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Overheard While Canning

Usually these Overheard posts are these horrifying compilations of inappropriate quotes, and sometimes they kind of shake the foundation of your faith in humanity. You sit here reading them and laughing, but there’s a part of you thinking, “Seriously? I go to school with people who say these kinds of things? What is wrong with everyone?!” But not this time. This week’s installment is quite the opposite. Instead of making you a little sick to your stomach, it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

This weekend was the final canning weekend for THON 2013. Thousands of Penn State students traveled with their orgs and committees all across the Mid-Atlantic, sacrificing their weekends to stand outside with cans, signs, and some crazy outfits to raise all the money they could for the Four Diamonds Fund.

To be fair, there are some things about canning that don’t quite fit into a quote. You can’t really quote the mile-wide grin on a child’s face when they get to drop the money that their parents gave them into your can. You can’t quote the look on someone’s face when you explain to them what THON’s all about. And you definitely can’t quote the tears filling someone’s eyes as they donate in memory of someone they lost to this awful disease. But here are the sweetest, cutest, most heartwarming quotes that I and a bunch of the THONners* overheard while raising money this weekend FTK.

Elderly woman: “I just sent in a check last week. I danced in the first THON, that’s how old I am.”

Man, dropping a donation in: “God bless you, and thank you for what you’re doing. Penn State is the best school on earth!”

Homeless man in DC: “I am so broke, but someone gave me a couple of quarters today and I think I should give them to you.”

Woman in a Penn State hoodie, dropping $10 in my can: “THON, huh? My son goes to Penn State, too. His org is all he talks about. You guys do a good thing here. Thank you for giving him a family away from home.”

Elderly woman: “I could never thank you guys enough. All of you have helped my granddaughter immensely!”

Woman as she donates: “The world needs more people like you.”

College-aged girl: “This is the only time when dancing on a corner for money is okay!”

A Four Diamonds child, pointing to the canning signs: “But why don’t they say FTK?”

Elderly man as he donates: “It’s nice to see people helping other people.”

Man with a huge smile on his face: “This organization actually paid for my daughter’s cancer treatments. This is a good group.”

Seven-year-old boy: “Hey, I want to take your picture and put it on Facebook so you guys can get lots of moneys.”

Older man as he donates: “I mean, if you’re willing to stand in the cold, I guess I can give you money.”

Man to a dancing canner as he donates a dollar: “Heeeeeyyy, buddy! That’s one hell of a dance!”
Woman in the next car, to the same dancing canner as she donates a dollar: “You’d get this money even if you weren’t dancing.”

Woman as she donates: “My son’s 24 years old and a cancer survivor, and he couldn’t have made it without THON.”

Elderly gentleman to a group of canners: “You are all angels. God bless you.”

Middle-aged man as he donates: “Cancer runs in my family. Lost three people to it already… brother, sister, and father. Keep fighting to end it!”

Elderly man to a crazily-dressed canner: “Well, anyone that wears a hat like that deserves something!”

Older man with a beard: “Here is a dollar. You have the most beautiful smile!”

Proud parent to her Four Diamonds child: “You see these people, Jonathan? They pay your medical bills.”

Man, handing chilly canners cups of hot chocolate: “You definitely earned these. Warms my heart to see kids giving up their weekend for a good cause. You’re doing an incredible thing here.”

Female, donating a dollar: “There’s nothing more amazing than kids helping kids.”

Man with a Penn State hat: “This is the stuff the news should be running, not that other crap. This is what Penn State’s all about.”

Leave us a comment with the most heartwarming things you overheard this canning weekend!

*A special thanks to Nicollette Airhart, Elise Potter, Erin Murphy, Jess Irani, Ben Ruddle, Katie Gnatt, Mike Toole, Demi Orphanos, Caitlin Reidel, Mike Watson, and Kathy Ahumada for their contributions to this post.

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About the Author

Alicia Thomas

Alicia is a senior with majors in Print Journalism and Spanish and a minor in International Studies. Chances are that she's somewhere talking about her semester abroad or ranting about sexual assault prevention right now. She can be reached via Twitter (@aliciarthomas) or email ([email protected]).


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