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Volunteering: Women of Hope Walk ’11

October 2, 2011

When I woke up yesterday, I won the first argument with myself of the day: I didn’t hit the Snooze button. Good sign.

I arrived for my volunteer shift for the Women of Hope Walk at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday morning. I was scheduled to work from 5:30 until noon. I didn’t leave until 2 p.m., not because I was working my tail off necessarily, but because my assignment didn’t get finished until then.

When I arrived, the only other souls I could find on the premises were a couple of stray caterers. I asked one woman where the volunteers should go, and she had no idea. I’m sure she thought I was a complete dink.

I wandered in the dark for a few minutes, disoriented and shivering, and then I spotted some headlights turning into the drive and going to a different parking lot. I hopped in my car and chased the other headlights with hope, and huzzah, it was a fellow volunteer! Together we wandered to the main tent, where a couple other volunteers were starting to trickle in, and we got to work on setup tasks. After that, I was assigned to help set up medical supply boxes and to be a nurse’s gopher at two Pit Stop stations along the walk route. (Thank you to Kris for taking me under your wing! And for the apple.)

Before the walk, opening ceremonies took place in an amphitheater. As tributes were paid while the sun finished rising, and honor was attributed to survivors and care givers and lost loved ones, I sat on a frosty slab of concrete and looked at all the other people present, bundled up in warm clothing and ready to walk or work. I realized that despite my personal losses, I’d never made connections with others (outside of my family) who’ve been touched by cancer until just then. And I realized it was a mistake that I’d never done so.

Heavy stuff to digest after waking up at 4:15.

I think this event will continue to grow in the future. From what I could see, plenty of volunteers were on hand. A couple of crews of Butler University women had even shown up to help because a women’s coach was walking in the event. See? That’s how you get young people involved! Leadership in volunteering goes a long way.

Worst part of the day: Cold wind. Ick.
Best part of the day: It didn’t rain, and I got to see men on Harley Davidsons with pink bras strapped to their helmets/windshields. They even had giant pink Styrofoam “ribbons” attached to the backs of their bikes.

All in all, I could have taken on heavier work than I was given, but I’m happy I filled a role for the day. I plan to go again next year.

Before that, though, I have my own cancer fundraising mission to work on.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2011 2:11 pm

    Good for you! Your role was important, and it’s wonderful that you filled it. I haven’t forgotten that you dared me to find a volunteer opportunity, and I am still looking. I was hoping to become a Meals on Wheels driver but the woman won’t call me back!

    • October 4, 2011 11:19 am

      Oh my gosh, that’d be such a cool volunteer gig! And geez, I’d think they’d be eager to get a volunteer and call you right back. If she doesn’t call you back, is there perhaps another (more organized) person you could call or email?

  2. October 4, 2011 3:36 am

    It must have been such a great experience to reach out and lend a hand. You must have connected with many wonderful people!

    • October 4, 2011 11:21 am

      I did meet some fun people that day. That’s another great reason I’m going to do more volunteer stuff: meeting interesting folks. 🙂

  3. October 4, 2011 10:31 am

    Thanks for visiting me yesterday… what a wonderful thing you did… and how rewarding it must feel… so many times we just write a check, but to actually be involved and help is amazing!

    • October 4, 2011 11:40 am

      Thank YOU for the return visit, too. You had such an amusing post, I just couldn’t resist commenting.

      And it was amazing, and for something I believe in. I think, for me, it’s time to turn over a new volunteerism leaf in life. 😉

      Added your blog to my feed reader, by the way. Looking forward to getting to know you!


  1. Walk of Hope ’12, my second year volunteering « Kiss Chronicles

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