Sunday, December 11, 2005

Peace Pedalers

There were five of us sitting over sushi talking about the cause and preparing for our evening of fundraising. The closest I've ever come to doing something like this was cold calling to sell life insurance and I can't say I was ever too successful. I had no particular expectations.

We started out at Gecko's, a bar overflowing with young military types, and the response was impressive. For every table we talked to, usually at least one sale was made. I never realized how generous people are. I was hesistant to march right up to a table of drinking guys, even more hesitant towards girls, but when I got over that it was easy. In fact, the boys usually seemed quite pleasantly surprised to be approached by a girl, and perhaps slightly disappointed to find out they were being asked for money. I think we might have ignored the girls more than we should have... ah well.

We went from bar to bar and sold bracelets like crazy. We were annoying, I'm sure, but people had a hard time saying no.

That charity, for those interested, is for an organization called Peace Pedalers; a group that is biking across the world to spread peace and cooperation between countries. This particular bracelet campaign is to raise money to purchase one hundred bicycles for poor children in South Africa who otherwise have to walk to school more than ten kilometers each way.

Some people criticized the necessity of such a donation, legitimately I suppose. Don't they need food instead? But with a means for transportation people have more time for farming, better means for accessing food and hospitals, collecting water, and it's very cost effective. A good cause, I say. And the Itaewon partiers seemed to agree.

It was funny to note that if one person at a table was listening and buying a bracelet, the others looked the other way or did not agree to buy as well. I often have that feeling myself; that if someone I'm with has given to someone or something I'm thereby off the hook. I'll try not to do that anymore. As a "salesperson" I tried to involve everybody at the table, not just the one who seemed to take interest, so the others had less of an escape. A good tactic, I think.

At 3,000 won a piece, we managed to raise over 700,000 won! Pretty good for four hours of selling.

The next stage of the fundraiser is to sell packages that are basically meant to raise 120,000 won to buy one bicycle for a child. The bicycles will be hand delivered and the donators of this money will sign a card that will be presented directly to the child. The idea is that a leader finds twelve people who are willing to support the cause for 10,000 won each, and they all pitch in to buy one bicycle. There is also an auction/party in Itaewon on January 14th with lots of door prizes and things that should be a lot of fun.

If anyone wants more information, email me ( or the organizer Vanessa (

On the way home this morning from Seoul D'Arcy and I stopped finally at Hannam Supermarket, another foreign goods store that's popular. I got spaghetti, pimento stuffed green olives, and vlasic baby kosher dills which are not crunchy enough or very good even. I can't get the olive jar open yet.


At December 11, 2005 6:29 a.m. , Blogger Shells Bells said...

Hey Jess! Your green bracelets made it over to Hongdae last night. There were several people with them in the bar :) How do I get one of those??

At December 11, 2005 6:42 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

No kidding!! I'll sell ya one! We just have to meet up sometime soon!! Or you can come to the fundraiser in January if you're interested, though it costs ten thou to get in. Or you can email Vanessa -

That's so cool that you noticed them! Did you ask someone about it?

At December 11, 2005 6:28 p.m. , Blogger Shells Bells said...

No some guy was talking to us and he had one on and he asked us to look at the new cool bracelet he bought in Itae. All of his friends had them and I noticed many others wearing them! :) For sure we should hook up soon. We're going to Lotte World next Saturday if you guys are interested in coming! If not we're going out afterwards perhaps you could meet us?

At December 12, 2005 8:27 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, that's amazing! We'll sweep the nation in no time!


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