Millenia Cadet-Wells essay

From 2014 to 2015, I volunteered to help Relay for Life Downtown, Los Angeles. The group hosts fundraising events worldwide to fight cancer. I first heard about this group while attending dinner at Shakey’s. They were having a fundraiser, and me being the inquisitive person that I am, decided to get more information. After speaking with the Community Manager,Francine Ayala, I decided to take her information and explore the possibility of volunteering for the organization. My first role was the social media manager. I was responsible for updating the social media websites every week with local events, fundraisers, and Relay for Life news. Soon after, I was given the role of assisting with community fundraisers. This required me to reach out to various members of the community, build relationships and partnerships with local businesses to promote our fundraising initiatives. During my time we successfully partnered with Gavina Coffee, Estudio Eliz, Gigi’s Bakery and the Gap. We helped to spread cancer awareness and encourage people to be proactive against the disease. – by knowing their family history, getting breast exams, and lining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, with the help of the department we organized our annual Luminaria Event at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, held on Saturday, June 06, 2015 . In being apart of this organization I decided to tap into my creative side and organize a raffle of a multitude of Relay for Life themed items such as water bottles, keychains, t-shirts, and other items. The process consisted of participants donating any fee to the organization at one of our monthly fundraisers and they then receive a raffle ticket, (or more than one depending on how generously they decided to donate). Ticket numbers are then announced and the holder of the corresponding ticket then receives a Relay for Life item. This idea was a great way to make money and we raised a lot of money that day. All of the money went towards furthering cancer research and we raised over thousands of dollars. The experience helped me to develop my sales skills, leadership skills, but most importantly to have more compassion for the people that I meet, that fight battles I cannot see. Volunteering in my community has allowed me to gain a unique worldview and life perspective. I have been able to connect with different cultures, political ideologies, sexual preferences, physical and mental health backgrounds, and with those of different socio-economic situations. Volunteering has given me purpose outside of my normal life. It has taught me that to have a true impact, one must take action and that the work that needs to be done starts with me. This experience has invoked a new passion for volunteering and has given me a purpose outside of my normal life. Ever since my time with Relay for Life, I have devoted the majority of my spare time to contributing to the betterment of other individuals. I can honestly consider my volunteer work at the Relay for Life, Los Angeles as the stepping stone to my numerous other volunteer endeavours.

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