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Thread: Children proselytizing for an organization

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Children proselytizing for an organization

    Not intending to discuss religion, as I know that is against the rules. Which is fine, as I don't like discussing religion anyway.

    Ten minutes ago the doorbell rang. I went to answer it.

    Before me stood 2 boys, perhaps 11 years old. They asked me a religious question, read something, and offered me literature.

    I couldn't believe this org is sending *children* out.

    I felt sorry for them, standing there in the hot blazing sun in 3-piece suits, ties, dress shoes -- sent to do adults' bidding. Listened politely, asked if they were thirsty; would they like some water before they left? They said no, thanked me, left.

    I can't believe people would send KIDS door to door, alone. It's dangerous for starters.

  2. #2
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    Shoot, when I was a child, I wasn't even allowed to go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies because it was dangerous!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Shoot, when I was a child, I wasn't even allowed to go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies because it was dangerous!
    Yeah.

    I'm presuming they're having children do this now, as adults might be more receptive or courteous; at least enough to listen and take the literature because it's children making the presentation.

    I just couldn't believe it.

    I could tell the boy who asked the question, handed me the literature was nervous. His pal was trying to smile for moral support.

    It's also unscrupulous because these children are obviously too young to decide for themselves what they do or don't believe.

    I watched them wander on down the block, feeling sorry for them and wanting to smack the adults in their org upside the head.

  4. #4
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    About two years ago, PETA was here locally, protesting some animal experiments that NASA was doing. Actually, they were protesting a proposal for animal testing.

    There were about a dozen adults and a dozen children. Several of the kids were 3-5 years old and the rest were probably between 6 to 12. Obviously looking for the sympathy factor.

    It really irked me because it was a school day and they folks were protesting at one of the busiest and dangerous intersection in the area. I think the parents finally woke up when an accident occurred right in front of them.

  5. #5
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    One of them came to my front door once with a kid in tow, no doubt as a "human shield" of sorts. I was polite, myself, but inwardly disgusted. From now on, the minute I see any adult with a kid trying to sell me a bridge I will with equal kindness tell them to take a hike.

  6. #6
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    In my area, we have some organizations that do door to door work with children actually doing the contacts at the door. But they tend to be very organized and often aren't religious.

    By way of example, one group of scouts called weeks ahead time and asked for donations for the kids to pick up. They skipped anyone who did not reply. This happens a few time a year, mostly they want recyclable bottles, old furniture and canned goods. Another group ran off fliers and put them on doors informing the community that a fund raising drive was going to be on X day. The parents were on hand a few houses away observing their kids.

    The most surprising one was a group of high school aged kids (in training as firefighters*) solicited donations and then asked if Santa was needed at the home. If you said yes, Santa appeared at your house in a fire truck, in less than a minute with sirens blazing.

    One strange campaign was a church that handed out Christmas cookies to every house for miles. They also handed out flyers asking those in need to contact the church for help at the holidays and a map to another church's soup kitchen and instructions on how to contact or donate to the City Mission. Again, the parents were on hand to observe. This one only happens about every 3 years or so.

    I don't really have an issue with those types of things, except I: A) forget they are happening B) don't realize that my neighbors child is participating and I donate to some random kid.

    On the flip side, I have a deal with the parents of children in the neighborhood NOT to door to door sell candy bars, cookies or popcorn for the scouts with my kids. The kids around here have 5-10 scouting groups within just a few miles. That many competing groups is just an exercise in neighborly hostility.

    *I worked with some of these kids who are involved with the volunteer fire department and as a result, we got several visits this year from Santa on a fire truck. Apparently several of them remembered I children and decided that they needed to hit my house for fun. Ah, high school pranks.
    Solfe

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  7. #7
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    This question might be on the same topic...

    Fifty years ago the daily newspaper (morning and afternoon)
    was delivered by kids. I haven't seen a kid delivering papers
    since the 1970's. Have child labor laws come into effect which
    prohibit such work? Or has it become more practical/economic
    for adults to do it now, such as the necessity of being able
    to drive?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    This question might be on the same topic...

    Fifty years ago the daily newspaper (morning and afternoon)
    was delivered by kids. I haven't seen a kid delivering papers
    since the 1970's. Have child labor laws come into effect which
    prohibit such work? Or has it become more practical/economic
    for adults to do it now, such as the necessity of being able
    to drive?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    I don't know exactly when they stopped using kids but I do remember when news papers began advertising that they guarantee the papers would be delivered before 5 or 6 am (I don't remember what time, exactly). This was back in the early 90's. They also started combining routes so less people had larger areas to cover. I don't know if it was labor laws or the fact that they were making it almost impossible for a kid to deliver before school.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I know the papers around here are delivered very early in the morning, and I think the same people do the newspaper boxes as do the individual papers in their area.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  10. #10
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    I don't mind kids raising money for thier purposes like the girl scouts, sports teams, youth groups, etc.

    But; I don't like it when it isn't thier idea or get some side benefit to it. Just like Buttercup's example where the benefit is for "spreading the word", I've seen it plenty of times with charitable organizations.

    I don't know how many times I have seen in the news "But it's only little cheeeldrin with a lemonade stand raising money for x", when I see the video with the parents hauling everything around, mixing the ingredients, pouring the lemonade and handling the money. The kid ends up as just a front that hands the customer a lemonade.

