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  #1  
Old August 21st, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Exclamation Roadside Fundraising

Once again, Lee Cataluna nails a local peeve that I've always wanted to rant about, but never would've been able to express quite as well as she does. Roadside fundraising, wherein folks crowd sidewalks and medians and make drivers nervous with outstretched nets or firefighter boots or whatnot, hoping to nab some cash during all-too-brief red lights where your sense of charity is hopefully rushed into action before your sense of skepticism or safety.
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And for the poor drivers just trying to get where they're going with the last $5 in coins rattling in the rusty pull-out ashtray, how are they supposed to drive the gauntlet every day and hold on to their dignity and paycheck? Shame if you stopped at the light with all the people in red shirts and visors and sometimes Santa hats yelling at you to roll down your window and you, just sitting there, trying to blast your cassette tape of "Sense of Purpose" like maybe you cannot hear.
She notes that the responses she's received show almost unilateral disdain for the practice:
Quote:
The worst is when it's for a basketball/football/baseball team for 14- to 17-year-olds and they stand there, no smile, no nothing. Just that scoop net. What? Wash some cars!
Heh.

She specifically cites the prevalence of this ridiculousness on the streets of Mililani, and it always backs up traffic. People holding up traffic to donate are bad enough, but their mere presence on the road jams things up.

And most of the time, there's no way to tell exactly what they're raising money for. Illegible, distant, ill-placed signs, or none at all, most of the time. I've half a mind to sit out there with my own net to earn cash for a new iPod.

I'm with Lee. Just say no. As one reader noted, "You like make money, come clean my yard!"
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Old August 21st, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

So how will we gauge the Cataluna Effect? I would love to drive through an intersection and realize that I didn't get assaulted with a fishing net. I once hit a guy with my side mirror, and of course stopped to see if he was OK, but it was so stupid for him to be walking to the left of a left turn lane. I like the "clean my yard!" comment.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I've not seen any roadside fundraising in Waianae, thank goodness, but that area has a plethora of week-end, fundraising car washes...thank goodness! I love to support those and appreciate the hard work I'm witnessing with a tip added to the donation. We get so many different causes along that coast...women in transition, churches devoted to rehabing drug addicts, Pop Warner teams, hula halaus, you name it. One family holds many fundraisers over the course of each year to "repay" the American Cancer Society for saving their patriarch. Some of the car wash fundraisers double up with a bake sale table.

I popped a coupla bucks into the Food Bank roadside net once but I tend to ignore that type of fundraising. It's dangerous and inconvenient in my book.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

"You like make money, come clean my yard!"

I'd like to say the same thing to those street bums who stand on the corner holding signs that say "Homeless, hungry, please help!"

On the other hand, I really wouldn't want them showing up at my house!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

What about those guys wearing old clothes and a cardbord sign: HOMELESS, JOBLESS, HUNGRY ...... WILL WORK FOR FOOD?

Many of them look well-fed to me ...........
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by oceanpacific View Post
What about those guys wearing old clothes and a cardbord sign: HOMELESS, JOBLESS, HUNGRY ...... WILL WORK FOR FOOD?

Many of them look well-fed to me ...........
IIRC, Auntie Lynn touched on this subject in another thread. She mentioned many of them are looking for drug money.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I have never thrown money into those nets for all the reasons given, but mostly because, unless it's for a publicized funds-drive such as the annual Food Bank effort, there's no way to tell who's getting the money and for what purpose.

I do set aside a certain amount every month for fundraising kids or other causes ("like buy sweet bread?"), and it usually goes to the first person who asks. However, I don't even give money or purchase items from door-to-door people without first calling the agency being represented to find out if it's legit.

As for the guys "flying flags" with hand-lettered cardboard signs? They do pretty well. And I do give them a few bucks now and then. Whether it's for drugs, cigs, booze, or even food, my feeling is that I'm helping someone make it to tomorrow. Better I give a guy a couple of bucks now than he takes it from someone a few hours later.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

More recently, the intersection in front of Sam's Club in Pearl City was pretty bad. Of all things, it was our winning Little League team that was doing the fund raising for their trip to the LL World Series. Glad they won, but I'm not going to feel guilty about not giving them anything.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Exclamation Re: Roadside Fundraising

There are so many groups, clubs, and charities active in Mililani, you can have different sets of "fish net" fundraisers at adjacent intersections. One red light, American Diabetes Association. Next red light, send our soccer league to Disneyland. Hey, if you're fundraising for some kind of benefit, and not for some "greater good," you should definitely be working for your money, not begging.

As for other roadside sign holders... my coworker has been perplexed by this fellow in town whose sign reads, "Will play baseball for food." He can't figure out if he's being funny and clever, if "baseball" is some kind of euphemism for... well, something else, or if he really wants to play baseball.

