The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is able to provide support and advocacy to breast cancer survivors, families, researchers, caregivers and medical professionals through the tremendous support of its volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do without them! April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week, so we asked some of our faithful volunteers here at the PBCC to share more about their experiences making a difference across the Commonwealth. Thank you volunteers!!!
I got involved with PBCC after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 1996. I attended my first PBCC conference in October 1998 and I was overwhelmed by the content of the conference, the volunteers, the PBCC staff so you can say I was hooked. I came home and contacted them to see how I could get involved with them.
My volunteer activities have included volunteering at the yearly conference, legislative advocacy events, health fairs, education fairs, grassroot partners events, past Board of Directors member, Traveling Photo Exhibit committee member and others I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention.
I am a sponsor for the YMCA in Carlisle of a grassroots fundraising event which started in 2012 and was called “Get Your Pink On” fitness challenge to raise awareness for breast cancer. In 2014 this event was expanded to include the month of September and Prostate Cancer and is now called “Get Your Pink and Blue On Challenge.” Proceeds from this event are donated to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition and PA Prostate Cancer Coalition.
The best benefits from my volunteering efforts are the impact on the community. I feel strongly volunteers are the glue that hold the community and the PBCC together. Volunteering allows me to connect with the community and increase awareness. Even helping out with the smallest task can make a real difference to the lives of people in need. Volunteering is a two-way street: It benefits me as much as the cause. Dedicating my time and talent as a volunteer helps me make new friends and connections with people I otherwise would never have if I did not volunteer. It also strengthens my existing relationships by my commitment to the PBCC’s fulfilling and fun activities and the tie to not only the community but it also broadens and exposes me to people that need us most… the newly diagnosed, those not yet diagnosed and survivors.
I can’t pick just one favorite volunteer experience since they are all unique in their own way and they have made me a much stronger and richer person. My volunteer experiences are all fun, meaningful, interesting, energizing and ways for me to use my own personal experience and journey to hopefully touch the lives of women and men walking this same journey.