Question: House fires

This has been a debate in our PTO. A couple of students' house burned down earlier this week. I believe that we should offer support depending what the students' needs. Others in the PTO say that we are not the red cross and don't have to do anything. HELP??? It's becoming a big issue and causing huge problems

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Yes, this can be a problem. And it is a very sensitive subject. The issue with any sort of donation like this (including when there are families struggling with an illness or death) is not all members of the group may agree about how much to give or if you should give at all. Some folks strongly believe that charitable giving is not in the core mission of the PTO. We've heard of groups using different strategies, including organizing a separate donation drive so parents can contribute and you can raise funds on behalf of this family, but you are not tapping into any existing PTO funds.

Community Advice

firefighter464 writes:
As a former firefighter I can advise you that unless a charitable entity is actually set up on the behalf of the fire victims, any donations folks make are NOT deductible/charitable. So be careful you don't communicate that. As well as mixing PTO charity with the individual charity. Your fellow PTO members while a bit harsh sounding are in fact right. Best to keep it separate affair. Beyond PTO, though, you sound like a concerned individual. Nothing is stopping you is there from making inquiries on your own with the family and at your local bank. Spearhead it yourself and don't be concerned that PTO doesn't do anything. Rose C is right. Generally a named fund can be set up at the bank to accept funds until a charity is put in place. Chat with the bank manager and your local firehouse as well, they can probably advise you, as we do that sort of thing a lot. Your connection of PTO may only be useful to you as far as politics in that you may be able to put collection cans at the school or use school media to advertise the collection because the school knows your name, and that in and of itself is a good thing. Best wishes and thanks for caring about these students.

Community Advice

slhteh writes:
We are a small PTO but we are always there in needs of one of our students or past students. We do extra fundraisers like a fab friday or raffle off a tickets to something and designate it for that purpose. But we have also just given like $100 - $200 to the Family Just had the officers vote on that. Look in your by laws first to make sure nothing says you can not do that. Our PTO thinks of ourselfs as a large family and we all know that sometimes we do things like this it has never been an issue to us. But like I said you could vote to do a fundraiser for that cause.

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