Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Trouble With Philanthropy...



I spoke with Five Head last night. He was disenchanted with his school's walk-a-thon fundraiser. Every year, the kids of Ambassadors for Christ ambush their unsuspecting friends and family with requests for sponsorship: $1 (or more, if Jesus moves you) per lap on the school track. Every year, I find myself forking over cash to a school which provides superior education, if not substandard reality, because of Five Head's goddamn endurance.

This kid brother of mine, he was disenfranchised with the walk-a-thon because apparently they use "walking" as both a punishment for the kids when they are unruly AND as a fundraiser for the school.

Five Head calls this a "mixed signal". True enough, kid. True enough.

So I asked him for a solution. What does he think is a more appropriate punishment?

"I don't know, doing our normal thing? It's what we do anyway."

Yeah, that won't fly. Okay, try this: what's a more appropriate fundraiser?

"Um, how about a read-a-thon?"

Yes, I say. How about a read-a-thon? It encourages reading. Duh. Also, the kids would have to practice the "honor system" (JESUS APPROVED!) for keeping track of the books that they read honestly and accurately.

BRILLIANT! My kid brother was born to be an effectual administrator. I told him to pitch the idea to his school.

It made perfect sense to me. "Just THINK!" I said. "If you pitched them the idea and handed them a check from a generous contributor who supports your read-a-thon concept?! You could change your school!"

"Maybe..." he said. "I might be able to convince some of my fast-reading friends...AND, I could talk to my teacher and see if the principal will agree to it! I could get a plaque on the wall with my name on it!!"**

And now he's all pumped up about change, which is kind of ironic given the red state in which he lives.

Then I made a grave error: I promised to pay him 25 cents for every chapter he reads between now and Thanksgiving.

My kid brother, who mocks the picture books and praises 500 page chapter books. Do you have any idea how many days are left between now and Thanksgiving? Millions of dollars in quarters worth of days, that's how many.

And then I compounded stupidity by saying I'd also pay 25 cents for every chapter read by every friend he convinces to join him in his campaign for a read-a-thon.

And then my budget called the cops and I was arrested for domestic assault. Because I beat up my bank account. With my TONGUE.

Oh my god, please let all my brother's friends be retarded.

**Apparently he got this idea from a plaque on the wall outside his classroom donated by the family of a kid who got ran over in the street by a car. I reminded him to look both ways and then we talked about how "accidents happen".