Part 5 of the ABCs of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Crew

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of the ABC’s of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Crew! We’ve shared letters A – E, F – J, K – O, P – T, and this week, we’re excited to bring you the final six letters. Please tell us your ideas for each letter here or on Facebook, and share these images with your family and friends. (To see the Komen 3-Day walker version of the ABC’s, click here!)

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer university training

Crew University is a series of recorded, online training sessions designed to get 3-Day® crew members up to speed on what the 3-Day is all about, and provide details about their specific crew jobs. All 3-Day crew members have access to Crew U. in their Participant Centers, and are encouraged to watch the recordings that apply to them before they come to the All Crew Kick-off.

 

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer Every 3-Day crew member is a volunteer (they’re paid in hugs, high fives and heartfelt gratitude) who works all three days of the event, but there are also numerous other volunteer opportunities for folks who may not be able to fulfill the full crew commitment. From outreach and recruitment, to training and motivating participants, to on-event roles and responsibilities, there is a volunteer program to fit your schedule, skills and passions on the 3-Day.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer western shelterTo most walkers, they may just look like pink-covered beacons you see from afar, telling you that you’ve reached a stop at last. But to a 3-Day crew member, these open-air tents, called Western Shelters, are an essential part of the pit stops, grab & go’s and lunch stop. Crew members work together to quickly and safely assemble the structures, ensuring that your beloved grahamwiches are kept shaded.

See also: Walkie-talkies

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer x tent sectionThe 3-Day camp is divided into tent sections to help participants find their little pink homes amidst a sea of tents. Crew members “live” in section X and Y, which are kept a little bit separate from the walker sections (so the crew members, with their early mornings and late nights, don’t bother the sleeping walkers).

See also: eXcellence (one of the “STEPS” that make up the foundation of the 3-Day Crew culture and philosophy)

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer youth corpsThe 3-Day Youth Corps is a select group of young people (10-16 years old) who participate as crew members on the event. The yellow-shirted Youth Corps members attend the entire 3-Day event (accompanied by a small group of adult leaders), camp with the participants and complete a multitude of important tasks both on the route and in camp (the most important of which is enthusiastically cheering on the walkers). The Youth Corps is the only crew team that is required to fundraise; each Youth Corps member must raise at least $500 by the time of their event in order to participate and most kids exceed the minimum by leaps and bounds.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk crew volunteer zip tiesDuct tape is great, but on the 3-Day, the go-to tools for holding stuff together–from route arrows to pit stop decorations to event signage—are zip ties.

 

We’ve reached the end of the alphabet, but the conversation doesn’t have to stop! Tell us what those 26 letters mean to you, as a walker, crew member or supporter!

The Life Cycle of a Matching Gift

There are hundreds of fundraising tools, tips and ideas available to Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants who are working toward their fundraising goals, but I am consistently surprised at how underused matching gifts are. Matching gifts are a way for a donor to double his/her donation, but for some reason, many people don’t pursue the option. Perhaps it’s from a lack of understanding about how the process works, or a misconception that it’s too complicated or time-consuming. I’m hoping to clear some of that up here.

In general, a Komen 3-Day matching gift works like this:

  • Meet Petunia.
  • Petunia has just made a $100 donation to her sister Daisy, who is raising money for the 3-Day®. She’s very proud of what Daisy is doing, and wants to support her as much as she can.
  • Petunia works for Awesome, Inc., which has a company matching gift program. Many companies (especially larger corporations) offer matching gifts as a way to inspire their employees to give charitably.
  • So, Petunia goes to the Matching Gifts info page on the 3-Day website (The3Day.org/Matching) to look up Awesome, Inc., and confirms that they do match with the 3-Day. Hooray! The Matching Gifts page has info about how Awesome, Inc.’s matching process works, so she submits a request for Awesome, Inc. to match her $100 donation with $100 of their own.
  • Every company’s matching gift process is unique, but in most cases, the company will use an online matching gift portal (such as EasyMatch or CyberGrants) to process requests. Some companies use paper forms that must be mailed in. Petunia confirms that Awesome, Inc. uses an online process, so she logs in and enters the correct information about her gift. She makes sure to specifically designate the Susan G. Komen 3-Day as the recipient of the matching gift (as opposed to her local Susan G. Komen® affiliate or Komen headquarters), and includes Daisy’s full name and the city where she’s walking, to make sure Daisy gets credit for the match.
  • The 3-Day matching gifts team receives notification of the match request from Petunia/Awesome, Inc., and once they have verified Petunia’s original donation, they will approve the match and send approval notification back to Awesome, Inc. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks, but is usually much faster.
  • Even though Awesome, Inc. may not send the matching funds to the 3-Day right away (many companies only pay out matches once a quarter, or twice yearly), credit for the matching gift will be added to Daisy’s fundraising total as soon as the match is approved.
  • And just like that, Petunia’s $100 donation has doubled, and twice as much money goes back to Susan G. Komen® and the fight to end breast cancer – the cause that the sisters care so much about.

