Oct 11, 2005

have you heard the one about... mmmbop?

Students across the country have pitched in to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps one of the most creative ideas, though, comes from Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, PA. A few students suggested that the school would play Hanson's 1996 hit "MMMBop" through the loudspeakers before classes begin, between periods and during lunch.

The idea? Annoy students and teachers into donating and have them pay to stop the music.

Student Council President Meredith Cox and Vice President Maria Landi, both of whom are seniors, came up with the idea. Landi is quoted as saying in the midst of the campaign, "It's pretty annoying. I'm getting kind of sick of it. But we're doing it for a good cause." The principal went on to add, "Kids have said, 'If I give you a blank check, will you stop this music?' People are just, like, some people give twenties. You say, 'Thank you very much.' They say, 'No, we just want it to end. Even though it's for a good cause, we just want it to end.' It's rather funny."

When all was said and done, this school of 600 raised $3,505.95. When hearing about it, the pop group Hanson matched the donations and gave every student in the school a copy of their new album, "Underneath."


I've been thinking about how many times people feel guilted into giving money in the church.

You know...

  • "There's this great mission trip coming up and the team needs..."
  • "Our new building will only cost ________ and the children really need it to..."
  • "The student ministry is selling candy bars for only $5 each this month so that we can buy an espresso machine in order to..."
  • "The price of natural gas has kicked in and in order to heat our building we require..."

I'm not trying to come down on any of these needs - I've certainly contributed to the mix on several occasions. I guess I just saw this story and began to wonder if people don't often give to the church just to shut us up.

While we're trying our best to promote what we perceive to be important, all they're hearing is "Mmmbop, ba duba dop, Ba du bop, ba duba dop, Ba du bop, ba duba dop, Ba du, Yeah."

(And yes... these are the actual lyrics of the chorus)

So what is the right balance? How do we impart a sense of cheerful giving and not obligation? (And still make budget?)

    "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)


Marcia said...

Smurf/UNICEF fundraising...Mmmbop fundraising....

Am I sensing a trend here?

Sort of like a toddler in Wal-Mart: "Gimmee and I'll stop this nerve-shredding scream!"

Tony Myles said...


grace said...

When a group of people approve an annual budget (a commitment to spending), they are obligated as a group to finance what they have approved.

Although that sounds very unspiritual, it is the basis underlying the giving within a church.

We can add lots of flowery teaching about cheerful giving and God's blessing, but in the end, we are members of an organization supporting the budget of said organization.

Tony Myles said...

I get that, Grace, and totally agree with it. I guess I'm speaking more to the "extra's" that tend to run over the budget... this fundraiser or that pledge/drive. I hope we can be more careful to not cause people to give out of guilt but make sure it's a joyful matter.

angela said...

didn't one of the hanson kids go to Taylor U?

Tony Myles said...

I don't know, but I know one was named Taylor.

Dang it... I can't believe I actually know that.