The 3-Day Crew: “A family you’ll want to spend time with!”

We continue celebrating National Volunteer Week by spotlighting one of our many extraordinary Susan G. Komen 3-Day® crew members. Kit L. has been part of the Komen 3-Day crew for over a decade. To say she is committed to the 3-Day® is an understatement. In 2013 Kit participated in her 40th (!) 3-Day in San Diego. She has worked on almost every crew team there is, has served as crew captain dozens of times and intends to continue crewing 2-3 events every year.

Kit, who lives outside Chicago, first heard about the 3-Day on a radio commercial in 1999. “I heard the ad, and knew I had to do SOMETHING. My friend Roni had just been diagnosed and I felt so helpless. So, 60 long miles it was that year, and I have been smitten ever since.” After that first year, Kit thought she’d give the crew a try. “I began with the thought I would alternate [walking and crewing] each year, but crewing soon had me thinking otherwise. I started traveling to different cities, always as a crew member, and it truly became a passion.”

Komen_3Day_crew_kit_flag_breast cancer

Kit’s personal connection to breast cancer began with numerous friends whom she terms as breast cancer “thrivers,” not just survivors. The connection has deepened in recent years. “I lost Linda, my best high school friend, last year and I hate this disease even more now, but I know there’s a cure waiting after someone’s last step. When I was diagnosed with DCIS a few years ago, I knew that advances funded by Susan G. Komen® made a difference in my treatment and for that I will be forever grateful. We walk and crew for a reason, and I am living proof of that.”

Kit has a pragmatic, but inspiring philosophy about being part of the crew. “Crewing is like cleaning the house: you do it for others, certainly not for the glory. I love meeting the walkers and hearing their stories, and I love my mates on all of the crew teams I have been on. I have enjoyed being a team captain, as I surround myself with others who are so passionate and giving that they make ME want to be a better person.

“All you need to do is crew once, and you know what satisfaction it brings. I always get so much more in return than I ever put out. Crewing is a job where you put your needs last, and yet it feels so good. My philosophy is that the more you give, the more you get, and the 3-Day proves this over and over again.”

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Kit counts Sweep as one of her favorite crew jobs

A self-described optimist, Kit shared what keeps her going when the job gets tough. “I am motivated by my late friend Linda’s picture that keeps me going when it’s 30 degrees, in a monsoonal downpour, and I have hours to go before I sleep. Things like bad weather can be met with a chorus line at the top of a hill, all screeching ‘Singing in the Rain’ or other goofy actions. We have such a professional group that I never feel like I am alone, and dilemmas are often solved before they escalate. I try to keep an open mind, a loving heart and closed mouth.”

3-Day crew members are encouraged, but not required, to fundraise for the event but Kit has never considered fundraising to be optional. “I have always maintained that by crewing you DO need to fundraise. I set a goal for each of my team members and share with them my fundraising letter and social media techniques.” Kit fundraises enthusiastically even though she doesn’t have to, and has been the top crew fundraiser many times. “Yes, I have raised a lot of money over the years, and I am tenacious in asking everyone for their support. I send everyone updates and challenges, and have prizes for my crew members. If you let folks know how much it means to you, it will mean something to them. Last year, after my Linda passed, I sent a photo of us from high school and asked my friends to please help me make a world of no more suffering in her honor. If you bring a personal story to your request, I have found it means more.”

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I asked Kit what advice she would give to someone who is thinking about crewing for the 3-Day. “Try it. You’ll like it. Or in my case, try it, you’ll LOVE it, and it will become the most fantastic times of your life. Stay open, and treat it as a chance to meet your new best friends. It’s a family that you will want to spend time with!”

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Kit and the hundreds of volunteers like her. We literally could not do it without you!

**2014 Crew registration is closed for all events except Twin Cities and Seattle, which have limited openings left. We are still recruiting qualified health services professionals to join our Medical and Sport Medicine teams. To register for one of these Health Services Crew teams, or learn more about the 3-Day Crew, please contact one of our coaches at 800-996-3DAY. If you would like to serve as a Day Volunteer, visit The3Day.org/volunteer for more information or to sign up.

 

3-Day Crew Haikus

This week is National Volunteer Week, the perfect time to recognize our amazing Susan G. Komen 3-Day® crew and volunteers. Today, we’re spotlighting one of our 2013 Route Safety crew teams in another inspiring video.

This video shows one small slice of the Komen 3-Day crew experience. We wish we could give you a video snapshot of every crew team, because the truth is, the 3-Day® would not be possible without the work of the crew—the entire crew. No job is more important than another, and the selfless service of every crew member is the backbone of the incredible, life-changing experience that every walker has on the 3-Day.

So, as a fun way to shout out to every one of our crew teams, please enjoy my attempt at short-form poetry. I give you – 3-Day Crew Haikus.

 

Bus Liaisons
Lift you back to camp,
while lifting your spirits too.
We’re so proud of you!

Camp Hydration
Camp is full, but your
water bottle is empty;
Get your refill here!

Camp Logistics
We come in early;
we turn this park into camp –
a site for sore thighs.

Camp Services
Pins, camp mail, your lost
pink tutu…we’ve got ‘em! First,
let me scan you in!

