Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fun-Raising 101: Pan Handling

Remember fundraising back in the 80s and 90s?

Between my brother and I, we’ve sold Makahiki tickets for Boy Scouts, car washed for band and R.I.C.E. Club, sold pinwheel cookies for Math Club, candy for Interact, almond chocolates and Zippys’ Chili and huli huli chicken for trips, T-shirts and calendars for AIAS…. We called relatives, asked Mom and Dad to take some to work, we bought some candy for ourselves.

Basically, we did things. We worked to raise the money. There was never a time we didn’t offer a product or service. We didn’t have an empty hand like a beggar.

No car washing because kids’ll waste water resources. No candy selling because we can’t promote anything that’s unhealthy. That’s bordering on ridiculous, but there has to be a better way for kids to raise money than to go around asking bare-handed.

It’s always more fun with others.

I don’t like most Korean food places, but I love the food from Soons’ in Salt Lake. While Mom picked up dinner from Soons’, I walked across the shopping center to get a blended drink from Coffee Bean. As I passed Safeway, a tall girl asked if I’d like to donate money for a fundraiser for the girls’ basketball team. Since she was rather polite, I paused to ask if she played for Moanalua, the h.s. of the area, or… and I was about to ask if it was Radford, the next closest h.s. when she said no, she played for McKinley. I said, ‘And you’re way over here?’ McKinley’s about 20 minutes away in the heart of Honolulu. She quietly said, ‘Oh, you know where that is?’ I said yes, politely said maybe some other time and went on to Coffee Bean.

I wouldn’t have minded if she had said McKinley from the start. Maybe she was afraid that I played for Moanalua or something [MadScientist, stop laughing, I hear you!]. I tried to be as nice as possible about not giving her money ‘cause well, she was bigger and coulda beaten me up if she wanted to. Rather, she was on the shy side and nice.

Give her points for trying.

It always happens at Safeway. Or at least it seems to.

This time, I was in Mililani. I ordered some food at L&L. I usually wait there for the order, but I decided to check the outside ad display for Safeway. I passed a couple of girls who must’ve been fundraising for something in the area; they were wearing matching brown shirts with yellow lettering, the colors of Mililani H.S. I walked to the other side of Safeway to where the ads are. Two adults in the same brown shirts were sitting on the bench just below the ads, talking to two more girls in the same shirts.

I stood right in front of them, looking up at the ads while they discussed fundraising or something related. One girl looked at me and said to the other girl, ‘Look, you let someone pass by you.’ They continued discussing, I continued standing there. I walked away. No one addressed me for anything.

It’s fine with me if they don’t want my money. I’m not just gonna give it to them. Maybe it’s like Circuit City where they were hitting up the better dressed people, I don’t know. I’m still a college student technically, I’m not dressing up for fundraisers outside of Safeway either.

Give them negative points for not asking.

Home Invasion.

I should’ve known not to answer the door, unless it was the mailman with a package for me. I opened the door to a tall skinny young guy, alone as far as I could tell. He goes into his spiel about raising funds in a contest and stuff. At first he had said it was the ugliest kid in America contest. Ummm…

We had just come home from Brother’s and my allergies were kicking in, to Brother’s cats; I’m not allergic to my brother, I think. So I’m trying to be polite and paying attention while standing there with red eyes, sniffling, trying to hold back sneezes. The guy barely pauses to ask if I was alright, I said I’ve got allergies, he says alright he’s gonna make it fast so I can close the door and not make the allergies worse. He carries on.

Then he finally gets to the part where I can help him win the contest. He says he’s got a list of songs, I can pick out any song, stand in the middle of the street and sing the song as loud as I can. He gets so many points from the neighbors that boo, so many points from those that clap. Sure. I’m already annoyed at this point and trying not to sneeze in his face; I couldn’t be sure if I would sneeze in his face on purpose or by accident. I figure it’s in God’s hands now ‘cause my eyes have started to tear up from the allergies, the sneezes are on their way.

He says, kidding, it’s magazine subscriptions. I tell him that I already get the one magazine that I read. He says he can renew the subscription for me. I say that I’ve just renewed it and I am not going to renew it past this last one. He says I could change it to another magazine later if I’d like. Ummm…I read only ONE MAGAZINE. I thought, I said that, didn’t I? Had I said that in Spanish by mistake and he didn’t understand me? I know, I’ve got a short threshold for annoyances.

He presses on. I’m thinking, I really should close the door in his face right now, it would probably be more polite than sneezing in his face, but I was brought up to be polite. I really shouldn’t have answered the door, I’m such an idiot. I tell him no. He says I’ll get a sticker for helping him out. Wow [sarc]. I say no, I’ve really got to be smart with my finances now. He asks me if I know about the neighborhood, is it old people and stuff? ??? I don’t know what I said. He says thank you and runs off.

….I’ve really got nothing more to say. He doesn’t deserve points, positive or negative.

Don’t get me wrong, I donate money here and there. I don’t mind the little kid who comes up with the parents standing at the end of the driveway in case the kid forgets something. The family buys chili tickets and stuff every so often, if we have the money first and second if we hear a good pitch especially. On Saturdays, there’s a bunch of people selling boxes of Krispy Kremes and it says fundraiser. Would be nice to know who the fundraiser is for, but I’m not buying Krispy Kremes, never had one, never want to.