During the fall months there are so many opportunities to volunteer. Holidays are around the corner, Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and many other options in local communities. I admire those families who begin to show their children the importance of donating to those less fortunate. Not only does it offer children perspective and develop positive behaviors, it can be a great bonding experience for families who volunteer together. I happen to have one of those experiences.
About three years ago, my Mom, sister-in-law and myself walked in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Three Day charity event. The walk is 60 miles over the course of three days. Quick math – that equals 20 miles of walking each day. You are probably thinking “20 miles A DAY?!! That’s crazy!”
You are supposed to. And, as if that weren’t exhausting enough, once you complete the 20 miles of walking each day, you arrive at a camp ground where you sleep in tents and shower in semi-trucks. This is no joke. The point of the walk is to emphasize the strength and courage it takes to fight cancer. When you feel like quiting, you are reminded of the women walking right along side you that are in the middle of treatment.
Yes, the three-day walk causes blisters, physical exhaustion, and mental fatigue, but all of this pales in comparison to facing a cancer diagnosis.
Because my family enjoyed enduring the challenge together three years ago, and felt lifted up by the inspiring women we met along the way, we are walking the 2010 3-day in exactly one week. We also recruited my other sister-in-law to participate. Our team, Hakuna MaTatas, has raised more than $15,000 and we still have some more to go to reach our goal or $21,000. We held family fundraising events to get there and are getting much closer each day.
I encourage all of you to visit the3day.org and check out the details of the walk taking place in your city. Although it may be too late to walk this year, visitors are able to come to designated cheer stations and cheer on the walkers. Trust me – these cheer stations get us through our day.
There is nothing like seeing a grateful child holding a sign that reads, “Thanks for walking for my Mommy!” That will definitely keep you walking!
Cheer station locations are posted about two weeks before the walk takes place in each city. Cheer stations are a great way to set a positive example for your kids, and show them how fun it is to help others! Make a picnic out of it and bring a cooler and blanket to sit on while you cheer on the walkers! Have your children make signs so they feel like they are involved and did their part!
Remember, the fall season is full of different charity events you can get your family involved in. But, do something. Start instilling the positive behavior in your children and trust me, if you do it as a family, you will enjoy it even more!
Here are some ideas:
- Walk to fight disease – push your very little ones in your Graco stroller
- Donate clothes to Salvation Army or other organziations in need
What charities are you involved in with your kids?