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THON Canning Survival Guide

Ready your road trip playlists and grab your favorite Penn State hoodie, because the first canning weekend is finally upon us. If this is your first rodeo, I’d like to say congratulations, and welcome to the madness. A typical canning weekend consists of fall weather, home cooked meals, and a whole lot of THON lovin’. So without further adieu, I present to you some tips and tricks to ensure that your canning weekend runs smoothly.

Pack the right gear

Make sure you pack all of your Penn State gear, everything from your Penn State sweatpants to your Nittany Lion ears headband. But you may want to raid the local thrift shops and/or the closet of a friend with a unique taste in clothing. Bright, vibrant clothes catch the eye of public, and I’m sure if you’re frolicking around in a banana suit, you’re bound to receive at least one or two extra donations.

And if you don’t, I’m sorry, I thought the banana suit looked cool.

On a more practical note, be sure to pack a pair of gloves, a hat, and some warm socks. Even though it’s only September, early morning canning can get quite chilly. The key to dressing for canning is to wear layers– and that includes the occasional winter accessory.

Get started early

As the saying goes, “sun’s up, cans out!” Perhaps the most dreaded (but totally necessary) canning tip is to set those alarms and drag yourself out of bed as early as a college student possibly can. Getting out there early maximizes canning time and helps increase the amount of overall donations, but most importantly it allows you to claim some of the best spots in town. Let this make up for all those times you “accidentally” slept through your 8 a.m. classes.

Make that awkward eye contact

When you’re waiting on a street corner, it’s important not to simply stand and half-heartedly wave your sign around. Make eye contact with the people in cars and on the street and make as much as a commotion as you can without being a complete and utter public disturbance. Wave that sign like it’s the last sign you’ll ever wave in your entire life.

Know your pitch

It’s important to actually know about THON’s mission statement and general details regarding donations. People like to know where their money is going and what it’s actually funding. It’s imperative to be well-versed in every aspect of THON and what it stands for  Make your pitch like you’re making it to a die-hard Michigan fan. Every. Single. Time.

Respect other organizations

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of boosting your own organization’s total, but keep in mind we’re all working towards a common goal, and remember that the grand total will remain the same no matter what! Adhere to canning rules, and stick to your registered spots. Most importantly, be respectful; the reason that you’re standing out there is one that’s greater than yourself. It’s as simple as that.

Above all, have fun with this weekend. THON is an incredible experience, and directly making an impact can extremely gratifying. Happy canning, avid canners!

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About the Author

Adair Fleming

Adair is a current sophomore majoring in HD FS and minoring in Psychology but who cares. She's from Northern Virginia, and is a lover of all things cats, caffeine, and cheese. She self-defines as an avid writer, laugher, and fridge-goer, and highly recommends (does not recommend at all) you follow her on twitter @a_flemz, or for more official purposes email her at [email protected] Have yourself a day.


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