Saturday, April 6, 2013
Last night my mom and I spent three hours out in front of our local WalMart selling daffodils for the Canadian Cancer Society.
This is the first time I have ever volunteered for anything. Ever.
Don't get me wrong, the Relay for Life is voluntary too but it's different, there's a pay off for me. I get to walk a survivor lap. I get to spend 12 hours with others celebrating, mourning and fighting.
But this was different.
I decided while I was in treatment that when I got better I would try to give back some how. I would do more. And now seemed like the right time. So I called the Canadian Cancer Society and said I wanted to volunteer and asked how I could help. Then, not wanting to stand around alone I recruited my mom to join me!
April is daffodil month . We wear daffodils to support those who are fighting cancer right now; to show them they are not alone.
Having been down that road it's important to know you're not alone. Because you feel so painfully alone often - even if you are surrounded by friends and family. It might seem like a trivial thing but seeing someone with a daffodil pin makes me happy to know that someone is remembering.
I learned a lot in my three hours.
Mothers with young children and older women give most often. Anyone who's lost a close family member or friend gives too and more importantly they want to share their story.
People will avoid making eye contact with you if they don't want to donate.
Some people feel truly terrible that they can't donate (because we live in a digital age in which many people just don't carry cash anymore. One lady joked that we should carry debit machines instead of coin boxes. This same lady went to a kiosk to get change so she could put $10 in my box.)
One man gave my mom $40. Yeah, $40! He was a new Canadian and had lost a grandparent to cancer in his home country (Transylvania - how cool is that?!)
I think the one that sticks out for me most though is that one man gave my mom 1 penny. He was homeless and that was all that he had to give.
A homeless man donating to charity. It's moment like that that move you.
I think we did well, between us both I think we raised well over $300 in our three hours. But more importantly it made me feel like I was giving back. It's good for the soul.