Tips to stay safe ahead of school fundraising

PHOENIX - With the start of a new school year, kids will soon be hitting the streets to fundraise for their favorite school organizations. But going door to door can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions.

A 47-year-old Phoenix man was arrested and accused of inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl who was selling candy apples at her apartment complex last month.

So we took action and went to an organization that knows fundraising all too well - Girl Scouts of America – Arizona Cactus Pine Council.

“Safety of our girls is always our foremost priority. Children are very trusting and they have no clue as to what some of the dangers are,” said Susan de Queljoe, Senior Associate with GSA-CPC.

De Queljoe says there are volumes of safety rules at GSA, but told ABC15 there are 10 major rules that keep their members safe. The rules can apply to just about any fundraiser including school and clubs.

"We strongly recommend the girls only sell cookies during daylight hours,” said de Queljoe.

GSA officials warn too much can happen under the veil of darkness and that’s not the type of situations you want to put any kid in.

“They should never go out by themselves they always need a buddy," she said.

Having a responsible adult with you is even better.

“If they're going door to door, they really need to have a parent with them. We tell them not to go into any house, not to get into a car," she said.

The important part is never go anywhere alone.

The buddy system applies to more than just fundraising.  At GSA-CPC it also applies to camps and bathrooms.

“So 2 girls have to go together, so if there was an issue, there's someone else there," she said.

Fundraising can be fun and competitive with opportunities to win prizes, and test your entrepreneurial skills, but it's important to remain safe.

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