Yesterday on World AIDS Day, between the hours of nine and eleven, Aditi,Natalie, Samantha and I were selling red ribbons and red wristbands to raise awareness of AIDS. We rocked up to the ACON office to collect merchandise, and our special t-shirts. Did I mention they were FREE?! We were designated to sell at the Northern End of Hyde Park, the other side of park from where the office was situated. Though we were all volunteering for the same cause (CV related), we were fighting against each other, for the title of ‘Master Fundraiser.’When we split up, the game began. Aditi and Natalie headed towards the West Side, whilst Samantha and I camped the Northern End, where traffic lights were stopping unsuspecting busy people to buy our merchandise. Asking total strangers to support a worthy cause isn’t a walk in the park. I would go ‘Good Morning, Would you…’ to only get barred by the wave of rejection from their hands, or the ever so repetitive ‘Not Today’ excuse. No matter, I sense of accomplishment overwhelmed me when I was able to sell a ribbon to a lady. It gave me the confidence to soldier on raising money.

It’s only when you do these type of volunteer activities are you able to somewhat subjectively analyse strangers. From yesterday, smokers seemed to be more generous and willing to buy. Maybe they felt guilty that they’re wasting money on ciggies when they could possibly contribute to find a cure for AIDS/HIV. Or they have too much money that they’re spending it on ciggies, rather than on more healthier recreation. Then there are suit-ed up, business men and women, who have no time to donate petty cash, as they’re already late to work, or a meeting. Only the occasional few were glad to spare some change, though most of them probably had it left when they were buying their morning coffee. Next, the older women(50+) were willingly to support. I was glad I had a little chat with one of them. She asked me whether or not I’ve been affected by AIDS/HIV(indirectly or directly), to which I said no, shooting the question back at her,she had friends affected by the monstrosity. It’s hard for me, and probably for alot of you to somewhat sympathise since we don’t know what it is like to have someone close to us.  Then there was this lady, who was dressed up elegantly in red and black. She was interested as I approached with the RED goods. There was some feeling that she bought a ribbon as an accessory to her outfit.But the people who stood out the most, were those who gave money without buying anything.

Now it’s time to list the excuses which allowed people to slip away from us.

1. ‘Not Today’ BUT WORLD AIDS TODAY IS ONLY TODAY!?!?

2. ‘No Change’ We had no change at the beginning, since we were provided none, but later we had so many coins, was possible to give sums of change.

3. ‘I’m in a rush’ ‘I’m late ‘ Ok, I understand if you’re in a rush, you can’t waste a few seconds with us. Sometimes I had a feeling that people just said it to avoid us!

4.’No Thanks’  EVIL PEOPLE! jokes!

Samantha and I wandered further north in search of better positions to sell, but our original spot were bringing in all the people. Traffic Lights were our saviour, in some respect. Working in teams of twos improves efficiency. Why? There were a few people who walked past Samantha, saying they didn’t want anything. During the seconds they were walking towards me, they felt guilty not buying, and approach me to grab a ribbon or two. Happened the other way round. Quite an interesting strategy!

Two hours was up, and all four of us gathered, and started to count our collectings. I had high hopes of winning, but I gave Samantha the winning spot of the pedestrian crossing, as oposed to mine, the crossing busy people took instead of walking to the lights, ten metres away. I counted 76.90, whilst Samantha racked in 100+. Aditi and Natalie weren’t as impressive, but hey, as first timers, we did a damn good job. On the way back to the office, Sam and I were steal leeching money off people walking past us, increasing our fundraising values. We also past a few other volunteers who had finished their shifts. A man boosting with pride raised 240ish. We were so amazed.

Back at the office, we were directed to the finance room, where the money was collected and counted. The two guys took my money box, pulled out the notes and poured the coins into a machine counter. And in a matter of seconds, I was told I raised a total of 81.90. Samantha raised a total of 121.55, Aditi with 70ish, and Natalie with 30ish. The money count at the time, was 4560. I’m sure, as a team, we probably hit 20 000 at the end of the day.

If you missed out this year, there’s always next year. I would like to volunteer again.

Afterwards, met up with Lis,Sim and Belle, and had lunch at what we thought would never be so empty, Mamak! Everything was spicy or hot, with the exception of the Sweet Roti with Ice Cream, which Belle completely whored (lol). Then went ‘shopping’ despite none of us spending any money except Aditi who DDRed. Then to Kinokuniya to look at stationary, and what Lis calls, my ‘porn.’ Too bad everything is so expensive. And I figured out why the magazines were so expensive. They adjust prices according to their yen price. So 700yen->24.98dollars.  Bored, we decided to have expensive desserts, dined in Passionfruits, then decided we didn’t want to eat, dined and dashed to Maccas. Aditi,Sim and Natalie left before the rest of us watched 2012. Though it was damn long, it was worth the 10dollars. Typical ‘end of the world’ movie, apparently it has references to Revelations in the Bible, according to my mum. And then that was pretty much the day, that was World AIDS day.

Will upload a photo of my shirt when the camera comes back into my hands.Tonight Mum, with the assistance of me, and the test subject of my hair, perfected the art of cutting hair. And I’ve been Neopet whoring almost the whole day, got a few trophies. Aiming for MOAR!

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