Chocolates Anyone?

ChocolatesOK. Let’s be honest. Signing your kindergartner and second grader up to do a school fundraiser is pretty much signing yourself up to do a school fundraiser. I have some newfound respect for those parents who opt out and tell their kids they aren’t selling stuff – especially after our most recent candy-bar selling spree. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, it was just a lot of work. But boy I’m glad we did it.

The PTA just wrapped up its annual fundraiser. And my boys were selling maniacs.

I guess they take after their grandpa Cutler who, rumor has it, used to sell admission tickets for his friends to sit and watch his sister put in her contact lenses.

Anyway, the boys were hooked from the beginning. They were pumped up about selling their product – $1 chocolate bars.

It’s partly my fault. I’ve been involved with this from the beginning too. I am on my school’s PTA board and cast my vote as to what we would sell and what the prizes would be.

I really do love these chocolate bars. They are cheap, delicious and this year they came with a free-admission coupon to Fat Cats for Bumper Cars or Glow Golf. That coupon in itself made the bars more than worth it.

Oh, and we decided to let the students do the fundraiser as families if they wanted. That meant my boys could work as a team and earn prizes as a team.

Otherwise we probably wouldn’t have done it. I can’t imagine having to decide which one of my boys would get the reward from us selling. I’m glad they let us team up.

Because, what kid doesn’t get stoked about prizes? If students sold one box they got to go to an ice cream party. If they sold two or more boxes they got their name entered into a drawing for cash envelopes. If they sold 4, they got to ride in a “party bus” to get a free lunch!


Each box had 60 candy bars neatly packaged inside. And once you took a box home you were responsible to sell – or buy yourself – all 60 bars. You couldn’t return any partially sold boxes.

Anyone who knows me knows I stress over money. I hoard it. I don’t like to splurge. And I also don’t like sweets. I still have some of my Christmas stocking candy left over.

So the prospect of being stuck with $60 worth of chocolate bars really gave me anxiety. But I signed us up anyway.

We sold our first box easily. We called grandmas, great grandmas, aunts and uncles. It felt like a breeze.

Then we made a long list of people we knew who we thought would buy some. We ran around the neighborhood with the big box of chocolates checking names off our list.

I also posted a picture of the candy on Facebook. That really helped us sell our second and third boxes.

But after 180 I was done. Yes I said 180. That’s $180 worth of product.

I’d driven my boys around for three nights knocking on doors of people we knew.

Surely I’d burned through several chocolate bars’ worth of gas at that point. I was ready to be done – I didn’t want to see another chocolate bar again. (Unless it was caramel flavored, those are my favorite.)

But I caved. My oldest begged me to sell one more box. He had a couple of friends who were on their fourth box. Why couldn’t he sell another?

That’s when my mom guilt took over and I brought home 60 more bars.

I knew the reward. If we sold this box, my two oldest boys would get to take a spin in the “party bus” to get lunch.

That better be the best lunch of their lives.

So we made another list. More people we knew. More people who didn’t have their own kids selling candy bars. More Facebook friends who said they’d buy some. And we hit the pavement again.

It was stressful, it was crazy and I wondered if we’d have to pay our mortgage out in chocolate bars. But we did it.

We sold 240 candy bars. Something I NEVER thought we could do. Granted we bought several ourselves, but I figure we can spend some family bonding time at the bumper car arena. There’s nothing more fun than slamming a car into the ones you love.

But frankly I’m glad I let them sell that last box. I didn’t hold them back. I didn’t get in the way of their passion. And when we were almost done selling it my seven-year-old said, “It feels really good accomplishing something.”

It really does. This fundraiser was about more than milk chocolate and almond bars. It was about making a plan, setting some goals and getting to work. It was about believing in yourself when your mom doubted you. I’m proud of my kids. They rocked it.

In the end it was a win-win. And the victory was especially sweet.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaclyn
    Feb 13, 2014 @ 09:07:33

    That’s awesome! Congratulations! If I remember correctly, the chocolate fundraiser was always a huge success at your school. Our school is doing that fundraiser for the first time this year. Their big prizes were kindles and an ipad (along with several smaller prizes along the way). How does the school make money doing that?? We have never done that fundraiser (but would always buy a few bars from the school to show a bit of support). Ryan strongly opposes fundraisers. I hope your school raised a lot of money!


    • Natalie
      Feb 13, 2014 @ 22:29:09

      Jaclyn, it’s crazy how popular the chocolate bars are. We haven’t totaled everything up, but I am sure we will make a lot of money. I don’t know if this is how it works for all schools, but the chocolate company gives our school a certain amount of money to put toward rewards/prizes. I’m sure your school has a similar contract. What great prizes! What kid wouldn’t want an ipad!!!


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