After the cupcake fundraiser brought a good number of funds into the pot, we wanted to maximize the month of February by selling community day coupons at Carson Pirie Scott to try to reach our monthly goal of $1, 000. Selling them to family was pretty easy and we just needed a bit more. I decided to hit up the neighborhood Carson Pirie Scott store at North Riverside Mall. Jackie and Eva came along for the ride too (actually Eva gave me a ride!). We arrived and the employees at C.P.S. were so nice and tried to maximize our potential by suggesting that we split up. That was not going to happen! Anywhoo, we set up shop in the Men’s department on the lower level and as we are accessorizing our table I am so excited that we came and can’t wait to be all set up so that the donations can just come pouring in. I think to myself -$500.00 fundraising goal for today? I should have put our goal even higher.We are finally all set up with our banner, pamphlets, coin box and promotional items. We wait a couple minutes with anxiety to start talking to whoever passes by…we wait…So Jackie, what is up with you?...we wait…Eva, how is your training going?...we wait and finally people start walking toward us. Hi! would you like to save $10.00? Oh, you are looking for the bathroom? No problem, straight ahead. Hi! would you like to save $10.00 or … You’ll come back? Great, catch you on the comeback! We kept getting cut off that when a person would actually stop or want to listen we would get tongue tied and forget what we were selling.
Some of the things we realized while standing under the spotlights-literally! There is no bumpin’ music at C.P.S., what is up with that? If we wanted to give a performance to call attention to our cause, we would need to provide our own boombox. Needless to say, no showcasing of our footwork occurred at C.P.S. we would have to wait for Betty’s. Without music the store is uncomfortably quiet-honestly I think you could totally have a session of meditation and no one notice. Men don’t shop! Maybe we should have picked a different store location but at this point we just need to make the best out of this.
We kept “assaulting” everyone with our spiel and people would start walking quickly or not make any eye contact. We would have the occasional person that would politely state that they were sorry but were unable to contribute.
I have three memorable encounters that I would like to share (Jackie and Eva please share yours):
First up, was a young Latino male who stopped by our table to see what the table was about. After a couple of exchanges and many questions answered the interrogation was over and he stated that he would love to donate but that he does not have any cash!!! What??!! That entire back and forth exchange and no cash!!!! We gave him a flyer tear out that had all my information on how he can make an online donation. He said he would and gave us his email address. Before leaving, he stated that he would NOT mind being contacted but that he would be contacting us too because he too needed help with his organization. It takes all kinds!
The afternoon continued and Jackie needed to leave so Eva and I decided to move upstairs to the cosmetic area. Once we were there I ‘m not sure if it was the bright lights or what but it seemed more happening (it might have been the lights) than where we were. Crazy enough we kept seeing the same people walk around that we had previously encountered. Honestly, it felt like a revolving door. At first we would recognize some people and stop our spiels, but after a while we decided that is the price you pay for walking around the same store and Not donating.
A lady decided to bless us by buying a coupon book and Eva (being friendly as she is) offered her a promotional item of her liking or a candy for her purchase. Well this lady cleaned us OUT!! She took all the promotional items on the table and called her kids to get candy as well. One of the kids asked “is it free?” To which she quickly responded “No, I paid $5.00 for it!”
Lastly, I remember two young girls who had shopping bags with them and I tried to appeal to their youthfulness and possibly their want of helping others. Would you like to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? ( I had to learn how to say it quickly because people would start speeding up their pace, what is up with that?) The girls responded back that they were sorry but they did not have any cash and clarified “this is all gift cards” pointing to their purchases.
There are so many encounters (the perfume lady, the broken arm lady, the group of men, the kids who stared at our table, the beautiful eyed baby boy, the no cash people, the link card guy, a certain somebody deciding to look around and fundraise at the same time) that I could write for paragraphs on end but need to cut it short to report that on this faithful date we made… $41.11.
Thank you to ALL the donations that were made that day!
Thank you to Jackie and Eva for all their time and being part of this adventure.
Don't forget--When you give from your heart(time, money, thought etc.) you are giving the best of YOU!