Hmmm. How many times do your fertile friends put the squeeze on you? Raffle tickets for school fund raisers. Cookie dough sales for the little league team. Silent auctions to keep the school library buying new books. Candy sales to underwrite the music program. Wrapping paper sales to fund God knows what. When did kids and their parents become the Fuller Brush Man equivalent?
What? I don’t pay enough in taxes for public schools that I’ll never send a child to attend? Let’s not even go there. In this season of Girl Scout cookie sentries stationed at every local grocery store (in my day we went door to door wearing the colors after rehearsing our best sales pitch) and Boy Scouts hawking popcorn tins outside every hardware store I can’t help but wonder how a different sort of fund raiser might go over.
Ah, my fertile friends, you want to moan about how severely underfunded school programs are, well let’s talk about my favorite causes for a moment. How about female plumbing? Equal time, it’s all I’m asking for. Listen up.
Did you know that March is Endometriosis Awareness Month? No? Well, it is. As someone who suffers from endometriosis — a key contributor to infertility and lots of other discomforts I won’t bore you with, I think it’s about time for a little payback.
Sure, I’ll buy your raffle tickets if you buy some, er, what bake sale sweet confection could we whip up? How about some cupcakes. Yeah, we could sell them as Wonderful Womb Delights! That might be one way to raise awareness (and a few eyebrows) around the office or the local community. But if cupcakes and bake sales are not your thing, well you can just write out a nice generous check to the Endometriosis Association. Details here or you can order an Endo Angel t-shirt here associated with the Endometriosis Research Center.
Now, what kind of fund raiser would you organize?
March 11, 2008 4:08 am
you are so right…
I’d start a fertility treatment fund for those that cannot afford it. it’s just wrong that money is even an issue in the pursuit of parenthood. sure, it takes money to raise a child. but it should NOT take a small fortune simply to HAVE a child.
or… I’d start an adoption fund to give us another shot at becoming parents.
March 11, 2008 12:24 pm
Oh, PJ, this is sooooo true!!! And let’s not get started on the presents aspect of things too — all the money I have shelled out over the years for gifts for other people’s kids, which will never be reciprocated — “congratulations you’re pregnant” & baby shower gifts, birthday parties, christenings & first communions, & now we’re even starting in on the engagement parties, bridal showers & weddings for the next generation…!!
I would fundraise for my pregnancy loss support group, which operates on a shoestring with a full-time complement of only about 2 people, & is only barely maintaining services in the face of rising demand for them. I did ask my co-workers to sponsor me for one of the group’s fundraisers about nine months after my loss. Most people gave without blinking, but there were a few awkward moments. One woman raised her eyebrow when I explained what it was for & said, “You’re still doing that?” Gee, it’s been nine months, I guess I should have been “over it” by then, hmmm. Wonder what she’d say if I asked her now, 10 years later…
We need to make it just as easy to talk about dead babies & infertility & endo as breast cancer and heart disease.
March 11, 2008 3:44 pm
Well, as a fellow endo girl, I would love to raise money for that…I agree, there are plenty of fund-raisers to help kids, why not the child-less?
I actually just held 2 fund-raisers for fertility treatments for myself. We had a bbq sale and then a bake sale. We called it “Operation Baby Rocker” (my friends like to call me rockstar–long story). We raised more than I expected. Obviously, not enough, but better than nothing. It’s funny that a fund-raiser involving kids can make thousands of dollars, yet one that supports IF tx, well, not so popular. I’m not complaining about my accomplishment, it was truly a blessing. I’m just sayin’…
March 11, 2008 3:58 pm
I concur! As you know, I used my Christmas CD as a fund raiser in this community–which was fantastic! I hope to come up with some other ideas when I go to my 1st Resolve meeting tomorrow!
March 11, 2008 8:44 pm
A fund raiser might also “legitimize” IF and make it OK to talk about. I recently went door-to-door for the heart & stroke foundation and as I was breaking a path in the snow I wondered how this would go down for IF.
My DSIL is TTC and has endo, and has found that a gluten free diet has helped her quality of life immensely (though no baby yet) so I’d recommned gluten-free cupcakes 🙂
A music fund raiser, like the CD mentioned by JJ or a concert – that would be up my alley. Maybe a concert that involves recognized, famous talent who themselves are willing to talk about IF and contribute their performances … when do you think we’d see that day?? Or a CD of lullabies that we make up for the children we dream of having some day, or the children that we have lost, or even children that have finally arrived for the lucky ones. I think Celine Dion has a lullaby like that to her child. She’s been open about needing ART, for one.
