The Adventures of a Preschool Parent Co-op

I don’t know how I didn’t realize O’s school was a parent co-op before I enrolled him. Or maybe somewhere I read that it was, but I didn’t really knew what it meant. What it means is that that parents are heavily involved. Very heavily involved, which honestly, is a very, very awesome thing, but can get a little hairy for a 8:30-5, in-the-office, working mom.

As part of this parent co-op, we have to put in so many service hours on our assigned committee. There are many committees, and you can mark in order of preference which committee you’d like to be assigned, but ultimately you are placed on the committee to which you are most needed. Of course, I volunteered for the marketing committee. Because, like, duh, I’m a writer at an advertising/marketing company. I pictured myself educating parents on great ways we could advertise/market ourselves–including updating Facebook pages and optimizing the the school’s website for search (since interactive is my specialty, natch.)

Well, I wasn’t placed on the marketing committee. I was put on the fundraising committee. And that, my friends, is a slight problem, if only because I hate asking people for things–be it a cup of sugar from a neighbor or a ride home from the hospital from a friend. I don’t like it, and, if I can avoid it, I don’t do it. I have a bit of an independent streak combined with a wild desire for control. I hate feeling needy or that I need people’s help. Is that a problem? Yes. Do I know it’s a problem? Yes. Can I change that about myself? Maybe. With the help of this fundraising committee.

At the first meeting, I went down a marketing path within the fundraising committee. “We will make facebook pages for all our fundraising events! We’ll advertise this on craigs list! We’ll tell Family Friendly Cincinnati about this so they can tell all the moms!” But I soon realized I couldn’t hide behind my advertising facade, and I’d soon have to dig in and actually–gasp!–do some actual fundraising.

So now I’m calling restaurants owners for restaurant nights, I’m asking people I don’t even know to donate things for a silent auction, I’m asking people to cut me deals on rental spaces. (All while working, raising a small child, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, taking care of my elderly cat, and everything else I have going in my life. No big deal.)

It honestly helps to know what I’m doing is for a spectacular school (and, you know, not really for me, because I don’t need help, obvi.) But I’m getting there–small steps. By the time this is all said and done, maybe I won’t feel horrible asking for things for me and my family. I’ll learn something right along my four-year-old. How cute is that? Well, we’ll see.

In the meantime, does anyone want to buy some raffle tickets? You could win a free iPad. All proceeds directly benefit the school. Email me!

Also, in all seriousness, if anyone has some fundraising tips and tricks–I’d love to learn them. Feel free to post in the comments or email me at Or if you want to buy raffle tickets–I guess I’m kind of serious about that, too.

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