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Walk of Hope ’12, my second year volunteering

October 11, 2012

I’m now a repeat offender, albeit one who has failed to offend anyone. This past Saturday, Oct. 6, I went back to the Walk of Hope, held by the Women of Hope from St. Vincent Hospital, for the second year to act as a volunteer and help make sure the walkers got off to a great start for the day. (Last year’s summary: Women of Hope Walk, ’11.)

What a difference a year can make: The event was held in a new location, at Lions Park in Zionsville. I began early in the morning again, choosing a shift that started at 6:00am. However, this year, I received a little layout map by email, so I knew exactly where to go. No wandering lost in the dark and harassing caterers for me! Not only that, but I saw signs of human life as soon as I arrived, silhouettes trotting into the Volunteer tent.

I got registered, got my T-shirt, and got to work in no time. I marched off with several other people to help set up the Registration tables. It was brisk out, but not unbearable — just a smidge shivery. I ended up working along with a few others to unbox and fold T-shirts for the walkers. That’s when I discovered that the T-shirts in the middle of the boxes were still warm, like paper right off the office printer. It felt heavenly on cold fingertips.

If you were one of the walkers, um, yes, it’s possible that I might have molested your T-shirt for warmth. Hey, at least you weren’t in it at the time!

I finished folding, and I got to see the sun rising over the gazebo as the day began.

Sunrise over the gazebo. Good morning!

But it gets even better: This year, bagels, doughnuts, and coffee were served for the early morning volunteer crew! Thank you so much for the early morning treats, Women of Hope. It was worth fighting a lion or two to get breakfast.

The lion ate my doughnuts.

I ran out of work to do at the Registration tables, but shortly after that, someone commandeered me to help with running the Shoe Prints tables. Now, I’m not sure whether this was a new thing this year, but I’m pretty sure it was. People could, for free, write on paper shoe print cutouts to say who or what they were walking for. Then other volunteers and I stapled the shoe prints to wooden posts and stuck them in the ground along the start of the walk routes.

Who are you walking for? People enjoyed writing on paper shoe prints for the ones they love.

When walkers began arriving, we had a steady stream of people filling out shoes. I particularly enjoyed it when a cluster of little girls stopped at the table and decorated their shoe prints like they would at arts and crafts time.

Oh, and this year, I made certain to take a picture of the Harleys decked-out with giant Styrofoam ribbons.

The motorcyclists involved in Walk of Hope decorate their bikes in pink ribbons.

I was free to watch most of opening ceremonies, and I even got to hang out with my boss from work. He was there for his son, who sang with his choir for the ceremonies. The choir sounded clear and lovely.

To end my shift, I took up a position near the start of the walk at the bottom of some steps. I was positioned there to wish the walkers a great day and to warn them not to slip and fall on their bums on the slick stairs. No one slipped, so my mission was a success.

I have to say, overall, the organization and coordination seemed much smoother. I worked for 4 hours this year, as opposed to 8 last year, but I felt like I got just as much accomplished because I went from task to task to task with little downtime. I’m already looking forward to 2013! Before that, though, I ought to try to pick up a couple more cancer-related volunteer efforts. Maybe I’ll see whether the folks at Impact 52 want to team up for some sort of event in Fort Wayne.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2012 6:42 pm

    I think the first post I read on your blog was the walk last year and you wandering alone in the dark. I’m glad your mission was a success! Hurray!

    • October 12, 2012 7:12 pm

      You know what that means? It’s time to celebrate our one-year anniversary as blog buddies! Break out the cookies and cake!

      • belleofthecarnival permalink
        October 12, 2012 7:13 pm

        Woot! Woot! Time to pop the champagne!

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