You know when kids are standing outside a supermarket with the cans collecting for their football or cheerleading teams? It’s always so annoying because you feel like they’re just being beggars. I’m all for supporting my community, but with the property taxes as high as they are in New Jersey, it’s hard to get my mind around supporting school teams and groups when my taxes should already be paying for that!

On the contrary, if they’re doing something to earn the money, like washing cars, walking dogs, selling candy or baked goods, etc. then I’m happier to give.

I saw the most beautiful sight Wednesday when I went to the Stop & Shop in West End for a few grocery items. I pulled up and saw the marching band (and the colorguard squad) of Long Branch High School performing right in the parking lot — right in front of the entrance. That really motivated me to donate to them because they were fabulous. And it added so much to the pre-holiday festive atmosphere in town. Who likes to stick money into a can to donate to a random team? It’s not like a normal charity where you give just for the sake of giving.

When high school kids solicit donations for school groups or teams, it’s great for them to DO something to earn the money. Not only because they’ll probably get more by providing a service, but because they’ll appreciate the donation that much more when they’ve truly earned it. And these kids sure did. Plus, the kids collecting were the nicest, most well mannered kids I’ve ever seen.

Take a look and a listen!

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