A few years ago, as part of my job, I helped raise awareness and support for a worthy cause.
After a full day working, I would spend my time selling raffle tickets for this great cause. The golden ticket would win you the keys to a Harley Davidson bike. A low-rider. I learned about the bike enough to make a sales pitch to the Sturgis crowd. I knew where the money was going and to whom it would benefit. So, I was fine playing the role of carnie to every man and woman who passed by.
One time, in an effort to sell more raffle tickets, I found myself at a well-known dive (and I mean dive) bar one evening to raffle off tickets to a crowd I didn’t know how to relate to no matter how hard I tried (a client at work that day looked at my friend and I like we were crazy for going there-knowing we were far from the type for that place).
Not only were we fish out of water there, but the main event was not the Harley sitting in the corner of the bar, watched by security at all times.
Nope. The reason people flocked to the watering hole that night was for the live show-live cage fighting. Now, mind you, I was there to sell tickets for a Harley and the potential buyers were there to drink, yell, and pee happy.
I had my work cut out for me.
But, I repeated over and over again in my head, and to my friend, that it was for a worthy cause and if I died in some bar fight (an innocent bystander struck by a flying chair) or by a mob of angry fans upset with the happenings in the cage, or by a rogue cage fighter who decided to take his fight outside, that all would not be lost. Because it was for a cause I believed in.
Still, there is no way I would have gone without my friend. And there’s no way my parents would have been ok with my philanthropic adventures – hence why they didn’t know where I was volunteering my sales skills that evening.
With my friend next to me the whole night, except for the few times we were more than two feet away from each other-holding some bearded man’s beer while he filled out the raffle ticket-closing the deal. We encouraged one another to keep on keeping on-especially when we saw multiple people peeing behind the bleachers-male and female-which is an image you can’t delete no matter how hard you try.
The still-full raffle booklets, waiting to be sold and filled out, sitting in our jacket pockets (did I mention that it was raining?) told us we weren’t finished-there was still work to be done to further the cause to help others. We pushed aside our fears and doubts and disgust and kept pitching our pitch -changing it up as the night wore on.
We sold to the best of our abilities, taking advantage of people in their inhibited states, and were proud of our hard work, determination, and courage to walk up to men who could have squashed us like a bug and women who could take us down with just one look.
Why did we do all of that? What was so worthy it required I stick my neck out to help? Why am I finally telling you this story?
Simple. We did it, every last spilled beer and “what’s my license say my name is” moments just to help a cause that I never thought I’d care about from a personal standpoint.
Back then, selling raffle tickets was just another cause. Who would have known that that cause would hit so close to home?
Who would have thought that my sales pitch of, “buy another raffle ticket; save the ta-ta’s” (Remember my audience-cafe fighting fans) would become a personal fight. A fight for not just my mom or my family, but for every woman-young and old-who has ever gone down this cancer and chemo trail.
Support a cause. You never know when it will come back to help you.
I ask. You answer.
1. Have you ever found yourself helping a cause in some unconventional places (i.e. dive bars for cage fights)
2. Have you ever supported a cause and then found out you needed its help/services?
3. When people approach you to support a cause, what is your first response?