I just spent a perfect afternoon in Union Square Park. The weather could only be defined "best day this spring." I was with my friend Helen Schiff. We could have been sitting on a park bench simply chatting or people watching and fantasizing about their lives like I often do in airports. We could have been eating a messy takeout lunch on our laps. We did none of those things.
We each had a tote bag filled with cheap pens and enough NBCC 2020 Deadline to End Breast Cancer petitions to collect 500 signatures. We each had our own short statements to make as we interrupted people enjoying the park. I soon wished I had brought 3 clipboards, more pens and more voice power.
I was asked a lot of questions. I had a few rude dismissals, a few short lectures from some people about the problem with breast cancer being birth control and other rather peculiar ideas. Two snotty young men told me they didn't sign anything. The mother in me asked them if they were US Citizens. They nodded yes. I suggested that they register to vote and study up democracy and the constitution and the Bill of Rights. From the looks on their faces, I was thrilled to find I still had some of my mothering skills for use on teenagers. The "No Sale" people often got me signers sitting on nearby benches and I didn't have to do my commentary for them.
My hope had been to get 100 signatures in three hours or less. I got 80 in just under three hours when I got tuckered and my voice got hoarse. I also got thanked, god blessed, good lucked, and asked about NBCC, SHARE, the websites, and could they sign the petition online. I asked the people who promised to sign online to forward the link to their friends and ask them sign the petition.
I was a little intimidated when I started my walk in the park by the thought of disturbing people to ask for a signature. After the first few people, I became pretty comfortable. I'm now carrying petitions with me wherever I go and plan to make shorter stops to petition in the park when I am in the neighborhood. I've been thinking of stopping to ask people to sign when they are standing in line.
What ideas do you have to get signatures on the petitions? Would you like to petition in a park but don't want to go alone? Try to get a buddy or email me and we'll try to make a date. Getting signatures is great exercise, fun and you will go home feeling good and probably have a few good stories to tell at dinner. I certainly did.
Are you with us?
Please join us!
Anne Grant is a breast cancer survivor and SHARE's representative on NBCC's board of directors. She and hundreds of advocates around the country are collecting signatures to present to the president of the United States in January asking him to make ending breast cancer a priority. Come see NBCC President Fran Visco at SHARE on Thursday, June 14, and learn more about The Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 and how we can all work together to bring this disease to an end.
Anne is a 17-year breast cancer survivor, a SHARELeader, and SHARE's representative on the NBCC Board.