Pros and Cons of Being a Loyal Volunteer (or 3-Day Crew Member)

To finish out National Volunteer Week, we are breaking down all the pros (and even some of the cons) of being a loyal 3-Day volunteer and Crew Member.

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Pro: You’ve proudly collected and saved each T-shirt from every event you’ve supported.

Con:  You’ve outgrown your dresser space and even after repurposing your extras into creative items (skirts, shorts, pillows, and quilts), your closet still resembles a T-shirt store.

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Pro: Walkers and runners are so thankful at seeing your smiling face as you hand them a refreshing cup of water at a hydration stop.

Con:  Your co-workers look at you strangely when in the break room you cheer “Eat, drink, pee, and there will be no IV.”

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Pro: Participants love seeing your creative and flashy outfits at their rest stops.

Con: You have burns on your fingertips from hot gluing decorations to your clothes.

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Pro: At the end of an event you might find yourself taking home a full box of sweet and salty granola bars, gramwiches or a lot of bananas.

Con: Your lunches consist of sweet and salty granola bars and gramwiches for two weeks. Plus your kids don’t like banana bread.

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Pro: You’ve become an extremely early riser!

Con:  On those rare weekends that you’re not volunteering at an event, you have a hard time sleeping in past 5am.

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Pro: You are an event expert, and answer hundreds of questions from participants and spectators all day long.

Cons: At the end of a long and tiring day, you can’t answer one simple question – where did I leave MY car?

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Pro: You make sure participants have a safe route and are skilled at traffic control at busy intersections.

Con: You are tempted to get out of your car when in a crowded parking lot to show people how to get thousands of cars to the nearest exit!

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Pro: You’ve become accustomed to hugging everyone you meet, regarding them as instant family.

Con:  Not everyone is “a hugger.”

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Pro: There’s never a shortage of emotional surges of inspiration when seeing participants complete the event.

Con: No one understands the high you have for the week after the event; not even your kids.

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Susan G. Komen 3-Day Impact Forums

This past year was an amazing Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season for me. I completed my first full year as 3-Day Specialist for Susan G. Komen®, walked in my very first Komen 3-Day in San Diego with my mom, and had a chance to interact and foster relationships with many participants throughout the 2016 events.

Amber

Amber II

Over the past two months, I had the honor of speaking at the Komen Impact Forums that were held in our seven host cities: Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Twin Cities, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle. I know not everyone was able to attend, so I wanted to share some of the most important information that was presented at the forums as well as point you to a recorded version of the presentation here.

Hopefully you have heard of the Bold Goal announced by Komen. The goal is to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. This can’t be accomplished without you, and our 2017 Komen Impact Forums were a chance for us to share the details of the Bold Goal and how everyone (Komen Headquarters, Affiliates, 3-Day® participants, Race for the Cure® participants) is needed to make that goal a reality.

Amber III

It’s clear that the 3-Day family is More Than Pink™. This means that while today, pink equals awareness, tomorrow, More Than Pink equals action. You are not a group to get lost in a crowd of pink and you all do one of the biggest things you can do in the fight against breast cancer. You all are much more than just a color; you are the most dedicated, passionate and loyal group of supporters in the Komen community. From fundraising, training, advocating and educating, the 3-Day community does incredible work for Komen year-round and truly embodies what it means to make an impact and to be More Than Pink.

Amber IV

As mentioned last year, we are committed to transparency and working to give you the details you need. We want to provide you with better insight into how Komen is working toward our mission and what our plans are for the future.

Here are the steps we’re taking toward that goal:

  • We’ve updated some easy reference toolsyou can use for fundraising, to show your donors and supporters how their dollars go to work, and to answer the hard questions they have about Komen. These pieces are posted here. This page is also home to our Komen Mission Webinars as well as additional resources regarding Komen.
  • We are continuing to meet with the advisory council of 3-Day participants from each host city as well as participants from across the country. We just made our selections for the 2017/2018 council and had our first meeting at the beginning of April. This group is comprised of participants with varying perspectives and participation experiences. This is our way of giving the 3-Day community a voice.
  • We’ve expanded our mission resources to connect the 3-Day community directly with our researchers. This includes our Sidewalks to Science bi-monthly webinar and blog series. There is a face and story behind every part of the community, especially research, and we want to connect you to it!

