I like trees. I like whales. I like clean air, clean water, functioning ecosystems, and animals not being in the way of danger. In sum, I dig this save-the-environment thing.
However, I am totally not with you on the personal solicitations your group does in downtown Chicago.
The college students in their light blue shirts have become a fixture on street corners. It’s hard to miss them. Attempts to talk with me range from “Got a minute to help save the environment?” to “Want to save some trees?” It’s cute, kitschy, and leads me to believe that those kids really and truly will only take one minute of my time before asking for money.
My problem is that I can’t leave my goddamn building without being asked four times if I want to save the goddamn trees. It would make sense that if I am on Clark and heading east, I just came from LaSalle. Ya know, where there was a swarm of 20-year-olds asking for my time to save the environment. Seeing that they’re similarly blue-shirted on Clark as they were on LaSalle, I assume they’re in cahoots.
Being asked four times in two blocks if I can spare a moment to help their cause doesn’t wear on me in a way that I get to the fourth kids and say, “Hmm, wow. You’re really committed. Let me go ahead and give you a moment and see what I think about opening my wallet then.”
The constant solicitations make me want to vote straight-party republican with hopes that you’ll lose all funding and will get the fuck off the streets.
In truth, I wish these kids success. I really, truly do. However, I also recognize that when they succeed, other groups will follow suit. You’ve already got Children’s International out there doing the same schtick. How long till I start getting hit up for AIDs, cancer, human rights, and the unicorn preservation fund?
I’ve got a good decade being marketing whiz, so please take this suggestion. Chicagoans have money, are socially aware, and like booze. Get off the streets, invite us to a do-gooder event with an open bar, and I promise we’ll write you a big, fat checks for your efforts. That’s how Chicago rolls.
Now, kindly get off the streets, and leave me the fuck alone.