Blowing off (child) solicitors


I know we’re supposed to be charitable… but where do you draw the line?

We have a family agreement that if a boy or girl comes to the door representing the Scouts, or another neighborhood reputable youth organization, we’ll willingly buy a wreath, popcorn, or just make a donation.

The last few weeks we’ve been clobbered with kids ringing the bell… these kids are not from our neighborhood!.. especially when there’a a car idling in the center of the street, and there’s another kid “tag-teaming” the other side of the block… I KNOW the kids in my neighborhood. My children either babysit them, are in competition to babysit them, or go to school with them!

Most of these kids look like “gang-banger” wannabe’s, are not wearing a uniform, and/or do not present themselves in a manner that represents an organized fund-raiser!

Hey, Youz wanna buy summa dis popcorn?? I getz to go on a trip if I sells enough??

“I’m sorry, but I only donate to the Scouts… in Uniform”.
"Dat’s cool… (1/2 way down the yard… didn’t use the sidewalk) “*zzhole”
“Excuse me, what did you say??”
“Nothin’” (as the car pulls away to the next house).

Now I’m wondering if I need to keep the yard lights on, and the dog in the yard overnight…(perimeter defense)!


this time of year is the worst, as a former GS and cub scout leader (and band parent, and Catholic school parent) I am a veteran of these so-called fundraisers, and a victim. When I was chairman of band boosters my job was to investigate these programs, and very few are legit, in that the organization gets siginifant payoff for the hours spent selling. GS cookies are a notable exception, for one think every penny of the price is accounted for. Most of these companies target schools, youth groups etc, deliver sub-standard merchandise at hugely inflated prices, with pennies on the dollar going to benefit the kids and the organization.

We made a family rule long ago to donate a certain dollar amount to worthwhile organizations, in which our kids participated, and to say no to all others, but not to buy the products (except of course for addictive products like Thin Mints and Samoas). Our policy was never, ever to allow children to sell alone esp. door to door, that was GS policy as far back as my volunteer service went (1974). We also developed a policy long ago of saying NO to all solicitations made at work by other employees on behalf of their children. If you say yes to one you have to say yes to all.

I will not buy anything from a child who is going door to door alone because I don’t want to encourage such a crazy procedure. Parents are insane if they allow it. I will also not donate to people collecting money in the middle of an intersection because it encourages unsafe behavior. I do my giving through Church or organizations in which I or my family are involved, where I know where the money goes, who benefits, how it is spent.


I’m trying to sympatize with your position, but I’m laughing and thinking I could save alot of money if…

I don’t think I would worry about retaliation. I’m sure you’ll be hard to single out amid the slew of rejections he has earned.

I might have responded, “Not with that sales pitch.” That may help with some social etiquette.


ask them if they have a license to solicit in your neighborhood, that usually scares them from coming back.

i’ve never liked kids going door to door. its a security risk.

and i HATE when kids or their organizations set up outside a convenience store or grocery store to raise money for that trip to such and such a place for such and such a reason.
its organized begging. I usually bite my tounge and don’t say anything… but it grinds my gears when i see kids learning that instead of providing a product or service and raising money… we’ll just beg and look pathetic and leave it up to the mercy of the man buying his morning coffee and smokes to throw a quarter our way. stop begging!

aarrrgh. :mad:


I live in a city. I get this from time to time. In each case, I never buy.
I do give the kid a stern warning that there are an awful lot of cops that live on the block. That ALWAYS gets a reaction of eyes popping.


This sounds exactly like our family policy. On my dining room table right now I have 3 of these fundraising packets! We will not be participating in any of them. We are blessed to be able to write a decent check for each. But even if we weren’t I can assure you that the little we could donate would match what the school/organizations would actually receive from the fundraising company.

To the OP. Yes on the yard lights and perhaps also put up a no solicitation sign. The kids in question may not be able to read it, but you’ll have your bases covered.


I have to say Thank you! when in the middle of a chocolate attack they come to the door selling candy bars :o .

We used to buy one item from our neighbor’s son. Then the other son started selling, so it became two items. Then the neighbors next door started (both boys) selling. We had to stop. The prices are outrageous and I’m sure not much went to the school.


That is one of my pet peeves!! It is so unsafe that I’m surprised it is legal. It is very distracting. I also refuse to donate to them.

I will usually buy girl scout cookies and boy scout popcorn. I only buy from other kid solicitors if: they are very polite and selling something I want (and the cause seems legitimate). Heck, I don’t even always buy from my own children if they are selling junk.

What’s really annoying about the school fundraisers is they get the kids all fired up in an assembly (time wasted) about all the prizes they’ll win if they sell different amounts of their products. The prizes are usually cheap junk that will break before they get it home. And they have to sell a lot to get those worthless prizes. I’d rather just write a check to the school and spare them the fundraising fiasco. I honestly don’t remember selling stuff for school but that was such a long time ago…


**Nope. Never. That’s what taxes/tuition are for. If I’m going to pay for someone to go on a trip - it’s going to be ME.:wink: **

**I have twice told older kids (looks about 12+) I’d give them $20 for yard work or $3 to scoop the cat box. Seems none of them want to actually earn it.:cool: **

ONCE I did a fundraiser for our kids and said we’d never do it again.


