From the Forum – Legit DC Public School Fundraiser?

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Legit DC Public School Fundraiser?

“Does anyone know if there is a legitimate fundraiser for DC public schools, where the children are selling giant candy bars for school uniforms? There have been a bunch of kids (with at least one adult) hanging out in Logan Circle doing this. One kid followed me a block and a half home, and then snuck into my building behind me to try to get me to buy candy after I said “No Thank You” when I passed. If it’s not legit, I may call the cops next time.”

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25 Comment

  • almost definitely not legit.

    a) school isn’t in session now.
    b) it would probably be through the PTA or maybe the LAST, not the school itself
    c) schools have programs to help fund uniforms for kids who can’t pay.
    d) ask them the name of the school and say you’ll donate to the PTA directly. You can also look up the school profile on the DCPS website (if it’s not a charter) and see if they even require a uniform.

  • Unfortunately, you probably should err on the side of considering every fundraising effort in DC to be a scam.

  • nightborn

    It’s a scam. I don’t know about calling the cops though, I mean, are they going to arrest the kids for selling candy? Just say no, once, and don’t engage/speak up any further even if/when the kid keeps talking or following you.

    • I’d like to see them arrest the adults running the scam, who presumably are keeping all or most of the money.

  • If anyone ever comes to your door selling something, you can rest assured that it is 100% a scam.

  • I wonder if the Logan Circle folks are the same ones that seem to appear in Friendship Heights every so often?

    I’ve lived in an apartment building on Wisconsin Ave for over two years now and every few months a dad and his three kids will appear outside my building, trying to hustle candy bars for school uniforms. It’s a really dismal scene and although I’d never do it part of me wants to ask them if they’ve bought the uniforms yet because they’ve been asking for money to buy them for at least two years!! I’ve never given them money but it’s tough because they seem to park themselves right outside the front door to my building and there’s only so many times I can ignore them or say “No cash” without feeling like a total loser.

    I assume money’s tough, of course, but there’s got to be a better way than having your school aged kids hustle for you….

    • They are trying to scam you, so there should be no limit to the number of times you can ignore or say “no” to them.

  • These are all scams, and those guys are not usually “dad.” When I worked in Phoenix selling hotel space, we frequently got these groups who tried to book room blocks, then would put 8-10 kids in each room and there would be one guy assigned to watch them all day to make sure they worked, didn’t take breaks, and didn’t keep any of the cash. How this isn’t human trafficking is beyond me.

    • this sounds like grounds for police intervention… did that happen?

      • We could never get the police to get involved because there is some semi-legit “organization” that is sponsoring it as some youth building crap. No hotels wanted to take them because of the inherent problems with the group, but the organization kept threatening to sue the city, the mayor, etc for discrimination. It was a huge mess.
        I always want to talk to the kids and ask if they are working of their own accord but those guys are always somewhere nearby watching and they are aggressive.

    • Where were they coming from? Either way, that seems pretty much textbook human trafficking. I never even thought to think about the possibility. I suspected the money wasn’t actually going toward uniforms, but didn’t really mind, figuring, at least the kids were being entrepreneurial. This totally sketches me out now.

  • It may very well be child trafficking. You can call the cops; it’s the adults that will be arrested. Better yet, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. They liaise with the cops to deal with this kind of thing. If you’re concerned, it’s better to call the people that are trained to determine what’s real and what’s a scam. If it involves kids and is a scam, it’s trafficking. 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733)

  • I remember something about this a few years ago. I can’t remember if it was on here or another DC blog/website, but adult men were “recruiting” young kids during the summer to pull this scam and then reaping all the profits. A few weeks ago, I saw some kids with a bag from Five Below dump candy into a crate and harass people on U Street for money. Maybe we should be more vigilant about calling the cops on them?

  • We’ve had 2 visits from Eastern High Students requesting contributions for the Marching band and/or a sports team. Both students claimed that it was impossible for us to mail contributions to the school. We did actually send in a check to Eastern H.S. marching band once but never heard a word of thanks.

  • Watch out for kids selling washington post subscriptions to raise money for schools. Definitely a scam. They have forms that look official with carbon copies. You’d be unlucky to give them cash, but unluckier if you decided to provide credit card info which can then be stolen.

    • Interesting. A kid came to my door in Park View a month or two ago with what looked like a Washington Post paper bag around his shoulder, but I stopped him very early into his spiel and said, “I’m not interested.” He was almost indignant, and said, “But… you don’t even know what I’m selling!” I guess he must’ve been part of that same scam.

  • I live in Petworth. About a month ago, two teenage boys knocked on my door asking me to sign up for a Washington Post subscription, claiming their school’s sports program would receive a donation per subscription. I explained I had access to the Post at work and did not need a subscription. They then asked for a cash donation. I gave them $10. I am now wondering whether this was a scam :/

  • I used to go door-to-door in McLean/Falls Church selling magazine subscriptions for fundraising at my middle school. It was for the weeples (sp?) and the more you sold the bigger the stuffed animal you got.

    This was a million years ago, but legit…I think as the school told us to do it.

  • I saw a kid and his “dad” a little while ago in Dupont Circle, south of the circle on 19th near Zaxby’s. There were there a few days and disappeared. I would say about two months ago.

    I just same the sample duo today in Cleveland Park in front of Medium Rare. Heard the “dad” say, “Next time you’ll look me in the face” as I walked by.

  • brookland_rez

    This kind of shit goes on every summer. Don’t be fooled, it’s not legit. At least they’re out trying to make some money instead of robbing people or dropping rocks on them.

  • austindc

    Probably a scam. Legit kid fundraisers make the parent pedal stuff at work and guilt trip their coworkers into buying stuff they never wanted in the first place. (Kidding of course–I have seen tons of girl scouts and boy scouts who work really hard to raise money for their troops with almost no help from mom or dad).

  • Most of them are scams, but sometime kids really do need some help with band trips, purchasing graduation gowns, etc. If i can write a check to the school, PTA, or scout troop directly I always help out.

  • So which AREN’T scams, and how do you know? I used to have to sell junk no one wanted when I was in high school for a few school trips but, living in suburbia, I went to my neighbors who all knew me. God, I hated it!

    • I get the feeling that in D.C., they’re all scams. This topic (school fundraisers) comes up on PoPville periodically, and I don’t remember anyone having pointed to an instance of a current legit door-to-door school-fundraising effort in D.C.
      Even if there are any legit ones in D.C., there are so many scams that it seems safer to assume something is a scam unless you see REALLY convincing evidence to the contrary.

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