Thursday, December 01, 2005

I may have found my calling

Today I spent the hours between 8am-11:30am handing shirts to people and trying to convince them to wear them. I hate to brag, but I'm ridiculously good at getting Baylor students to wear bright orange t-shirts that say "HIV +" on them in big black letters. Seriously. We were trying to get about 20% of the student body, or 2000 students to wear these, representing Zimbabwe which was a 20% HIV/AIDS infection rate. Well, we didn't get 2000 people to sign up/pick up their shirts so today we had an incredible amount left so some of us walked around throwing them at people and trying to get them to wear them. It actually was fun. We were supposed to get money from the people if we could, to cover the cost of 2000 shirts, but I was not good at that. That is not part of my calling. I was just really good at getting the people to take a free bright orange AIDS shirt and then wear it for the rest of the day.

For the first hour and a half, Jon and I walked around and approached just about every person we saw. I felt kinda creepy at first, but I quickly got over that. Before I knew it, I was a shirt-giving-away machine. You should have seen me in the computer lab in the garden level. I went in with an armload of shirts and came out with none. Even Jon was impressed.

The next hour and a half was spent sitting with all the shirts right outside the School of Social Work and going outside between classes and trying to get everyone walking past to take a shirt. I was amazed at how people responded. Most were more than willing to take one and put it on and listen to my speel, but others would walk away. It reminded me of the people at the U2 concert when we were volunteering for the ONE Campaign. It was all I could do to refrain from muttering "bastards" under my breath at the rude people. But overall, most people were enthused about the shirts and put one on.

The last half hour we went to the SUB and hit people up in the cafeteria. We got a very positive response from that, mostly, I think, because everyone had seen tons of people walking around in them already and wanted to get in on the action. Seriously, there were so many people with the shirts on! It rocked. And now I'm at the library and have already seen about 15 people wearing them.

While the shirt project went well and we actually got so many people to wear them and raise awareness for HIV/AIDS on the global level, I'm just waiting now for everyone to donate their shirts to Goodwill/the Salvation Army/wherever else. That should be interesting when all of a sudden there are hundreds and hundreds of these bright orange HIV + shirts. Interesting indeed.


Cecilia said...

I worked with someone last year who got people at Norte Dame to wear bight orange shirts that said "Gay? Okay with me." on them. I am so jealous. I would so wear that shirt (and yours). I love free shirs!

Golda said...

Some people did that at Baylor last year. But i'm not sure how many people actually got them. I know it was no where near 2000 so it didn't make quite the same impact. I'm thinking they had less than 50 people with them.

seth said...

I'm wearing mine today! So awesome and so good to see y'all on rocked it, it seems. Thanks!

My bro has the 'Gay? Fine by me' shirt ... apparently a bunch got them at Princeton last year...keep on keepin' on sista.

Cecilia said...

so, I do believe that you might have been a little intoxicated when you posted on my site. It's all good though.

Sara said...

wow...that could have been really impressive to see. Thank you for your work. It always amazes me to see people that are passionate about AIDS when it hasn't touched their lives. (I'm + myself..) very inspiring.