You say, “No thank you” and close the door. If you have a peephole you yell, “No thank you” and don’t open the door.

I do not make my kids sell stuff. Maybe I should have.

For little people in preschool through grade 4, we figure out which is cheaper: Opt out or buy the minimum of the product. We then “gift” people with the minimum if that was cheaper. One year, we gifted Grandma and Grandpa with World’s Finest for Christmas (Grandpa had a World’s Finest jones). Another year, we gifted a couple relatives (local ones) with frozen pizzas.

For big kids- If it pertains directly to school, we do as above. If it is for sports, band, and activities, we have a deal. They take the minimum, and we take part of it out of their allowance and/ or savings, depending how expensive and their age. We consider it a part of the sport or activitiy, and that child has to help pay for that sport or activity, or not participate. The amount the child pays depends on the child’s age.

Thin mints and samoas are in their own class, however. I buy them in huge batches when the GS sale starts, and keep them in the freezer all year. I only give them to good friends on special occasions!:o I horde them.


Don’t get me wrong, I think the boy scouts are a good group, but $18 for a bin of stale popcorn is a bit too much…I sold my MIL an entertainment book - she had it sent to us (I thought that was really nice) but I put a sign up at our last house “no soliciting unless you are under the age of 10” – That limited how many girl scouts show up, and keeps the others away – personally, the kids don’t bother me nearly as much as the Kirby vaccuum guy (do you mind if I come in? It’s kinda cold out here" – are you NUTS?? NO WAY!!)

Why can’t they do like the disabled vets do and leave an order form, come back and pick it up later when I leave it out – then I pay upon receipt…


Another polite tactic is to insist for a brochure or other information about the group so you can check the group out first or make a contribution directly to them.


I know what you mean! I’m so thankful that our school STOPED the christmas wrap sales and candy sales.

Starting this year the ONLY school FUN RAISER is a Fun Run. ALL the children will do the Fun Run and recieve a water bottle even if they DO NOT have sponsers. They have hired a DJ to play music and the kids are given one hour to do as many 1/4 mile laps they can in that hour.

The sponser can donate whatever amount they want to donate. They have a choice to donate x amount per lap or a flat donation.

I have family members that are willing to give more this year to sponser the kids in the Fun Run then they were willing to buy stuff in past years. :slight_smile:


Get good at saying “No thanks” without the guilt.
Why burden yourself with guilt when you will never see these folks again?

Toughen up…or don’t open the door. That is equally effective.


You could do what I did, and put up a “no soliciting” sign on your front door.

Then inform your neighborhood friends that you have done that to protect yourself from the outsiders, but it’s fine if their Scouts, whom you know, knock on your door.

That way, anyone who doesn’t personally know you will know it’s not OK to bug you.

I had to do this after I had a local business come to my door literally half a dozen times within a few months, after I had told them no over and over again. And then there’s the wierd magazine guy who claims he’s from some organization that helps poor kids go to college, but when you read the forms, it says that the salespeople get no assistance for college or educational trips. I finally got fed up and put up the sign. Of course, I also e-mailed the business involved and threatened to call the police for harassment if their employees so much as dared set foot on my property. And my sign includes a specific warning for that business that if they bother me, I will call cops and release my dog. (THEY don’t know he’s the biggest wuss in the world! :stuck_out_tongue: ) Not very nice, but it got THAT bad.

Peace has prevailed on my doorstep since I put up the sign… very nice.


They’re enticed by the (often ******) prizes the top seller can win. My daughter’s friend went on an on once about the great prizes and pizza party her class would get if they sold the most. She sounded like a robot spitting out what she had been programed to say. —KCT


Personally, I detest children being sent door to door as little sales-bots. In this day and age there are too many weirdos and I find it irresponsible for a parent to let their children go door to door without an adult right on their tail. I’m surprised how many kids show up on the doorstep with no adult in sight! We combat this problem by not answering the door when little people carrying packages are on the stoop.

And then there’s the fact that I remember middle school enough that I know these kids have been inticed by the lure of great prizes that really don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hades of winning. The items are over priced and sometimes merely items you could buy at the store for little to nothing with a big price tag attached. Honestly, I had less pressure put on me to make sales when I worked in retail on a comission then these kids are put under at the assemblies to hype them into becoming sales-bots.

We also encounter alot of groups trying to sell things in front of Wal-Mart, Sams Club, etc. I’ve had children follow me almost into the parking lot trying to sell me things. I will admit, however, that I almost always do end up giving money in these cases, especially if it is a Christian group/charity. However, if what they’re selling is highly overpriced I just give them a buck as a donation.


I hate having to answer my door. I’m peeved even by the neighborhood kids (and there’s not that many of them) - I just hate being pressured to buy something, even if it’s only for 50 cents, and I feel uncomfortable telling the neighborhood kid “no.” I guess I worry about being looked at by my neighbors/aquaintancces as stingy. My problem to get over I guess. I’d put a “no solicitors” sign up, but I don’t think alot of kids know what that sign means. Plus I have one exception to that rule - if you are running for office and you want to introduce yourself to me, or if you want me to sign a petition to put you on the party’s election ballot, then I want you to ring my bell. Not sure how to put all that on a sign though…and make it go with my festive autumn wreath :wink: .


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