This past Friday the University of Regina held its 3rd Relay for Life, and the event was a true success. I was on the planning committee so since September we have been meeting and planning the event. Recently, my beautiful Auntie Carol passed away from a 6 year long battle with cancer, so helping plan an event where we raise money and come together as a community all in the name to fight cancer has been extremely important to me. When the event started, I was so shocked and impressed by the fact that twenty two teams (pretty much all with university students) took time out of their busy end of the semester to raise funds and stay up all night in support of fighting cancer. I have never been so proud to be a part of the University of Regina! All night (7pm-7am) at least one person from each team walked the track to support the battle against the disease that doesn’t sleep. Throughout the night there was zumba, yoga, comedians and bands to keep everyone up. At the end of the night, the event raised over $28,000!
As a planning committee member, I met so many great people on the committee and also with the Canadian Cancer Society that I worked with to help make the event a success. Working with new people and doing jobs (like building the HOPE sign you see below out of many 2×4’s) that are outside of my regular day allow me to step outside of my comfort zone. The committee I was in charge of was volunteers. We needed volunteers throughout the event to help set up, register teams, help with the ceremonies, sell food, etc., and without volunteers our event would not have been able to go. We had over 80 university students and community members sign up to help and I was amazed by the willingness and dedication of the volunteers! Many volunteers stayed past their shift to experience and enjoy the night as they realized the importance of it. It is said that everyone has had an experience with cancer-whether they are a survivor themselves, or have family, friends or co-workers who have been diagnosed with the awful disease. To the volunteers-thank you!
I am a strong advocate for volunteering in your community. I am not saying that you have to volunteer for every event thats going on, or help plan all events but I believe it is important to find something that means a great deal to you and volunteer your time and effort to help better your community. While the event was on, I realized how crucial it is for our students to understand the importance of volunteering and the importance of community. Whether we do this by leading by example and showing our passion for volunteering and community or have service learning projects in class, I believe it needs to be a focus because having students who are service leaders in our schools are just as important for our future as having students who have 90% averages.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. How is your school advocating and allowing students to be leaders? Comments/Questions are greatly appreciated!