Why I volunteer

Sympathy is no substitute for inaction. – David Livingstone

I guess I first felt the need to serve and give back to the community while in high school. As a member of Key Club International, my fellow keyclubbers and I would perform acts of community service, such as collecting clothing, visiting the elderly in nursing homes, planning Christmas treats for children’s homes and organizing food drives.

After university, I participated in organizing a few fundraisers here and there and volunteering at local food banks but didn’t involve myself as much as I could have.

Since my cancer diagnosis last year, I suddenly felt this overwhelming desire to serve. What better way to do so than to volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society I thought. After all I’d been through over the past year and a half, I wanted to help others fighting this terrible disease and offer hope in anyway I could. So in February of this year, I attended a volunteer information session and the rest, as they say, is history!

Along with 10 other volunteers, I’ve been planning Bark for Life, a canine fundraising walk for people and their pooches to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society. There are many cancer survivors who do not have family or friends but have canine caregivers. Bark for Life gives them the opportunity to celebrate their own victory against the disease and acknowledge their dog’s role in their life.

After seven months of intense planning, promoting and approaching random people on the street, the big day is almost here! Three days away to be exact. The response has been overwhelming. Pet stores, coffee shops, groomers all wanted to get involved and signed on as sponsors. Businesses have donated chew toys and other merchandise for prizes, samples of doggy treats and most important, their time.

While I’m looking forward to finding out if we reached our fundraising goal, I’m most excited to see the looks on the faces of survivors who’ll be kicking off the walk. I’m sure it’ll be a very emotional experience.

Stay tuned for photos from the event!


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