Learning About Fund-Raising And Balloons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There I was, standing outside the entrance to DeCiCCo's Supermarket and Drug World with a large red bucket which read, American Cancer Society. It was a chilly day in October, with the sun shining, and the wind blowing lightly. I stood with the president of my high school's Youth Against Cancer and his friend, waiting for people to walk by so we could say, "Would you like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society?" They seemed confident and comfortable, feeling we would get a lot of donations, but I felt differently.

I was not very comfortable asking people for money, because it felt like begging, and this was and still is something I am uncomfortable doing. It was very awkward not being able to get the words out of my mouth fast enough. By the time I actually said my memorized line, the people had already passed by. This, of course, was very frustrating. There I was trying to do something worthwhile, and I couldn't even say," Would you like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society?"

But as the day progressed, it became a game: who could get the most donations. Of course I did not win, and I really don't remember who did. Our tactic of getting into each person's face with "Would you like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society?" did not really work after a while. Many people became annoyed and deliberately walked through the parking lot to reach the stores just to avoid us.

So, we decided we needed some way of grabbing people's attention. Our target was parents with young children. We went into Drug World and bought a bag of balloons. As soon as families started to pass by, we politely slipped the balloons to the children, who were more than eager for them. The parents, on the other hand, did not want them to take them because they knew that it then meant they owed us a donation.

We also had to overcome competing with the Salvation Army on the corner next to us. Because of this, we had people circling the mall asking for donations. I know that seems horrible, competing with an organization which is only there to help people, but I feel the American Cancer Society is just as important. I think that it is important for people to get involved in organizations like this, because there are many people affected by cancer, and I feel that any money obtained should be used to research ways to stop this disease. Maybe if we did this, we could stop a lot of pain and suffering.

Even though it was very difficult at the beginning to ask for donations, I soon began to feel that what I was doing was for a good cause, and there was nothing to be embarrassed about. I had a funny feeling inside of me when the day was over. I was very happy that I decided to help out Youth Against Cancer. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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