We had a good chuckle envisioning picking the guy up and taking him to a nearby baseball diamond. Maybe with a van full of guys in Mets uniforms, cameras rolling. I mean, really... how would that conversation go? "Man, we're so glad we saw you here! We were on our way to the big game, but our shortstop sprained his ankle this morning!"
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

My mindset with lazy fundraiser groups is "'Gimme gimme' never gets."

I also hesitate to purchase anything "sold" by a parent. Get the kid over to me to hustle the candy, or you're out of luck.

Fundraiser people with the veritable "toll" to get into a supermarket a la - "would you like to buy some cookies (candy, sweetbread, whatever)?" - also irks me. I've seen them at the door of the place and kept driving to the next supermarket to shop. Don't know why places allow that. Drives me up the wall.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by dick View Post
Fundraiser people with the veritable "toll" to get into a supermarket a la - "would you like to buy some cookies (candy, sweetbread, whatever)?" - also irks me. I've seen them at the door of the place and kept driving to the next supermarket to shop. Don't know why places allow that. Drives me up the wall.
I hope the O.P. is reading this!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I couldn't agree with Miss Cataluna more. Here's a post I made on the topic on another local forum:

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Originally Posted by zff
I cannot stand fundraisers that consist solely of standing on the side of the road with a net and asking for money. I think it's complete horsesh*t.

I have nothing against fundraisers. I think they're great. I go to fundraiser car washes all the time. I overpay and tell them to keep the change. I buy fundraiser chili, chicken, candy... whatever. Even if I'm not going to use it, I buy the overpriced stuff anyway, because I know the money's going to a cause. Fundraisers teach kids a good work ethic too. Work for your money. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Good stuff, and I'm glad to participate.

I have nothing against people asking for donations either -- as long as you're asking for someone else and it's a worthy cause. Fighting cancer, feeding orphaned children, the Salvation Army... whatever. I'll participate. As long as you'll have no personal gain from my donation (other than the satisfaction of having helped the less fortunate), I don't mind giving. In fact, I'll consider you noble. To give money or time selflessly is a noble thing and I applaud anyone who does it.

However... if your kid's baseball team needs money to fly to Maui for a game (or whatever), it's now become acceptable to have him/her just beg for it. To just stand on the side of a road and ask the general public passers by for handouts. Kids are being taught to panhandle. I think it's disgusting. Children should be taught that any personal gain requires work, and no, panhandling is not work. Wash a car. Sell a chili ticket. Cook some hulihuli chicken. Sweat. Hustle. That's how the world works. Don't grow up expecting charity. Rely on yourself instead.

I'm not even going to mention the painfully obvious safety issues. That so many parents seem completely unconcerned over their children's safety is absolutely incomprehensible to me. It's going to take a tragic front-page headline before anyone realizes what's going on. That's a tragedy in itself.

The big problem here is a very subtle one. Children are being fed poisonous thoughts almost subliminally. Many employers that hire young people today have dubbed the upcoming generation the "Entitlement Generation". Young workers often feel as though they are entitled to higher salaries, flexible hours, less work, more benefits and are usually not willing to pay their dues like previous generations. I could threaten this database's storage limits by elaborating, but just Google the term "Entitlement Generation", and you'll find dozens of articles on the subject.

These panhandling fundraisers, I think, reinforces those things that give the Entitlement Generation its bad reputation. It teaches children that they are entitled to things without having to work for them. It reinforces a false notion that they are entitled to the unconditional generosity of strangers. I'm not saying that teaching kids how to panhandle dooms them to homelessness, but it's tragic to teach a child dependence in lieu of ambition.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

When I lived in Texas, I was quite surprised that it was almost an acceptable form of fundraising. I must note though that some groups were a little more enthusiastic and animated (part of the cheerleading squad would be doing cheers on the side, while the others held out the nets), but I still wouldn't consider it as being 'earned.'

I avoid all nets on the side of the road. But, if the participant arrives at my door, gives a little spiel 'bout the product and the purpose of the fundraiser, I more than likely will purchase double and include a tip.

Our sports team would be the trash crew at the Farm Fair to raise money for new uniforms or an inter-island preseason trip. Shift began before the fair opened, and ended way after it closed. We really didn't have any money to 'play', and were fed throughout the day by our coaches who would whip up a big pot of stew, potato salad, and rice. It was a very structured, yet functional system...not to mention wreaking of trash by the end of the night. But, it was some of my best memories!
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

When Safeway started their fundraising for the relay for life event, they would ask you if you'd like to donate to the cause with each purchase at the registers. Man I have a hard time saying no and every morning I'd buy a cup of coffee from Safeway before work I'd end up paying almost $7 for that cup of Joe. Needless to say after my coffees started costing more than an hour's worth of work I stopped going to Safeway and opted for McDonalds.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I'll echo most of the sentiment expressed in this thread on roadside charity, fundraising and begging. In fact I can't stand most "in your face" fundraising huckstering. Girl Scouts blocking the way into and out of Don Quijote, celebrities pushing overpriced copies of special edition Honolulu Advertisers, people begging for money at intersections (Dillingham & King), PBS TV beg-a-thons, HPR beg-a-thons, etc., etc.

