I gave the standard spiel. Then she said:
“We like what you guys are doing a whole lot. But we’ve got lots of bills these days, so we’re not going to be able to give.”
I know, I know, what she meant was that they have more bills than they have money. Been there, done that, understand. But what she said was that simply the fact that they have bills is a good enough reason to not give to our ministry. So, let’s chase that rabbit, shall we?
What would it look like to limit myself and only contact people without bills to pay? Here’s some folks (off the top of my head) who have very few bills:
I could do some sort of Thomas the Tank Engine-themed giveaways to attract the kids. Maybe a Dora the Explorer Prize Package. The problem being that, as much as it’s the thought that counts, a handful of cheerios and a popsicle stick that you just finished with are not exactly going to fund my ministry. Maybe I could have the kids pose in the background of a video looking very hungry, and I then somehow bridge the gap between these hungry children and the college students to whom I want to minister.
My dog just grunted at the prospect of having to roll all the way to the other side of her body, laying across the room. It’s this thing she does to try and accentuate the fact that she’s doing absolutely nothing. It’s as if to say “oooooohhhh, man am I ever tired of laying around, eating, throwing up about once a month on the carpet, and “chasing” cars on the other side of the fence behind the house. I should really go get some bills.” Although, as my Visa debit card, brought to you by Bank of America (unpaid shout-out) can attest, she does indeed have bills. Just not ones that she has to be concerned about. Her concerns pretty much end at “barking at the kids waiting for the school bus at 7:00 AM like they’ve done every day for weeks,” and (related) “finding creative ways to wake up the infant.”
People in prison
I could really be onto something here. You’ll forgive the gross stereotyping, but my only prison experiences were narrated by Morgan Freeman or as a regular viewer of the show “Life” that my wife and recently watched the entirety of on Hulu–the way all TV should be–(further unpaid shout-out). Don’t all prisoners pay for things using cigarettes and mob alliances? Doesn’t the mob have lots of money? I could start an “adopt a mob boss” program, and challenge prisoners to raise just $10 per month toward my ministry using their mob connections. It could work.
People in undeveloped countries
Back to the topic of hungry children. I could pull a reverse Sally Struthers commercial, and take video of affluent middle-class American college students to poor remote villages where I will use that footage to tug at the heartstrings of the villagers, in a fund-raising effort. “For just the price of your food for a month, you can buy these students a cup of coffee.”
Speaking of college students, maybe I could make my ministry a “pay to play” affair. Because, after all, these students don’t have very many bills. They also are among the least affluent people groups on the planet, in terms of income. If I want to run my ministry on the fuel of Maruchan ramen noodles and Monster energy drink (unpaid backhanded compliments, there), I’d say college students are truly an untapped resource. If I want to pay my rent, these college students are not going to be much help.
What category did I miss? Chime in in the comments.