March 11, 2008 11:33 pm
I refuse to pay for any of that shit. And I went one step further in my office, making the upper managers put out a memo reminding everyone that solicitation in the office is illegal. They can bring their catalogs and leave them out and people can order, but they cannot come to my fucking office and get in my face asking me for money. Grrrr…
(Seriously, I have NEVER purchased this crap from ANYONE at work. After awhile, they just stop asking.)
Can you tell that you hit upon a pet peeve of mine?
March 11, 2008 11:43 pm
Wow — PJ and everyone else who’s commented so far — this is pretty dang inspiring! How about, for a start, I bake up some “chocolate cyst” cookies for my Resolve group (you know, with nice, gooey fudgey centers). I guess not to raise money, but to make people smile. Some days, I’d trade that for all the money in the world.
March 12, 2008 2:19 am
Endometriosis cupcakes. I can see them now. Also – one word – gingerbread.
March 12, 2008 2:44 am
Laughing really hard right now. I’m just picturing the little Girl Scouts as I make my pitch to them…
March 12, 2008 4:40 am
What a terrific idea! I just ran into a woman at my Weight Watchers meeting and we were chatting about diet and health, namely anemia and she said, “I don’t have a uterus, so I don’t have to worry about that!”. Brief pause but then she went on to say she had had endometriosis and eventually a hysterectomy. I admired her candour.
March 12, 2008 3:21 pm
Yum, gingerbread. Cut in the shape of a uterus (which after all, looks a lot like a heart).
March 12, 2008 4:52 pm
OMG, I would buy a gingerbread uterus! How about some unexplained pumpkin pie, or a bowl of low morph licorice, and a yummy plump cake made with low quality eggs.
March 12, 2008 5:21 pm
This reminds me of the “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” episode from SATC season 6, which nearly all my single, gay, and infertile friends cite as their favorite episode. For as much of our pronatalist society expects and demands of those who are not “contributing” via parenting, it seems that any time people seek contributions for adoption or IVF treatments, they’re immediately ignored or berated for not being able to afford treatment or adoption in the first place.
March 14, 2008 2:13 pm
Well, well said! It gets tiring giving money to other people’s children and their causes, whether it be their schools or boy scouts or girl scouts, when they have no clue what I’d give to have a child so that I could participate in those functions, too. Kids are just shoved in our faces constantly and there’s nothing we can do about it. Errr….
May 8, 2008 6:31 am
Hope you don’t mind a guy dropping in to ask a question.
My wife has celiac disease. As most probably know, infertility is one of the potential consequences of untreated celiacs. We’re in the midst of adopting four children and the legal expenses are significant. (Don’t get me started about the reasons for that!) Before starting the adoption process we started a gluten free food business. We leased an existing cookie factory so our first product is a line of five flavors of gluten free / casein free (GFCF) cookies. We’re at the “struggling to survive” stage of business.
If at all possible I strive to be self-sufficient, perhaps to a fault. Asking for help is not something that comes easy. (We won’t even talk about asking for directions.) When I started thinking about possible adoption fund raisers it occurred to me, “I have a 10,000 square foot dedicated gluten free cookie factory, why not figure out a way to do a gluten free adoption fundraiser?”
When I googled “gluten free” “adoption fund” I found this blog. You’re one of eight total hits. Given the number of people who must, or choose to, eat gluten free and the number of people trying to raise funds for adoption, eight hits seems like the internet equivalent of an absolute vacuum.
Any thoughts what kind of interest there might be for an online fundraiser, that would require zero upfront investment, and no need to handle product or collect money unless you want to? (A large order shipped in bulk would save on shipping costs and increase profits for the fund raiser.) I’m thinking about 33% would go to the fund raiser.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the reputation of gluten free food, which sad to say, in most cases is deserved. Our cookies are great! A second opinion you say? Although our adoption isn’t final, we have had the kids in our home for over a month. We don’t bring cookies home very often, but just tonight they each had some and let me tell you, a more honest critic you’ll not find than a kid from ages 3 to 7.