friends would be willing to gift him some money. But other than that I am at a loss. Does anybody have any suggestions on what he can do to raise some money?
Thank you very much!
T.C. answers from Colorado Springs on August 24, 2010
I would love to go on an $1800 trip. :) I have to say that if I got a letter asking for money to send a kid on a trip, I would laugh. If your son wants to go, he needs to WORK for it. I loved the suggestions from Jb B. Pet sitting, mowing grass, etc. He must be about 12 or so? Surely there are things he can do to earn it. And, if anyone usually sends gifts for birthdays or Christmas, you could ask them to send money instead so that he can put it towards his trip. He could put flyers on all your neighbor's doors letting them know he is available to work for them: chopping wood, cleaning up the yard, their garage, any odd jobs, washing cars, anything. He can tell them what he is working towards, and they might be more inclined to hire him. I respect a young man who is willing to work for something. I balk at one who wants a hand-out. This could truly put him on a path of learning the value of money. He may have to give up other opportunities to do this. If he is used to playing sports, perhaps he can skip those, and use the money you would have spent on that towards his trip. He must learn to sacrifice to get what he really wants. Great opportunity for you!!
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L.U. answers from Seattle on August 24, 2010
If I got a note from my niece asking for a handout I would probably be insulted. Especially if she is old enough to be babysitting, mowing grass, pet walking, cleaning houses. When I was in 8th grade I cleaned a woman's house every week and got paid for it.
You could ask at your work or your husband's work if they wanted to sponsor your child.
But I truly believe that if you want him to go on the trip then you tell him to get his little beehind out there and find work to do! Put up fliers, knock on doors, understand the value of a dollar. If you see him working hard then I would suggest that you put in whatever he was not able to raise by his hard work.
(pet sitting, babysitting, yard work, mowing the grass, housesitting, (I was gonna say shoveling the sidewalk, but you don't get snow in AZ do ya?) washing neighborhood cars, garage sale of things he doesn't use anymore). When he knocks on doors or asks family and friends if they need these things done maybe have him go with the flier from school that explains what and where he would be going. I think people would probably pay just a little bit more (especially if they are close to your family) for your young man to get to his final destination)
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T.F. answers from Dallas on August 24, 2010
I would never send out requests for money to send my child on a special field trip. First of all, if she were invited and wanted to go, I would pay for it, no questions asked.
Secondly, I would make sure she did something to at least earn a portion of it so she understands the value of money.
We run our company from home (NO MLM) . My daughter loves to work for me and I let her do it. She cleans the house, (not like I would but she is learning and it is a help), she does laundry (not like I fold but I don't complain), she does all the shredding for the company (2 garbage bags this past week), she is learining how I run Quickbooks so she can at least navigate it if I am out of pocket, and when she is not at the gym cheering, at school or working on homework, she occasionally babysits.
Great for your son to go, just make sure he does something (even if he is helping you) to learn the value of that dollar.
L.M. answers from Dover on August 24, 2010
Yes. My son did several things to raise funds for a student ambassador trip to China a few years ago. Here are some things he did:
Bake Sales (get friends/family to bake things so your costs are low)
Have collection jars for donations at the bake sale
Have a spaghetti dinner..sell tickets
Send letters to friends and family and/or area businesses and/or organizations (especially those you have a connection to)
J.B. answers from Dallas on August 24, 2010
Pet sit, chores for neighbors, babysitting. Perhaps the 35 students can do car washes? Plus if they all do together there might be some type of fundraising -- we always seem to get tons of those type of things from the school.
S.B. answers from Redding on August 24, 2010
I just went through this with a friend of mine. Her son got something in the mail about a Christian program. $1800? Pffft. Drop in a bucket for this little excursion.
She asked family members who basically told her she was crazy given their monetary situation, given the fact the kid had such bad grades he had to do summer school. Given the fact he was in detention about 50 times for smarting off to teachers.
She held bake sales, spaghetti sales, got items donated for auctions. Her son wasn't into helping. His friends, including my son worked hours and hours washing cars and doing whatever. They didn't earn enough money so they took out a loan to pay for all of it, including a new cell phone, hundreds of dollars for food because he's picky even about American food,
Within a week of coming back, he also demanded money to go to the fair and money for a new sub woofer for his stereo.
He's never had to actually work for anything that he gets in his life. He's in high school now.
I think the best thing is for you to explain that $1800 is more than an entire house payment. You don't have a problem with him going, but it all depends on how much he's willing to work to earn it. That doesn't count other moms manning bake sales or other kids actually doing the work at the car wash. HE needs to think of things and HE needs to be willing to work harder than anyone else.
If not....no trip.
Kids that weren't even invited to go showed up to help while this boy was too busy playing video games, etc.
There was no reward for the kids who slaved. The rewards went to the kid who cared the least but still got to go.
A trip this big should be earned by the child who will benefit from it. Not by the parents or wealthy Aunt Martha or even other kids kind enough to help out.
That's just my opinion.
He can bake. He can sit at a table at the grocery store to sell things.
He can mow lawns. He can clean out his room and have a yard sale.
There are lots of things kids can do to earn money if they want it badly enough. Parents finding the way isn't always the best.
Just my opinion.
B.S. answers from Phoenix on August 25, 2010
If this field trip qualifies as an "extra curricular activity" (ECA--the school would know), it may be possible to ask for donations from friends and relatives to help support his trip and then they can take a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their state income tax liability (it ultimately depends on whether or not they have any state income tax--the credit is not refundable). Why nearly bankrupt Arizona is still offering this tax credit is beyond me, but i still think it's out there. You would want to check in with your tax advisor or the Arizona Department of Revenue to be sure. The credit (donation) allowed is up to $200 for a single taxpayer and up to $400 for a couple. It's called the ECA tax credit. The school district should provide a receipt stipulating that the donation qualifies for the ECA credit.