Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Street Fundraising in Tooting

So I was out on the streets of Tooting today fundraising and taking pictures for SRDF, the charity that I work for. It was eventful day to say the least. I def came away having learnt a few lessons, the most important being: NEVER FUNDRAISE IN THE AREA THAT YOU LIVE!


...the day was made up of a number of strange encounters.../ as are most of my days...

1) I met someone who had been looking for me for eight months. Apparently 8 months ago I went to Coffee Max and sat on table 14 with a friend and the guy who was making our pizza noticed me and ended up following me half way down the road (as you do!) Yeah, he told me this when he approached me at Tooting Station. He put some money in my bucket and told me he had been looking for me ever since. He asked my number, when I told him I didn't have a phone, he offered to buy me one; I told him as nicely as I could I probably wouldn't give him my number if I did have one. See I'm trying this new thing where I don't get involved with strangers. So he left...... but then he came back after half an hour with a cup of hot chocolate from Nero. I hesitantly accepted it, before going on my way. There are too many kind, yet misguided people in the world (like me)...

2) So mid-afternoon I spotted a few guys sitting in a Somali restaurant in Tooting Market and decided it might be a good idea to talk to them about SRDF and the work we do. It wasn't a good idea.  As soon as I went in they started to attack me saying that it was people like me who were ruining Somalia and the best thing I could do was butt out! OWCH! And though I did try to explain that, well, I worked for a diaspora organisation and that it wasn't outsiders trying to impose their own ideas and projects, but Somali's themselves who were working on the ground, naaah they weren't having it. The chef looked at me hopelessly and I decided to cut my losses and leave, quite saddened actually. It was the first time in 8 months working for a Somali charity that I felt like a complete outsider. Not a great note to be leaving on, but hey, what can you do!

3) I met a couple of deaf guys and asked them for a donation in sign language. Well I kind of, I hope. Upon seeing me sigh, the guys were very surprised and signed back that they were in a rush and had to be somewhere. It was pretty cool to know that I can still communicate in signs but God, I can't believe how rusty I've become! Note to self: must go back to college and finish level two and maybe become a BSL interpretter? 

4) I raised about a tenner in five hours. Proper bad. I must have approached more than a hundred thousand 
people. Tooting-ers aren't as generous as I thought them to be, a sad realisation. Or maybe it's just cos we ain't the richest bunch. The people who did donate were very kind and sweet and almost restored my faith in humankind. Hmm almost...

5) I met a really nice girl from South Korea, a volunteer fundraiser. We talked in Korean, we talked about Busan. I want to go to Busan. I must go to Busan. C if you're reading this, I'm coming to Busan.