Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A question of money

Oksana Bihun, a grad student at MU, donates money to Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday.

If you’ve walked across Lowry Mall on MU’s campus this week, there’s a chance you’ve heard this: “Do you have any spare change for Habitat for Humanity?”

I’ve had a lot of fun this week, but one of the purposes of living in a box is to raise money. The Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity would like to raise enough money to fund a Habitat House, and one of the most effective ways to raise that money is to directly ask people to donate.

Many students and faculty are really generous, but we get turned down a lot, too. I understand that not everyone can donate, so it doesn't bother me. 

However after watching so many people, I've noticed some of the funny things they do when they're asked to donate money. 

Here are some of the regular responses when we ask for donations:

Standard rejection: 
  • "I don't have any money on me." 
Variation on the standard: 
  • Person slaps both sides of their pants at the pockets while saying "I don't have any money on me."
Others common responses:
  • "I wish I had money to donate."
  • Person gives blank stare while continuing to walk. (Please, at least grunt so I know you understood me.)
  • "I just fed the meter!"
  • "No, thanks."
  • Person laughs and shakes head
Our standard response to being rejected:
  • "That's ok. Come on back. We'll be sleeping here 'til Friday!"

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