  11. #11
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    Those children are learning to be adults, and seem to be making good progress. Likely they were doing this semiwillingly. If they were promoting a manned mission to Mars most of us would have been at least slightly pleased. Neil

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    This question might be on the same topic...

    Fifty years ago the daily newspaper (morning and afternoon)
    was delivered by kids. I haven't seen a kid delivering papers
    since the 1970's. Have child labor laws come into effect which
    prohibit such work? Or has it become more practical/economic
    for adults to do it now, such as the necessity of being able
    to drive?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Between sagging newspaper subscriptions and enlarging routes, I think being able to drive a car is pretty much a necessity for delivering newspapers. I was one of the kids delivering papers in the late 70's and even then, I'd have customers spread out over a pretty big area as opposed to everyone on a given street. The Seattle Times was the paper that 'everyone' had delivered. I delivered the Seattle PI (before the merger) and I had like 50 - 60 subscribers over about a 3-4 mi. bike ride. Now that fewer and fewer are subscribing, I can only imagine how large an area you'd have to cover to deliver 50 subscribers their newspaper. Heck, the Seattle PI went 'internet only' a few years back.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    Those children are learning to be adults, and seem to be making good progress. Likely they were doing this semiwillingly. If they were promoting a manned mission to Mars most of us would have been at least slightly pleased. Neil
    I wouldn't have. And I don't assume they were doing it semi-willingly, and I don't consider harassing people in their own home to be "learning to be adults."
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    Those children are learning to be adults, and seem to be making good progress.
    I agree. Many adults are brainwashed and manipulative and like to impose thier views on others.

    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    If they were promoting a manned mission to Mars most of us would have been at least slightly pleased. Neil
    I don't see how that is a comparison. A mission does not have that personal intrusion into our own lifestyle, and it's not a recruiting issue to join into a culture of a belief system. (Although CTers may think otherwise)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    This question might be on the same topic...

    Fifty years ago the daily newspaper (morning and afternoon)
    was delivered by kids. I haven't seen a kid delivering papers
    since the 1970's. Have child labor laws come into effect which
    prohibit such work? Or has it become more practical/economic
    for adults to do it now, such as the necessity of being able
    to drive?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Our local (town) newspaper is delivered by a girl, but it's a weekly, and there's no great urgency about its arrival. (We get it anywhere between Thursday evening and noon Saturday.) The Washington Post is delivered by a grown-up, but as others note it's expected to be on our doorstep by the crack of dawn or earlier.

    I remember when there was such a thing as afternoon newspapers, but those seem to be ancient history now.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  16. #16
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    I remember kids delivering newspapers (early a.m.) in my small Iowa hometown from early to mid-1980s. However, as child abduction cases began receiving national attention and increasing in frequency (including one Johnny Gosh of Iowa, IIRC)...adults started delivering the newspapers.

  17. #17
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    In the mid 90's I delivered the sunday flyer as a 12 year old. I did get paid, but being 12, nobody owes you minimum wage.

    We also had those stupid chocolate bar sales every year to raise funds at school. Making it a competition didn't do anything to boost morale. Plus you would just end up eating too many chocolate almonds and have to pay for them.

  18. #18
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    Those annoying "buy N crates of X, they sell so well for double the prize, raise money for your class trip!" posters crop up every year here. (X can be anything from salamis to socks to flowers. Yeah.) They make me grumpy for several reasons: First, it's duping children who are too young to know any better, and second, it doesn't teach them about economics, it teaches them about whining to their parents and extended family who feel obliged to buy things out of pity/to rescue them. And usually, said parents end up bothering me at work trying to sell stuff for their kids rather than the kids selling the things themselves anyway. Grr.


  19. #19
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    I think I was in 10th grade when I saw a poster for
    Junior Achievement, which is a business-sponsored
    nonprofit organization sorta parallel to Boy Scouts/
    Girl Scouts, for the specific purpose of teaching how
    business works by letting kids organize and run a
    small business for a few months. For some reason
    that appealed to me and I signed up.

    The big question was what our business would do.
    I had no good ideas, so my opinions weren't given
    much weight. Other kids had ideas, so they were
    adopted. Unfortunately, they didn't have any good
    ideas. So the first part of the year we ended up
    making this awful, useless Christmas decoration.
    It looked okay, I guess. It could have been a lot
    worse. But things can *always* be a lot worse.
    Anyway, like everyone else, I was supposed to sell
    the things. I was too embarrassed to try to sell them
    to anyone I knew, so I went a block down and a block
    over. I don't think I sold any. Uh, of course I sold
    one to my mother. Of course.

    At the end of the year the company stock was worth
    maybe 30% of its starting price. A friend and I each
    bought stock in the other's company, so she lost
    money on my company. I made money on hers.

    I was the company safety director. I got that position
    about two weeks before we closed, when somebody
    writing up the "annual report" realized we had to have
    a safety director.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Shoot, when I was a child, I wasn't even allowed to go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies because it was dangerous!
    Hah! When I was in (Catholic) grade school (circa 1965) we had an annual quota of chocolate bars to sell, and were encouraged to trod every street of Chicago if necessary. In a pep talk, some shamless shill for the chocolate company told us that if they asked for one bar and gave us a dollar, we shouldn't give them fifty cents change, but hand them two bars. Disgraceful stuff. Better poverty than fundrsising like that.

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