Fundraising. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask for money). Fundraising is something many organizations must do to support their programs. One of ECFA’s Annual Fundraisers is Tag Day. Each year, throughout Chicago and the outlying suburbs, ECFA and other organizations have volunteers stand outside of places such as grocery stores, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and train stations to ask people for donations. Many of you probably just thought to yourself, “ugh, that sounds horrible.” Don’t worry, I get it. I am one of the many supervisors in charge of finding volunteers to do this task, and it is not easy. I am not the norm. I love it. Yes, you read that right, I love it. I am sure you are asking why. What can you possibly like about standing outside for several hours asking people to give money? Why is it fun to have people not make eye contact with you, to walk the other way, to sometimes endure rude comments?
Here’s the thing, while those things do happen, they are not the norm. For me, as someone who loves people and who is fascinated by human behavior, Tag Day allows me the opportunity to observe. All day. Here is a peek at what I observe every year:
People are generous. People you wouldn’t expect to be generous, are generous. There’s the mom who has her kids put money in the donation box, the high school student, the refugee, the teen mom who looks so tired, the young child who gives money from their own coin purse, the business man, the young man with his pants down at his knees, the elderly lady walking with a cane, the people who say no as they go in the store but give on their way out, the man who, after I say “would you like to give to help abused and neglected children”, says to me, “of course, who wouldn’t”, the man with all the tattoos, the people who empty their pockets of all their change, the people who have their money out and are ready to give without even knowing who they are giving to. Tag Day allows me to see the generosity of people from all walks of life. Makes standing out in the cold worthwhile.
We all know there is a lot of evil in this world, but there’s a lot of good too! For that, I am thankful!