A Day in the Life of
a Collection Box Volunteer
By Kim Betts
KAR Pet Travel…..
Outwardly this is a doddle of a job, however, if you are aware that every Lira counts in KAR then it can be worrying as well. Our collection boxes are situated in many places from Lapta right through to Turtle Bay.
I generally set out equipped with the following:
- Print out of what box number is where.
- An official card to say I am officially allowed to handle money destined for KAR.
- KAR bag, containing pens, receipt book and a set of keys which makes me look like an Elizabethan chatelaine.
People ask for collection boxes on occasions because they think it makes them “look good”. However, when they realise that people are putting money into the KAR box rather than into the TIP box, then suddenly you find that collection boxes are tucked out of sight or at least difficult to reach. At times we do have to decide if it is worthwhile having our boxes in certain places — if they generate very poor donations it may be that they are better placed elsewhere. However there are some extremely kind and generous outlets where the box is placed in full view and there it stays and for those people we are forever grateful. Most boxes are only emptied 3 times a year, but I do have 3 or 4 that are emptied every 2 months. It is a time consuming job (my collection days are spread out over about 4 – 5 days) as every kurus, penny, cent etc has to be counted……..
It appears to me that collection boxes can bring out the best or the worst in people. Holiday makers in particular will stuff what appear to be huge amounts of paper money into a box.. but when I get home and Google FOREX I find that not only is the amount a paltry sum but the notes have been out of date, for the country concerned, for the last 4 or 5 years. Maybe it makes them feel good, I don’t know.
I always rattle a box first (I think most collectors all around the world do that – as well as feeling the weight of the box!!) and you can feel a bit down, but that feeling can be alleviated immediately when I open up and find ~ Sterling notes, Euro notes as well as Lira notes!!!. Suddenly box emptying takes on a new dimension and you feel that it is all worthwhile.
On the sad side, there were a total of 8 boxes, in 2014, that were, lost, damaged or strayed but on the good side during 2014 there was a total of 9.099tl, 121.26GBP and 167.14 Euros collected in boxes. Boxes have to be carpentered and replaced and of course have to be paid for.
We are currently in the process of trying to modernize and replace badly damaged collection boxes when needed so they currently come in various types. But please, if you visit a shop, office, bank, café etc, and you see a KAR collection box, think of me and 3 other KAR volunteers, who give of their time and petrol and push a few Lira into the slot at the top of the box (any other usable currency is most welcome and gratefully received – Far Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Australian etc is difficult).