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How to be the Best Canner Ever

There have been some big changes to THON canning this year. Just like last January, all canners are now required to attend a canning workshop. To avoid severe winter weather, all designated canning weekends are now in the fall, and there are only three of them.

With these changes comes the need for more creativity than ever. THON volunteers have always done wacky and goofy things to increase their canning totals and now is the time to bring out all those tricks and make sure you return to State College each weekend with as much money FTK as you can muster.

Here are five ways to make yourself a more “marketable” canner:

1. Wear more Penn State gear. Although we will have to wait and see what the reaction to Penn Staters is on canning weekends, wearing Penn State gear has always been a staple of a good canners uniform. Show off that PSU pride and rep the blue and white. Associating THON with Penn State is good for both entities and makes it easier for people to remember what you’re involved in. That being said, if I see any “We Are Pissed Off” or NCAA Communist shirts, I will be promptly deleting you from my life.

2. Goofy headwear.  I’m debating between my blue wig and my white wig. Ohana should be set to go. Find something ridiculous and wear it. Jester hats, elf caps, and funny Halloween masks are always a fun time.

3. Be annoying — just, you know, not too annoying. People have a natural reaction to walk by and ignore you. Call em’ out. Talk to each person individually. It makes them feel special and warm and fuzzy. But more importantly it guilt trips them into donating since they don’t want to be the jerk in line at a diner that didn’t help kids fight cancer. Don’t ever harass anyone, but a little, “Donate to THON. Do it. You won’t do it. DO IT.” never hurt anyone. Again, don’t be a jerk but you can mess with people a little bit without pissing them off.

4. Entertain. One of the most underused tactics for successful canning is giving the people a show. If you play guitar, bring it. The old ladies love to be swooned by a college man with a guitar (pronounced gee-tar). Juggling, backflips, beatboxing, card tricks, and dancing are all highly entertaining and sure to get some second looks and coin drops from the amused passerby. Plus, once it’s cold out or if there aren’t a ton of people around, it will keep you and your group warm and help fight the boredom.

5. Educate. Just because you’re half someone’s age doesn’t mean you can’t teach them a thing or two. As a THON volunteer it may not be obvious but there are a lot of people that are unaware of childhood cancer. We are not just out on street corners to raise money. We are here to spread awareness about the fight against pediatric cancer. So do that. Learn your facts and know the statistics. We have the opportunity to change the world, starting with diners and gas stations.

About the Author


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