I looked at my clock. It silently mocked me with it’s fluorescent seven, four, and eight. I finally decided I wasn’t going to play its game anymore. Who needs to wait for an alarm when I’m so excited to start my day?
Why was I so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning? Because, I had a fundraiser to go to! At school I’m in a club that raises money, collects supplies, and travels to the Dominican Republic to help improve education. This is the second year I’ve been in the club and I can honestly say that joining was one of the greatest things I’ve done in my short, but exciting college career. The people are beyond friendly, the club is a tight-knit community, and the cause is inspiring.
The club consists of several committees. I’m on the fundraising committee and one of our events this semester was to go a local dollar store, inform customers about our mission, and to raise some money and collect a few school supplies. My friends and I volunteered for the earliest shift. We were ecstatic to be helping out and talk to some strangers!
We arrived in style (singing Foster the People songs in my old person’s car) and set up shop outside of the store. We greeted people with all of our positive energy and asked them politely for their help. For the most part we received kind and generous replies. But, a few of the people we encountered were not as friendly. We were warned by our adviser that some people may make negative comments about the fact that we are supporting a foreign country instead of the United States, but it didn’t make it feel any better when I received angry statements. Luckily, we were prepared! When we turned down we simply smiled and thanked them. I think this was the best approach because several people who looked down on us then changed their opinion as they were leaving the store.
One man that we encountered actually grunted when we told him that we assist a school in the Dominican Republic. It’s as if his disgust overflowed from his body in the form of a verbal huff. We weren’t fazed and simply wished him a good day. Surprisingly, when he was leaving the store he asked for a further explanation of our mission. He then donated a few dollars and went on his way. It felt great to know that we could possibly alter the negative ideas that some have about helping foreigners.
While we worked we also bonded. We came up with nicknames for each other. My one friend who was the most successful in getting donations was dubbed “The Charismatic One”. I was given the title “Smiles for Days” because I didn’t stop grinning since the moment I woke up in the morning. Finally, our other friend that was holding the change container was called “Jengles” because her coins made such a sound. We laughed abundantly, helped children, and made memories.
These are the types of days that make me cherish the beating in my chest and the friends in my life. You guys are amazing and I wouldn’t trade you for a giraffe-nessie (which you know means a lot to me because it is a combination of my favorite real and mythological animals).
Keep looking up!