Next week (April 10-16), we recognize National Volunteer Week. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day is a bold, ambitious, large-scale event series that simply would not be possible without the time and talent of thousands of amazing volunteers. We do a lot to thank and praise our all-volunteer 3-Day Crew, but today, we’d like to tell you a little bit about the other behind-the-scenes heroes of the 3-Day: our day volunteers.
Crew or Volunteer: What’s the Difference? – Crew members are 3-Day participants who register for the event months in advance and make a commitment to volunteer for the duration of the 3-Day event weekend (Thursday through Sunday). Crew members are assigned to a specific job far in advance of the 3-Day, and that is their job for the entire event. Volunteers (whom we refer to as “day volunteers”) are folks whose hearts burst with the same spirit of helpfulness that crew members have, but may not have as much time to give. Volunteers typically sign on for shifts that are a few hours at a time.
Easily spotted in their purple shirts, 3-Day volunteers are a special kind of awesome. They show up to help, sometimes not even knowing what that might entail, and then give their time, energy and enthusiasm to creating 3-Day magic. Often, these are folks who, for months, have been supporting friends or family members as they raised money and trained for 3-Day, but they still come out and continue to give. Smiles and high fives from 3-Day volunteers have the special power to make a walker’s day while also bringing complete joy to the volunteer too! We can’t say thank you enough to these wonderful workers, and we’re always happy about welcoming new volunteers into the 3-Day family.
There are all kinds of opportunities for people to be part of the 3-Day as day volunteers.
Before the Event – Even months before any walkers step out on to their 60-mile 3-Day route, volunteers (many of whom will be walkers or crew members when the 3-Day rolls around) are part of the 3-Day’s outreach efforts, spreading the word and getting people excited about the 3-Day coming to their towns. This type of community outreach might include attending informative meet-ups with the 3-Day coaches, sharing information about the 3-Day at other community race expos (such as the Komen Race for the Cure®), or being part of the “street team,” which has the exciting job of canvassing neighborhoods a few weeks before the 3-Day to let the locals know that a parade of pink will soon be passing through, and encourage them to decorate, cheer and support.
On-Event Volunteers – While many of the on-event jobs are taken care of by crew members, the 3-Day still has tasks that need to doing. Day volunteers to the rescue! If you have a few hours that you can give on one or more of the 3-Day’s event days, you can help out with:
- Cheering Stations – One of the most fun and inspiring ways you can volunteer your time is at a cheering station along the route. This is especially great if you have a group that wants to volunteer.
- Campsite Operations – Some jobs in and around the 3-Day camp can use extra hands from time to time, including traffic control, food service, trash pick-up, help with putting up sleeping tents, and more.
- Participant Finish Area – This area is located at the end of the route on Day 3, and volunteers here help with a number of jobs before the Closing Ceremony, including handing out snacks and water to walkers at the finish, Victory t-shirt distribution, traffic management and gear retrieval, to name a few.
- Specialized Jobs – If you are a medical professional (doctor, physician assistant, RN, physical therapist or paramedic/EMT) or an ASL interpreter, the 3-Day would love your help!
Kids Welcome! – Many of the 3-Day’s day volunteer opportunities are open to kids aged 10 or older (with adult supervision).
Groups = Great! – Are you part of a group that’s looking for volunteer opportunities? Consider the 3-Day! We welcome charity organizations, scout groups, high school or college clubs and teams, workplace groups and church groups to fill special roles.
Learn More! – Volunteers interested in these opportunities should reach out to the 3-Day coaches at 800-996-3DAY or coaches@The3Day.org for more information. You can also visit The3Day.org/Volunteer to view and sign up for volunteer opportunities that are already open, and can subscribe to the Volunteer Bulletin, an email newsletter that will alert you of new openings. And don’t forget to Like the 3-Day Coaches on Facebook too!