The number one piece of advice we give to participants who are raising money for the 3-Day is to ASK, and that advice carries over into asking about matching gifts too. When you send out your fundraising emails or post on Facebook, be sure to remind your donors about 3-Day matching gifts and ask them to inquire with their employers about getting a match.

You can find more detailed information about the matching gift process, and a searchable list of companies that currently match with the 3-Day, at www.The3Day.org/matching. And as always, the 3-Day coaches are available at 800-996-3DAY to answer any questions you might have about the matching gift process or the status of a request that has already been made.

One Step at a Time – Meet Pala, a Survivor

Survivors are the heroes of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. They remind us of one of the many reasons why we walk: because everyone deserves a lifetime. Today, we’re delighted to introduce you to Pala L., from Livonia, Michigan. Pala walked the Komen 3-Day in Michigan last week and is going strong for another 60 miles this week in the Twin Cities. This is Pala’s 14th 3-Day® since 2009, and she has previously walked Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Tampa and Arizona. “I was going to walk it once to see what it was like,” said Pala. “I was training in 2009 and when registration opened in 2010, I registered before I even walked the first time! I never dreamed I would be walking so many events per year.”

Meet Pala from Livonia, Michigan, who walked Michigan and Twin Cities this year

Meet Pala from Livonia, Michigan, who walked Michigan and Twin Cities this year

In 2003, Pala was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I went from being told in March I had a clean mammogram to a lumpectomy in July because I found the lump. I had a six month old granddaughter, and the hardest part of my treatments was not being able to see her because of my low blood count. I don’t want her and that generation to worry about going through things I did. Her other grandmother was diagnosed a year after me, and she has it coming from both sides. I can’t have that.”

In 2007, the 3-Day route went by Pala’s house. Pala was two years out from treatment, and had no idea the 3-Day was in town. “I went outside and cheered. The walkers would say thank you for being here, thanks for coming out. And I thought, I’m just standing here, you’re doing all the work. In 2008, my husband and I stood out there, and again, they thanked us. In 2009, I said to my husband, I want to try this. I want to see what it’s about. I want to see if I can do it. I had no idea if I could fundraise. I had no idea if I could walk 60 miles. 14 events later… here I am.”

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Pala proudly wears many buttons and pins.

Pala works on fundraising for ten and a half months out of every year, and after walking 14 events, she’s learned to approach fundraising from many different angles. “I do everything that I can think of,” she said. She starts with writing letters, but her biggest fundraiser is her annual garage sale, and she also dabbles in recycling cans and ink cartridges. Pala also teaches monthly card-making workshops for donations, and reminds nervous fundraisers that the best way to fundraise is to think about what you like to do and figure out how you can make donations from it.

Pala’s passion for the 3-Day is obvious as she describes her love of finding creative ways to fundraise and the joy she gets from being around so many inspiring people. Pala embodies the type of commitment and dedication we see in so many 3-Day participants. What does she tell herself when the last few miles of the day are feeling tough? “Put one foot in front of the other. It’s like a person going through treatment who says, how can I get through this? One day at a time. One step at a time.”

Pala walks with her friend Becky, who also helps her with her annual fundraising garage sale

Pala walks with her friend Becky, who also helps her with her annual fundraising garage sale