There’s lots of change around me. Some I’m engineering and some I’m watching from the sidelines. Partly due to the weather (yes, even in Santa Monica, the weather changes!) and partly due to the time of year, I’m finding solace in reconnecting to the reason why I do this work in the first place. It’s helping me stay grounded with so much happening around me. And with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it gives me time to pause and think about my very personal reasons for being an event fundraiser.
My journey started in January of 1999 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember sitting on the bed while she took the call from her doctor. I was the only one home with her at the time and I looked over as the conversation got underway and she gave me the thumbs down sign. The rest of that day was a bit of a blur, but her year consisted of doctors’ appointments, surgeries, chemo and radiation. In the middle of all of that, my oldest sister participated in her very first fundraising event. She trained and fundraised while my mom was going through treatment. More than that though, she provided all of us with a very specific way in which we could show our support for what my mother was going through.
For those of us who have been part of the support system for someone who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, you’re probably all too familiar with that feeling of not being able to do enough. And that’s precisely what I love about event fundraising. It gives everyone an opportunity to show support in a specific and meaningful way when someone you love is grappling with a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. My sister’s participation in her very first breast cancer fundraising event helped her find purpose, a network of people who got what she was going through and provided endless inspiration to better handle what my mother was going through. And quite simply, it helped me identify a career path.
Today, nearly 14 ½ years later, my mother is still cancer free. My family is stronger from the experience, as I know is common for others who have been down this path, and I’m incredibly grateful that my career involves helping other people feel confident in their fundraising efforts. I have a responsibility to leave this world a better place, and how lucky am I that my work can reflect that?
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to think about what brought me to this work and why I do it. I’ve gotten swept up in changes and to-do lists and big projects. But when all is said and done, my very compelling and personal reason for doing this work still drives me day in and day out, even if I don’t think about it as often as I should. I know we all fall victim to letting the work get in the way of thinking of our reasons for doing it.
Take some time today to remind yourself why you got involved in the first place, and then take it one step further and ask those you work closest with why they do what they do, so you can be even more inspired and motivated to keep doing the amazing work you’re doing. If you’re feeling really open, share your reason in the comments section below. I’d love to hear why you do the work you do in the event fundraising space and get inspired all over again.
A passionate advocate of event fundraising and customer service, Molly Fast has been working as an event fundraiser since 2002. As the daughter of a 13-year breast cancer survivor, cancer has hit very close to home and Molly has dedicated herself to helping others see their potential in making this world a better place. At Event 360, Molly combines her love of customer service with event fundraising. When she’s not taking photos in Santa Monica, where she lives with her husband and their black lab Clancy, Molly can be found wandering around Ireland. You can find Molly onGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.