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For not wanting donated presents?

(25 Posts)
ElephatYeah Wed 22-Nov-17 20:49:29

I am on ESA.

Obviously the school knows this because of free school meals and information collected.

I'm on limited money of course but I don't splash out anywhere, don't have a social life, don't drink or smoke. I don't have sky or an iPhone8. I don't have a car.

So I have enough to put away for park vouchers each month ensuring the kids have a good Christmas. They also get presents from extended family.

They all have good shoes and coats and are always presentable ( I feel this is relevant because it shows I have budgeted for them to have good quality things even though I receive ESA)

All the kids in the school get a token gift. Last year my kids came out with a bin bag each. With 2 presents. I didn't figure it out till I got home and they had opened the gifts and mentioned a charity drive for toys.

So they were given toys donated by people for disadvantaged children.

But I felt bit embarrassed but more so sad that these toys could have gone to kids that actually needed them.

AIBU to tell the school my kids are grateful but we really don't need presents this year?

TowerRavenSeven Wed 22-Nov-17 21:01:07

Yanbu at all, I'd do the same as you.

MrsHathaway Wed 22-Nov-17 21:18:55

YWNBU at all. But be cheerful and polite, because it was no doubt kindly meant.

Maybe they think you prioritise eg winter coats etc so much that it doesn't leave any spare for presents. You can definitely take that as a compliment even if it is inaccurate. They think you're a diligent and caring mother.

specialsubject Wed 22-Nov-17 21:27:02

Sorry to derail - but please get out of park asap. There is no protection and hamper schemes go bust. The stuff they sell is also cynically overpriced.

Talkingfrog Thu 23-Nov-17 05:12:03

It sounds like a lovely school, but you would not be unreasonable to speak to them and let them know that whilst you appreciate the thought, the children will have enough for Christmas as you have budgeted for it.
Following on from specialsubject, have you thought about saving with a credit union for next Christmas. Your money would be protected and could be spent any where. We have joined our local one and put back money each month ready for Christmas.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

PorklessPie Thu 23-Nov-17 06:00:12

YANBU, but must also say please don't save with park the credit union is far better smile

CheapSausagesAndSpam Thu 23-Nov-17 06:12:33

YANBU....fancy them sending the DC out with BIN BAGS when all the others just had small gifts! Talk about making it obvious!

Also I second what's been said about Park. Maybe join Credit Union...they're great.

ElephatYeah Thu 23-Nov-17 07:39:12

I get the vouchers so £500 is £500. I don't buy anything from the catalogue I just go and buy from the high street.

I understand they are protected.

I had a credit union account and they were taking £120 out of my CB for small loans. Although the interest isn't great they wanted huge repayments. I'm paying it back at a reduced rate now

ElephatYeah Thu 23-Nov-17 07:43:00


Maybe I should just take the presents and explain to the children and donate them again ourselves?

Basecamp21 Thu 23-Nov-17 07:44:57

YANBU it is incredibly presumptuous and stereotyping of the school to assume because you get free school meals that you need help with Christmas. My daughter is on Ben's but has a large family all of whom have good jobs. The children have far too much for Xmas without receiving donated presents.

I remember when I was on Ben's my daughter told the school we did not have a Christmas tree. They called me in and explained the school tree would be thrown away when school broke up and the caretaker would bring it round. We always watch the sunrise on the solstice and put our tree up then and leave it up for Xmas. We definitely had a tree it just wasn't up yet. I felt so uncomfortable as the school did not believe me. The caretaker lived opposite us and him and his wife bought my kids presents that year - they bought them over Xmas morning - saw the amount mine already had and never bought them again. They are a lovely couple and we are still friends and have them for a drink on Xmas morning. We laugh about this now but the school were painting a picture of my family based on one comment that was patronising and insulting.

You are right to be annoyed - this was not meant well - but done to make the staff feel better to help that poor family.

Saucery Thu 23-Nov-17 07:46:21

No, I wouldn't do that. Speak in confidence to the school before they organise this year's present giving and tell them you only want your dc to have the same as any other child.

Nocabbageinmyeye Thu 23-Nov-17 07:51:56

Not the point of your thread but why would these gifts be given directly to the kids anyway? Surely if kids from so called disadvantaged families are getting gifts it should go to the parents without the kids knowing, otherwise it's no help at all to the parents and the kids in school will notice the difference so a bit unfair for the kids to feel like they stand out. Seems silly to me.

Yanbu op

AnnabellaH Thu 23-Nov-17 08:07:53

Park is ringfenced. If it goes bust customers money is protected. It is not Farepak #2.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 23-Nov-17 08:17:19

I’m amazed the school gives the presents directly to the children - and in a huge bin bag, too?

I work in family support in a primary school. A national charity runs a scheme where families come along to the charity’s local office to be given a large present for each child, plus extras such as Christmas chocolates and cake, stocking presents, and so on. It is held away from the school.

I ask the parents I’m already working with if they want to take part, plus any others we know about who might be struggling. One year I asked a family where the mum had died of cancer earlier in the year. They didn’t want to take part as they had lots of support from their extended family but they appreciated the thought.

Your school needs someone to coordinate this scheme so it doesn’t identify particular children and is managed with sensitivity.

TheSnowFairy Thu 23-Nov-17 08:20:25

YAB a bit U, the school wants to make sure all children​ will have something nice. We do this at our school too, supermarkets donate advent calendars etc and we give them out. And tbh, we would rather give to someone who doesn't need it than not give to someone who does because it is about the child.

But YANBU to politely say you don't need them either.

specialsubject Thu 23-Nov-17 13:53:28

Savings accounts are properly protected, pay out quicker if the bank goes bust, pay a little interest and don't tie you to one supplier.

Hamper companies are none of those things.

PinkHeart5914 Thu 23-Nov-17 13:58:57

Yanbu. A token gift is one thing but 2 black sacks is something else, I can’t believe they didn’t speak to you first.

It’s sounds like you are a sensible and save the year for your dc Christmas where you can so your dc get the presents and Christmas food I Imagine with your vouchers. Some dc unfortunately will get nothing so it is important this stuff goes where it really is needed.

Splinterz Thu 23-Nov-17 14:01:33

'Bens' hmm

LittleHearts Thu 23-Nov-17 20:44:08

YANBU, I would feel the same in your shoes.

Julie8008 Thu 23-Nov-17 20:56:01

The school have done a nice thing. Dont take them back or the school might just cancel all gifts to parents on FSM and some will really need them. Just donate the presents to someone who does need them, or a xmas charity.

Spread the love around, dont send it back.

LagunaBubbles Thu 23-Nov-17 21:13:01

Your money is protected with Park, it's nothing like Farepak so please don't listen to people trying to scare you.

specialsubject Thu 23-Nov-17 22:14:12

Still doesnt pay interest (pitiful as rates are) and still locks you into one pricey supplier.


CheapSausagesAndSpam Fri 24-Nov-17 00:36:56

Splinterz what is Bens by the way?? I was wondering that...

ElephatYeah Fri 24-Nov-17 08:49:48

I think she means 'benefits

Like I said I already owe money to the credit union so I can't do that.

I find Park world for me. Been using them for years with no problems.

LagunaBubbles Fri 24-Nov-17 14:11:54

Still doesnt pay interest (pitiful as rates are) and still locks you into one pricey supplier

People who want to save regularly for Christmas with a scheme like Park will not be caring about interest rates, its away somewhere they cant dip into it. Plus it doesnt "lock you into one supplier" at all, if you are going to write "FACT" on a post at least get them right - the majority of people who save with Park save for vouchers, not the catalogue goods and the vouchers are for many many high street shops and other outlets.

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