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How Far Would You Go to Make Money?

By: Hailey Frances Email
By: Hailey Frances Email

May 20, 2009

In today's economic climate almost everyone has thought about ways to make extra money. Whether it's a change of profession, negotiating a raise, or taking on a second job, looking to make ends meet is often a topic of conversation among couples.

We are in the biggest economic downturn in the U.S. since the Great Depression, and some people are starting to think outside of the box when it comes to earning extra cash while others stick with the more traditional methods.

"My next door neighbor, he lost his job and he has to sell the house," says Javier Lorenzo, a Charlottesville resident.

"I do just about anything I can: bus tables, wash dishes, make beds," says Michelle Head, who is also on the job hunt.

Meanwhile, others have a little secret. They're cashing in on their bodies, starting with something we all have, plasma. A part of blood that is actually in high demand and worth decent money. Plasma donations pay $200 to $300 a month and is used to treat people with chronic illness like cancer. The closest clinic to Charlottesville is a one-hour drive away in Harrisonburg.

If you're willing to part with your hair, this is another option to cash in on. On hairtrader.com you can name your price. A woman from Wisconsin is asking for $700 for her hair.

Another way to make some serious money using your body, egg donation. At the Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Centers of Virginia in Charlottesville the applications for women interested in donating their eggs for money is up.

"Some people think it's this quick thing," says Christine Aderholt, an egg donor coordinator. "They can just kind of come by, get their eggs removed and leave. It's not like that at all."

A woman can make up to $4,000 per egg donation in Charlottesville, but it isn't easy. You must first have to go through a psychiatric evaluation, medical screening, genetic screening, and blood testing. The process takes months.

Men can also make some money by donating an egg equivalent, though the sperm donating process. This process is less invasive and also less lucrative.

You can log onto 123donate.com to check and see if you pass the test to apply to donate. Each acceptable sperm donation can bank you about $100. The closest sperm donation site to Charlottesville is in Richmond.

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