Amber V

Those of you who have been with the 3-Day for years have seen the series grow and change—expanding and then contracting, both in participation and fundraising. We know you’re concerned. We’ve heard your worries. We, too, want to reverse the trend and see the 3-Day begin to grow again. We have been exploring various avenues to make that happen and are always adapting and changing our methods to make sure we are seeing results.

This isn’t going to happen through traditional advertising. Major media buys just don’t make sense in this climate and with the people we’re trying to reach. We looked very closely and strategically at the best way to bring participants to the 3-Day and while TV and radio ads have worked in the past—maybe some of you first heard about the 3-Day on TV—they simply aren’t working anymore. The biggest piece of this is that traditional advertising is expensive and unadaptable. We want to invest in ways that make sense financially and can adapt to the people we need to reach.

To that end, we’ve been investing in you, our 3-Day family. We turned our focus toward the future and continuing off the momentum of our 150th 3-Day Celebration from 2016, we’re now celebrating the 3-Day’s 15th Anniversary. We are continuing with various travel/referral programs that motivate and reward you, the folks that keep coming back every year. But I also want to mention that we haven’t given up on advertising; we’ve simply changed our strategy. This year, we are investing in some digital/social media marketing to help reach audiences we’ve never reached before. This form of advertising is much more cost-effective, trackable and adaptable (meaning we can change the ad quickly if it isn’t yielding results, something TV can’t do). We are committed to trying several methods until we get results.

Amber VI

We all want the same thing—more people, more money raised, and more impact, so that one day no one else dies from breast cancer. We at Komen are prepared to dig deep to support you. The 3-Day is on its way to raising 1 billion dollars—and we still believe we can reach that mark by 2020. We will never give up!

I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to connect with so many 3-Day participants over the last couple of months. It’s always great when I have the chance to see you in person outside of the event season. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to this mission and for being More Than Pink.

– Amber Livingston, 3-Day Specialist

Hooray! Promotion Extension!

Filing taxes is never fun, and it can take a lot out of you. So, if you need a little pick-me-up after all that math and mailing and online double checking, we have a special surprise coming this week.

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Our “Bring Your Bestie” and VIP Slumber Party promotions were set to end on April 19th, but to show our love and support for all our 3-Dayers…we are extending the promotions until April 26th! Hooray!

This means you have a six more days to take advantage of our two awesome promotions for the month. If you need another breakdown of each promotion, we have you covered there as well.

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“Bring Your Bestie”  

Recruit your friends to walk with you this year! We’ll provide a round-trip plane ticket for any out-of-town first-time walker who registers by April 26 with the code BYB17. We want to give new participants the chance to see the 3-Day magic for the first time, especially if they can do so alongside their BFFs. Send your friends to The3Day.org/Bestie to learn more, and help them sign up. This is perfect for long-distance friends who want an extra excuse to get together to walk 60 miles for a great cause.

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The VIP Slumber Party Promotion

2017 is the 15-year anniversary of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, so one promotion wasn’t enough! We wanted to share another opportunity with you all to really get our celebration going! When you recruit two pals, you can get the VIP glamping treatment. If you recruit two first-time walkers by April 26 to join you on the 3-Day, we’ll arrange for you to have a VIP slumber party together on the event. That slumber party will include the use of a large tent that sleeps up to four people, with air mattresses and pillows, plus phone chargers, camp chairs and souvenir 3-Day pajama pants to take home for each member of your party. Talk about a party!

If you don’t want to stay at camp, you can choose a reward of two free nights at a 3-Day host hotel for the Friday and Saturday of the event, instead of the slumber party.

To get your friends on board, first get your personal recruitment link and ID, then help them register. Get all the info at The3Day.org/Refer.

Just make sure you get moving by April 26! Have you already taken advantage of these promotions? Share your story in the comments or on social media and tag #The3Day