Fundraising plagues Leesville

On Monday, November 15, two conflicting, Leesville-hosted fundraisers began: the annual food drive and the candy bar sales. While both may be for worthy causes, neither can be truly successful as long as the other is going on.

The food drive has long been a part of Leesville Road’s pride. Since 2008, when I began my freshman year at Leesville, the Pride has ranked second in the Wake County total pounds of food collected to Sanderson High School. After coming in behind the Spartans for all those years, one would think that the students of Leesville would try their hardest to take the top prize, but no.

To no one’s surprise, for (at least) the third time in a row, Leesville took second place in the Food Drive during the 2010-11 school year. It appears that still we have not learned from our past losses or changed our goals as a school.

The sale of the “World’s Finest Chocolate” candy bars around the school is not uncommon over the course of the year. Many clubs take advantage of the average students’ sweet-tooth and sell $1 candies; including FBLA, Model UN, and Orchestra.

The instant gratification of a $1 chocolate bar will constantly trump the karma points one could get by giving to a bigger cause. Loonies will consistently throw away their cash on candy even if there is a food drive going on. Even in the holidays of giving, students will notoriously think only of themselves and what they can get right away.

The issue at hand is bigger than simply out-raising another school in the Food Drive. Bigger, even, than feeding the hungry and less-fortunate people of Central and Eastern North Carolina. This comes down to schools and students taking the responsibility to prioritize and focus on what matters most.

In the long run, what will matter more? Will it be having a snack in your third period, or will it be looking down the road and knowing that you helped to spread some sunshine to the less fortunate people of North Carolina during the holidays?

We should not forget that supporting Leesville’s clubs is important. Not all students use clubs as a resume boost, some actually will be FBLA’s and some are interested in foreign correspondence. In this way, sending them on trips and funding their knowledge is for the better. I am all for raising money for everyone, field trips for all! My only desire is that we do so responsibly. Raising money for any cause, and, as it happens, occasionally more than one at a time, simply comes down to timing.

Where are our priorities when we, as citizens of a mostly well-off country, spend our change on high-caloric chocolate bars, when others do not have the luxury of buying food on a whim and instead are forced to eat at the Food Bank?

So what can we do? The obvious answer is to schedule fundraisers at different times. Whether it’s a matter of crossed signals or simply poor planning, the ambition to raise money from generous student donations cannot be achieved if it is competing with a similar ambition of another group.

The next time you have a club meeting and you’re gearing up to sell those chocolate bars, check in with administration and other clubs to see if they are doing the same. Maybe we can all save some time, money and frustration this way.


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