I am probably a little more partial in contributing to the kinds of charities that I know about, like say the American Lung Association. I get the neat little stamps and Christmas Seals and I send them a few dollars by mail at least once a year. It's not as in your face as someone shoving a boot up to your car window.

I also like car washes and occasionally I'll use them because for the price I am paying, I know I will get something immediately in return. I also buy Zippy's chili from friends who have kids that are selling them for some ball club. I don't care if the kid is not selling them. I know when I buy the ticket I can go to Zippy's and get a hot bowl of chili. It benefits them, it benefits Zippy's too because I usually end up buying a bowl of rice to go with that, and of course me, since I got something to eat.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I also find the roadside begging distasteful. It's one thing for a charity to use the nets as a donation drive, it's another to have kids do it as a fundraiser.

What kind of entitlement mentality does this foster?

On the other hand, a little girl came by to sell me books one evening as a fundraiser to pay for her school. I gave her a few bucks, declined the books and thought to myself... that girl will go far. If she comes back, I'll probably buy her books the next time. Effort like that should be rewarded.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
I popped a coupla bucks into the Food Bank roadside net once

I could be wrong, but I think that's how this may have started. The food bank would hold drives and have drive-up drop-off locations at certain places. Naturally, there were people passing by who wanted to donate but hadn't thought ahead to put cans in the car so they gave money. The nets were a way of doing it quickly and safely. That was ok. It was in conjunction with the regular can drive and I think you had to pull out of traffic to donate. But it worked so well ...... the idea spread.

The biggest problem I have is how do I know the money will get to where they say it will. Every now and then you hear about a scam alert about some agency saying someone is going door to door in their name but they didn't authorize it. I'd rather send a check to the organization.

Fortunately I don't see too many of those cash fishing operations. I did see one a few weeks ago. People collecting money for a kidney transplant.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

I was at the Ki Hoalu may years ago, and a woman was making her way through the crowd with a soda-can box in her arms. When she got to where I was sitting, she said, "I'm selling banana bread to raise money to I can attend my class reunion."

Of course that led to a short discussion about where and when she went to school. It seemed like a weird thing to be "fundraising" for, but in this case, she was just selling something in order to make a few bucks. Of course I bought as much as my budget would allow.

I hope she made it to Vegas.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Talking Re: Roadside Fundraising

Quote:
Originally Posted by dick View Post
Fundraiser people with the veritable "toll" to get into a supermarket a la - "would you like to buy some cookies (candy, sweetbread, whatever)?" - also irks me. I've seen them at the door of the place and kept driving to the next supermarket to shop. Don't know why places allow that. Drives me up the wall.
I imagine bell-ringing Salvation Army volunteers and Santas fall into the same category?

While, like roadside fundraisers, storefront fundraisers seek to solicit you when you're really on your way somewhere else, at least they're catching me when I'm in a wallet-out, consumer mood. If I'm picking up some produce and a bag of Chips Ahoy, I'm more likely to grab some banana bread from the schoolkids at the door. If I've got a cart full of food, what's another $5 for some good-cause cookies?

And again, in most of those cases, you're getting something for your money (not that this should be your only motivation, but still -- the IRS is no doubt the motivator behind all kinds of giving!). Waving a net at me when I'm concentrating on driving and waiting to turn left isn't giving me anything but a rumbling desire to strangle someone.
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I hope the O.P. is reading this!
Ha ha. Hey, like even Cataluna notes in her piece, many of the parents actually resent their given fundraising assignments. Some of those people waving nets on the roadside hate having to do it. Which, of course, a lot of us already annoyed drivers can sense, which really makes this stuff a lose-lose proposition.

As for my daughter's Girl Scout cookie sales at the door to WalMart? I suppose there are a lot of Dick's out there who growl and drive away, but there are also people that seek 'em out. When the Girl Scout website hadn't updated it's schedule of sales locations one week, there was hell to pay! I grant it can be annoying. But you just keep walking. And once again, if you do buy, at least you walk away with something worthwhile in your hands!
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PBS TV beg-a-thons, HPR beg-a-thons, etc., etc.
Well, in those cases, if you're already consuming their product, it seems reasonable that they take a little of your time to ask for some support. You can always change the channel, something that takes considerably less effort than dodging those morons on the street (or those damned cute little Girl Scouts!). I agree, as a member of both PBS Hawaii and HPR, that it sucks to have to put up with the fundraising breaks when they've already got my money, but considering that fewer than 10 percent of listeners actually open up their wallets, I don't begrudge them the regular effort to raise funds.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

speaking of Fundraising...


