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A challenge to raise funds for Virgin Unite – Starting with plastic bags!!


A few weeks ago I was set a challenge by a friend. The challenge was that I had to start with something, which had a perceived value of nothing. And I had to exchange it for something of perceived greater value! I had to do this 3 times within 40 mins. My starting item. A plastic bag full of plastic bags!! The aim was to get an item that could then be Auctioned on eBay with the money going to Virgin Unite.








So the challenge was set. So I was trying to think when and where was the best time and place to do the challenge. I initially thought that perhaps the weekend market, or somewhere that people might actually need the plastic bags. I mean who in their right mind would want to exchange something for them!! Self talk on a low, I just had to simply get moving. So the plan, was to take a walk down the local street and hit up some of the shops, and just get on with it.

So we tried the first shop. It look promising. Its was a cooking shop with lots of little bits and pieces of little value that surely could be exchange for the bags!! So I asked the lady behind the counter, briefly explain why I was doing what I was doing. Her puzzled look, one that I was crazy, returned the answer of NO!! Arrgggh, my first attempt at this and I get a NO. Slight hit to the self talk again. But it wasn’t because she didn’t want to, just she wasn’t the owner and so couldn’t make the decision..

(Mental not to myself: Being a business owner, I believe that people should be empowered to make decisions for the company/business. If you as an owner have to make all the decisions how is your business ever going to grow? You have to learn to trust employee’s to make the right choice. Create a culture where people take responsibility for their actions.)

So, on to the next stop. So it wasn’t the fact that the last place wouldn’t, it’s just they didn’t have the ability to make the decision. So I chose the next cooking store on the street. Accoutrement.





After having a look around the shop, again they had some little bits and pieces that they could possible exchange. So, again I went up to the counter. Again I explained what I was doing. A ‘Are you crazy look came over the face of the girl I was speaking too’ I will have to speak with the owner! (Oh no, here we go again..) The owner came and again I had to explain what I was looking to do. (This time more of the employee’s were around listening to what I was doing, and a few of the customers.) She thought about it, and she went and got me a magnetic paper grab. Worth $2.. That was it, I was off.









So I then proceeded to head down the street to see what else I could exchange it for. What other shops in my local area have lots of little things that are worth more than $2 that they could possibly exchange… After walking down the street I decided to try the local hardware store. They always have lots of bits and pieces in….





As we entered and had a look around, there was plenty, but would they do the deal?? I asked one of the helpers. Explained what I was doing, and no puzzled look. Turns out he had heard of the game before and in fact his friend had played it and ended up with a Phone! Knowing that, this gave me a little bit of hope that, I would end up with something worthy of Virgin Unite and that would give me a good chance of raising the funds on eBay. Again though, I would have to speak to the manager..

So, I proceeded to speak with the manager and tell him what I was doing it and why. He had a think and a bit of a look around and he game me a karabiner.. I must admit, I was hoping for something a little bigger to help my cause, but I was really grateful that he was willing to play along and give me something. Even if it was $10. It was a step in the right direction. 2 exchanges down and 1 to go. 35mins gone.









So as I headed back up the street, karabiner in hand, what else could I exchange. My final push, the last item. The one that would go on eBay to be sold???  I came up to Kikki. K and had a look in. They have some really nice journals that I thought, although not big ticket. I think someone might be interested in! So as I was looking around a girl asked me if she could help, I told her what I was doing. She got really excited, and before I could finish that it was to be sold of for charity for Virgin Unite she was saying how she loved this game and played it in Canada while she was over there travelling!! When they did it, they didn’t have such a tight time limit. They ended up with a CAR!! No that would have been good.

Unfortunately though, again. It wasn’t in her power to exchange anything in store, but she asked me to wait a minute and she said she would look in her bag to see if she had anything. (This girl was willing to give up something that she was carrying for the game! I felt totally honour and grateful that she would even look.) Unfortunately though she didn’t have anything. But she asked me to hold on while she called her father, who was in the process of moving.

She briefly mentioned the reason they ended up with a car, was because someone was actually getting rid of it on rubbish removal day. (Mental note, if you are going to play this game, do it when people are throwing away unwanted items! More chance of getting a great exchange item) She came back and wrote down her address and her fathers number. Told us to go see him and see what he had.

We headed to her place, and as we got there she happened to have beaten us back. It was time for her to finish work, so she raced home to meet us there. She then proceeded to give us a guitar!! Jackpot.. WINNER I couldn’t believe her generosity. I was stoked. Now I had something that we should be able to raise the funds for on eBay.









As you can see, its a good little guitar. I have been told its pretty much in tune! Its a Fender as well. (I’m not a guitar person so I have no idea!!)









So I learn a lot in the 45 mins that I was playing the game. I learnt about my self and others. Most people, truly do seem to be interested in helping others out. Even if they do give you a funny look to start with. Also, most owners of companies do not empower their employees to make the right choices, and so some decisions are not made that could offer a greater opportunity to the company. Ok in my case I wasn’t offering such an opportunity however, it was clear that this was the policy that would be run for all sorts of decisions.

So the time has come for you to click on the link and go and place a bid on the guitar, in the name of Virgin Unite. Coming together to help educate a new age of Entrepreneurship in our society.

Just to give this post and update. The Guitar sold fro $112.00 The buyer was kind enough to round that up to $120.00 My wife and I then matched the amount to donate $240.00 to Virgin Unite and The Branson Centre. RIGCOM Access doubled and matched the total amount $480.00 To give The Branson Centre $720.00.

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