Nov. 16th, 2016

lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)
The PTO is sending me repeated requests via email and Facebook and possibly papers in my kids' backpacks for donations to needy families for Thanksgiving. As one of the eligible families contemplating filling out the request form for the first time ever, I find this somewhat annoying. (While I was typing this I just got another forward of the same message, LOL)

They are trying to collect gift cards to grocery stores, which is a pretty good thing to give people, I think.

For Christmas, they instead take requests for clothes and toys and then fill them, which is annoying on several levels. It could be helpful with clothes, and I might do that... They have a space to fill in children's genders rather than just their toy preferences and clothing sizes/needs. And of course they give you two options, which are actually sexes... I'm sure you don't have to fill out that part, but it's still bullshit. (And it doesn't even say it's optional, so people probably do feel like they have to fill it out.)

They may also do gift cards to Target or whatever, which would be awesomely much better... I know some places do that...

What I really think they should do is give gift cards or credit or whatever for things actually related to school. So far, based on personal experience, I recommend

1. Books at the book fair.

(Book fair is today. This is one of the few things I am still borrowing from my parents for, because there is nothing like books and book-related stuff you yourself chose, without judgement or restriction. New books! Hardcover books! Coloring books! Posters! Fancy journals! Fancy pens! Things that look like books but really hide secret spy equipment! Books that, if you drop them in the toilet or spill hot chocolate on them, or trade them or sell them or rip them or break the spines or dog-ear your favorite pages, no outside authorities will bring their judgement/disappointment/consequences to bear on you...)

2. School supplies for the beginning of the year.

(That's a huge, concentrated expense! And there are all these charities you can get hooked up with that get you stuff, but it's never based on the list of required stuff from your particular school or even this town's district.)

3. Actual fucking help with childcare.

(So far AFAIK (after 5+ years of asking) there is NO sliding scale or scholarships for the school system's official after-school programming, which includes holidays, vacations, summer and now I think the many, many half-days that creep up. It is possible to get scholarships, at least for the summer, from charities and from the town's Emergency Fund*, which is run thru/with the Red Cross in some convoluted way that involve me having to go to an office in a church to request it.)
(There is a morning program but the kids can't bring their own food let alone have the free breakfast some qualify for but the school doesn't serve, and they charge for it and like a million things you can get that fee waived but no one communicates about this; you're supposed to just know...)

*I originally typed Emergency Funk, which is definitely a thing, I think...


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