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The 10 People You Meet While Canning

Canning weekend #1 marked the return of early mornings, crazy costumes, and lots of love FTK. But the first canning weekend also reminded us that there are certain people you just can’t seem to avoid while hard at work canning. So here they are; the ten people you meet while canning.

1. The ‘Avoider At All Costs’

This sucker got caught at your intersection just as the light turned from yellow to red, and they will do everything in their power to pretend that you do not exist. The month-old magazine in their backseat will become the most consuming piece of literature they have ever read. Counting the money in their change tray is suddenly an urgent life-or-death task. Cell phones, perfume, cup holders — literally anything to avoid making eye contact with you.

2. The ‘Flat Out Rejector’

Usually of the older variety, this person wants to make it crystal clear that they will not be donating any of their money to THON today. They vigorously shake their head while muttering something you can’t hear, because, you know, no free handouts. After that, it’s just awkward because you’re still dancing in front of his car to try to get other people to donate.

3. The ‘Overzealous Alum’

This one is great, because alumni always want to give back to Penn State, but they take the brief encounter of donating to a canner as a chance to relive his glory days at Dear Old State. After listening to a ten minute story about their freshman year escapade that ended at The Diner, this person will depart with a “We Are!” chant or three if they’re feeling ambitious.

4. The ‘Adorable Child’

Hands down this is one of the best types of people you meet while canning. They sheepishly put the money their parents gave them into your can while giving you the most adorable smile in the world. You have to stop yourself from smothering them with your love. If you are lucky enough one of your BFF’s even snapped a picture of this totally Instagram-able moment.

5. The ‘Good Guy Parent’

This one goes hand in hand with “The Adorable Child.” This guy not only gives his child money to give to THON, but also uses THON as an opportunity to teach his kid about philanthropy, why it’s important to donate, etc. Basically, this parent deserves a round of applause.

6. The ‘Loose Change Man’

You stroll up to this guy’s car after he signals that he will indeed donate to THON. You hopefully hold your can up to his window, and then you hear the clink of change hitting the metal bottom. Although every cent counts, every cent weighs a hell of a lot more than a bill does.

7. The ‘Guilty Donator’

Donations from this person are usually achieved by staring them down. Now they’re uncomfortable, perfect. Then, they realize that you’ve been standing on the side of the road since 7 a.m, even better. Are they really going to say no to helping kids with cancer? Nope.

8. The ‘Guy Who Asks to See Your Penn State ID’

This guy is less common in the canning world, but trust me, he’s out there. I came across him this past weekend, when he refused to give me a dollar unless I proved to him that I actually went to Penn State. I guess he was trying to be super careful with his money. Have a little faith in humanity, sir!

9. The ‘High Roller’

Everyone’s favorite person. Nothing beats the feeling of looking down in your can and realizing there’s a fat twenty dollar bill at the top of it. Or a 20, 50, or the coveted 100. Bonus points to those who disguise their big donations with a few one dollar bills on top. Surprises are fun.

On the other hand, the ‘high roller’ can also flip through their 100’s, 50’s, 20’s, etc until they get to the 1’s to put in your can. It goes both ways.

10. The ‘Genuine Donator’ 

This do-gooder really wants to contribute to all the good things THON does for the kids. Even if they fall under one of the other descriptions above, they are truly helping THON with his donation. These are usually the people who bring you hot chocolate, cookies, and whatever other goodies that brighten your day. And let’s be honest, that’s pretty spectacular on every level.

Did we miss any other types of people you come across while canning? Let us know in the comments section. 

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About the Author

Anna Foley

Anna is a senior majoring in Communication Arts & Sciences and Spanish with a minor in Theatre. Yes, she went to Spain. Follow her half-funny thoughts @exfoleyator and send her chain emails at [email protected].

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