im selling tickets for a benefit for (left name out, for med needs. she's fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer.. $20 a ticket.will get you food, drinks, entertainment....i forget what else...but if interested PM me....

thanks
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
You can always change the channel, something that takes considerably less effort than dodging those morons on the street (or those damned cute little Girl Scouts!). I agree, as a member of both PBS Hawaii and HPR, that it sucks to have to put up with the fundraising breaks when they've already got my money, but considering that fewer than 10 percent of listeners actually open up their wallets, I don't begrudge them the regular effort to raise funds.
Yes, a quick channel change solves the problem, easier for NPR than PBS. For PBS it always seems their best rock concerts are shown during these beg-a-thon sessions... and that irks me. I want to watch the concert and not sit through ten minute blocks of pitches. This is worst than the 2 minute block on commercial TV.

And yes, I am one of the many who won't give to PBS or HPR since I don't watch them very often except for occasional bouts of Nature, Nova, Soundstage and Austin City Limits. Overall most of the types of programs on PBS are duplicated on less annoying cable TV channels like TLC, the History Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
[...]I am probably a little more partial in contributing to the kinds of charities that I know about, like say the American Lung Association. I get the neat little stamps and Christmas Seals and I send them a few dollars by mail at least once a year. It's not as in your face as someone shoving a boot up to your car window.

I also like car washes and occasionally I'll use them because for the price I am paying, I know I will get something immediately in return. I also buy Zippy's chili from friends who have kids that are selling them for some ball club. I don't care if the kid is not selling them. I know when I buy the ticket I can go to Zippy's and get a hot bowl of chili. It benefits them, it benefits Zippy's too because I usually end up buying a bowl of rice to go with that, and of course me, since I got something to eat.
A curiosity question, Mel. Are you opposed to giving to a reputable charity just for the pure sake of giving or are your donation dollars predicated on receiving something in return. Just curious.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

Only once have I encountered this, which it was a Hawaii Food Bank food and money drive, where they had set up folks with scoop nets along McCully and Kapiolani Blvd, along the corners of Ala Wai Park and McCully Shopping Center.
It was highly publicized in TV news media to remind folks that it was a legitimate cause.

"Food" being the operative word, as they weren't just out for cash, but the actual root of the cause. Of course, I didn't have any canned goods in my car (maybe after this Hurricane stuff, I just might!), so instead gave them like $5 cash.

Never again have I seen this type of fundraising strategy by anyone else along my beaten east and west-bound driving path, which includes Nimitz hwy., Ala Moana blvd., Kapiolani blvd. and Kalaniana'ole hwy.. I'd certainly share the same peeved sentiments here if I had encountered "copy cats" doing the same thing all over the streets.

With that, GeckoGeek may be correct that Hawaii Food Bank was the organization who started this trend on Oahu, whom I don't fault for it, and I'd gladly give again to them if they were out there, and they again had the media support to back it up as a legitimate cause.

Not someone just looking for the next ticket to Vegas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
I could be wrong, but I think that's how this may have started. The food bank would hold drives and have drive-up drop-off locations at certain places. Naturally, there were people passing by who wanted to donate but hadn't thought ahead to put cans in the car so they gave money. The nets were a way of doing it quickly and safely. That was ok. It was in conjunction with the regular can drive and I think you had to pull out of traffic to donate. But it worked so well ...... the idea spread.

The biggest problem I have is how do I know the money will get to where they say it will. Every now and then you hear about a scam alert about some agency saying someone is going door to door in their name but they didn't authorize it. I'd rather send a check to the organization.

Fortunately I don't see too many of those cash fishing operations. I did see one a few weeks ago. People collecting money for a kidney transplant.
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Last edited by Pomai; August 22nd, 2007 at 02:22 PM. Reason: .org
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
When Safeway started their fundraising for the relay for life event, they would ask you if you'd like to donate to the cause with each purchase at the registers. Man I have a hard time saying no and every morning I'd buy a cup of coffee from Safeway before work I'd end up paying almost $7 for that cup of Joe. Needless to say after my coffees started costing more than an hour's worth of work I stopped going to Safeway and opted for McDonalds.
I hear what you are saying. I work for Safeway, and I know our cashiers just dread asking for donations...especially when it's one fundraising drive after another (ie. prostate research, then now it's MDA).
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Roadside Fundraising

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
I imagine bell-ringing Salvation Army volunteers and Santas fall into the same category?
Theoretically, but they generally just sit there wailing on that stoopid bell. They won't jump in front of you, begging for cookie money. If I want to buy cookies, I'll walk over to the table, plunk down the cash and buy them. Some kid standing between me and my beer only makes me desire cookies that much less.
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