05 February 2014

The Legend of the Food Drive Creeper

Would you believe that I was asked to co-coordinate the food drive again at work?

Yeah, I'm not surprised either. This is my third year in a row helping out, though. They didn't realize when they asked me again this year that I'm actually running out of fundraising ideas. The little events I used to get excited about now seem like too much work for what little they bring in. And my activity ideas that were successful the first year were old hat the second year. So I've shifted my focus to the major fundraising events and boosted those. But I still needed something to keep intrigue and excitement in the Foundation throughout the month.

Enter... the Food Drive Creeper.

The employee who is over facilities here at the Foundation has this plastic owl that he has been moving around. It has been a kind of game for me to find him every couple of weeks. Then I realized, I could use this! Like the Beaver hat of yore, I could use this owl to help generate attention for the food drive, though it wouldn't bring in any money directly. Mostly it was a fun, creative outlet for me.

But the idea of an owl and fundraising for food didn't really mesh well in the minds of my colleagues, and people started asking what this "creeper" was all about. They hadn't connected the dots as easily as I had imagined. So it was suggested that I throw together a story about this owl to send out to everyone and create some excitement.

And now... for your reading pleasure...
The Legend of the Food Drive Creeper

Long ago in the Foundation building, long before the Campaign for OSU hit the $1 billion goal (woot woot!), a flock of birds made their home in the rafters outside the Foundation west wing. While we at Oregon State are passionate about preserving wildlife in our great state, the staff in the west wing were becoming a bit concerned about the raucous that these new neighbors were making.

Communications and Advancement Services staff ran to our main facilities man to beg for a solution. He pondered and brainstormed. How can we remove our feathered friends without harming them in any way and help them to find a better home than our building?

He had an idea! He arrived at the Foundation with two creepy-looking plastic owls (the owl is much lighter than it appears!). One of our adopted owls was strategically placed in the rafters of the west wing, throwing ominous stares in the direction of these birdie families. The owl was so convincing, and those owl eyes so creepy, that quickly after the creeper moved in, the birds moved out. This owl remains outside the west wing until this day serving as a sentinel for the Foundation.

The second owl, though gifted with the same realistic eyes and stealthy qualities, has been living in Brian Bauder’s cube in the east wing since the day it was adopted. The plastic creeper owl passed the time moving from perch to perch - behind plants and above doorways - spooking student callers and board members alike, but this owl was never given a true mission of its own to perform.

That was, until recently!

Last month, when we began planning for the 2014 Food Drive for the Linn Benton Food Share, this creeper found its true calling in life – helping the employees at the OSU Foundation know where to find the next food drive event or showing them the tip of the day. It is only fitting that this bird of prey, who has lived at the Foundation all its plastic life, has learned to be philanthropic and chooses to give back to its community.

So when you’re feeling low, and wondering how you could possibly contribute more to the Food Drive, watch for those creepy eyes. The Food Drive Creeper is likely to pop-up in a location near you, sharing on the break room bulletin board important information about the Food Drive happening in the month of February.