Camp Signage
Gear, left; showers, right;
dining tent is this a’ way –
the signs are all there.

Event Support
Any job that calls—
yeah, we’re pretty much ninjas
ready to say “Yes!”

Food Service
Food’s hot, you’re hungry.
More bacon? Second dessert?
We say, “You got it!”

Gear & Tent
Leave us your stuff, it
waits for you at camp, the best
baggage claim ever.

Grab & Go’s
Don’t have to stop long,
we’ll still treat you like a star.
Quick drink, then you’re off!

Lunch
You made it halfway!
Relax, have a meal with us,
we serve with a smile.

Medical/Sports Medicine
No blister too big,
no aches or pains too daunting.
Your health in our hands.

Pit Stops
At just the right time –
which way to the grahamwiches?
(Oh, and water too.)

Route Clean-up
Scores of walkers, but
you’d never know; not a scrap
of trash left behind.

Route Hydration
Pit stops, Grabs and Lunch –
water delivery! From
us to them to you.

Route Marking
Poles, zip ties, arrows,
left, right, straight ahead for miles.
Lost walkers? No way.

Route Safety
Walking on two feet
is what you do. We watch you,
riding on two wheels.

Support Services
Event Staff’s right-hand.
Transports, tent issues and more –
we’ve got you covered.

Sweep
Can’t go one more step?
We’re your rolling pick-me-up.
Like, literally.

Traffic Control
Park here, don’t park there.
This way to walker drop-off.
No jams with this role.

Youth Corps
(by 10-year-old guest poet Caitlin D. – 2014 Youth Corps member)
Cheer for the walkers,
have fun in our yellow shirts,
do good as a team!

 

 

To read more detailed descriptions of all of the 3-Day crew teams, click here. Then, let YOUR creativity show! Post your own Crew Haiku in the comments section.

 

**2014 Crew registration is closed for all events except Twin Cities and Seattle, which have limited openings left. We are still recruiting qualified health services professionals to join our Medical and Sports Medicine teams in all cities. To register for one of these Health Services Crew teams, or learn more about the 3-Day Crew, please contact one of our coaches at 800-996-3DAY.

 

You make a living what you get, you make a life by what you give.

“The 3-Day Crew prepared me for Snowmageddon.”

Early this week, I got the following email from Libby, the Crew & Volunteer Coordinator for the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day:

“You have probably heard by now that Atlanta was hit with a fast moving, low producing snow storm this past Tuesday. While most of the country would not blink at a mere 3 inches of snow, it launched a chain of events in Atlanta that has left the city reeling.  Even days later.

“As the snow started to fall, schools quickly dismissed and parents hit the roads to go pick up their children. There were lots of factors involved, but the short story is that Atlanta was not prepared.  The roads had not been salted and trucks that were on the road were quickly stuck in gridlock traffic. Over the next 30 HOURS, thousands of people where stuck in their cars. The school system shut down its transportation and kids that were on buses were sent back to school.  Thousands of children were stranded at school, with parents not able to get to them.  I will let you look up all of the gory details but the magic that came from the storm was amazing.  People walked in groups for miles to get home.  People took in strangers to spend the night and have a place to shelter.  Men with 4-wheel-drive vehicles spent all night rescuing cars in ditches on the side of the roads. All while teachers and administrators took care of over 5,000 children left in Atlanta schools to spend the night.”

traffic cam

Georgia Department of Transportation

It was a grim and frightening recap of events, a first-hand account which I had seen versions of on the news for days. But Libby was bringing all of this up to spotlight an email exchange she had with Eileen S., a 10-year crew member/crew captain on the Atlanta 3-Day. Eileen, who works at an Atlanta hospital, had shared with Libby her experience with the storm, saying, “There were so many horror stories of people stuck for 8+ hours. It was actually okay here [at the hospital]. Almost a 3-Day experience since we all pitched in wherever we were needed. I’m in charge of the laboratory information systems, but that didn’t stop me from moving recliners (for visitors, patient families, etc.), doing bed counts and working the hot food line in the cafeteria. Sometimes, I think the 3-Day prepares you for any emergency. I took it all in stride.”

eileen on event

Eileen weathering another storm on the 3-Day (with a smile!)

I got in touch with Eileen and asked her to elaborate on how her 3-Day Crew background helped her last week, and she shared, “Whether it’s the 3-Day or my position [at work], I’m of the mind that you do whatever is needed to help. I knew when I started working in a healthcare facility (many years ago) that people don’t fall ill Monday–Friday, 9-5 on sunny days only. So, you do what you need to do. Same thing for the 3-Day. My responsibility is to do whatever is needed to support the walkers, the crew, the event staff and to make it a safe and unforgettable experience.

“The bottom line is whether I’m crewing or at work, I’m service-oriented.  My friends thought I was doing something special. I thought it was just part of what I do.”

Libby agreed, “Eileen is right.  The 3-Day is a place where we ask crew members to go above and beyond.  To show kindness in everything they do. To work long hours and get little sleep. To work together, with strangers, for the good of the cause.  And to be ready for anything.  I am thankful for the 3-Day and people like Eileen.”

We are too.