This I Believe

Kayla - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on June 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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This I believe…

Always put change in the bucket. You see them everywhere, your local little league football team, basketball team, baseball team, or cheerleaders. Out on the streets asking for the littlest amount of money from you to drop in their buckets. No matter what the weather they’re out raising money for the love of the game, and with the faith that their neighborhood will support them. I used to be the type of person that would wave the collectors along without even glancing at my change container. All that changed when I was placed on the opposite end of the spectrum.

It was the beginning of the summer and I was enduring the unusually hot St. Louis weather. I was raising money along with the rest of my basketball teammates for a tournament out of town. We were out there for a good six hours with our personal water spritzing fans. I went into the task very optimistic thinking that I would have a good 50 bucks by the end of the day. My optimism changed into doubt within a good hour of soliciting. I tried different tactics with every car, the innocent approach, comedy, and just plain begging, but the one that seemed to work the best was my use of emotional appeal. I told everyone how hot it was as if they weren’t outside, and pleaded with them to help me get out of this heat and onto the basketball court. Even though the job was very trying, it was a great bonding experience for the team and the coaches. Some of our parents even decided to help out. We were turned down twice as many times as we were given money, but by the end of the six hours we had raised enough money to participate in the tournament.

We ended up winning the tournament, but felt even more pride saying that we had raised the money that got us there. From now on, I never wave the little league teams on through, in fact I wave them over to the car and drop my change in their bucket. I can relate to every little kid that’s out there asking for money. Some might be out there to raise money for uniforms to make them feel like a team. Others might be like me, trying to raise enough money to participate in some type of game, but no matter what the reason, I find pride in saying that in some way I have helped in allowing some kid feel the same type of accomplishment and pride that I once felt. This is why I always drop change in the bucket.