Walking for MeeMaw: Meet Jessa G. from the San Diego 3-Day

I think the thing I love most about the 3-Day is how much the entire event is like one big family reunion. Everyone is so open and easy to talk to. Everyone is there to support everyone else.”

When Jessa G. talks about the 3-Day, she is truly describing a family affair. Her mom, Heather, has been a part of the 3-Day in one way or another since it began in 2001. Heather, and now Jessa alongside her, walk in memory of their MeeMaw (Jessa’s grandmother, and Heather’s mom). MeeMaw lost her fight to breast cancer when Jessa was young, and since then Heather has been a part of the 3-Day family.

(Jessa and her mom)

A few years ago, Jessa also joined the Pink Bubble as a member of the Youth Corps!

“I had finally found a way that I too could join my mom in memory of my MeeMaw!”

Last year was the first year Jessa was old enough to walk the 3-Day…and walk she did! She and a family friend took on those sixty miles with smiles on their faces and determination in their hearts.

Jessa says, “Although I had already been in the background of the walk, helping make sure things went smoothly and happily for all the walkers, I didn’t know how truly challenging it is. Having that walking experience really gave me a new respect for my mom and all the people who walk the 3-Day year after year. Walking in my mom’s footsteps helped me so much. My mom even let me use the same fanny pack that she used in her first 3-Day, 16 years later.”

Jessa’s mom was there to watch her cross her first-ever 3-Day finish line, and they hope to expand their family’s presence in 2018. Both of Jessa’s younger sisters will be on Youth Corps, and her mom will be part of Lunch Crew. Jessa is hoping to make it back from college in time for the event as well, but no matter if she’s walking, or there in spirit, she will have the 3-Day in her heart.

“It’s so important to me to continue to be a part of the 3-Day in any way, because of the amazing work that I’ve seen through the 3-Day do, just over the past few years that I’ve been there. I’ve seen just how it brings people together and creates lifelong friendships of love and support. The pink bubble is something to love and miss when you aren’t there.”

This past year is still fresh in her mind , and she was more than happy to share tips for first-time walkers:

  • Train more on sidewalks and concrete than on trails!
  • She also warns against doing any form of activity before the event that could put yourself at risk for injury.
  • If you need some extra pep in your step, Jessa loves listening to pop artists like Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Little Mix, as well as musicals like Hamilton to keep herself motivated during those long training walks.
  • Need fundraising ideas? Jessa says to “ask literally everyone you know! People are more willing to help out than you would think; teachers, friends, doctors, family, everyone.”
  • She also recommends asking people to donate old furniture or clothes and having a garage sale where all the money goes towards breast cancer.

These tips come from an expert, too! Though Jessa has only walked the 3-Day once, she has grown up around a 3-Day veteran — her mom, Heather. Jessa says that her mom has been a life-long motivation, and the epitome of someone who is More Than Pink.

“She was the first one in my family to start doing the 3-Day, and she has consistently been a part of them for so many years! She’s talked with so many of the people on so many different events. I haven’t gone to a single 3-Day where I haven’t been approached by one person or another asking if I’m Heather’s daughter. Everyone I’ve talked to has had just the greatest things to say about how she has helped them through something in their lives, or just been there to talk with them even outside of the 3-Day.”

With role models like Heather and her MeeMaw, Jessa is going to keeping walking and working towards a world without breast cancer.

A to Z of Fundraising for the 3-Day

We know fundraising for the 3-Day can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! You have support from your coaches, our social media community, and other participants…not to mention all the amazing people in your own life. You can do it; we promise!

To get you started, we have some simple ideas that will give your fundraising a jump start. It’s as simple as A, B, C.

  • Ask, ask, ask!
    • This seems simple, but it really does do the trick. Ask everyone and anyone you can think of. Ask them early and ask them often. Ask them and then remind them. Keep asking until you get a “yes” or a “no.” A non-response is not a “no.” Ask them in different ways and with different modes of communication. Just ask!
  • Birthday time
    • Birthday presents are great, but you know what’s even better? Getting 3-Day donations as a birthday present! Instead of presents, ask for donations from your family and loved ones.

  • Corporate Matching
    • Take advantage of corporate matching gift programs. Many of your donors work for companies that have a match program, so their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their HR department. Check out org/Matching for more info!
  • Donate for Days
    • Ask people to donate a certain amount per day or month of your Komen 3-Day commitment. Instead of a $25 donation, encourage them to make three $20 donations over time! Reminding your donors of the option to donate over time is a great way to increase the size of donations. It’s like layaway for a good cause!
  • Everyone is a potential donor
    • Dog walker. Accountant. Dry cleaners. Teacher. Trainer. School nurse. Anyone can be a potential donor! If you’re not sure if you should ask someone, just ask them. It never hurts to ask!
  • Follow the 3-Day blog

  • Gift for any occasion
    • If your birthday isn’t coming up before the 3-Day, don’t stop there! Graduations, promotions, engagements, hitting a fundraising goal, even just surviving the week – any of these are worth celebrating! If you hit a milestone, shoot out an email to your donor list with the good news…and a reminder to donate 😉
  • Host a party – any party!
    • Plan a summer barbecue, a movie night, or Sunday brunch. Just make sure you can throw the party with as much at-home materials as possible, so you can keep your spending to a minimum. Then, invite pals over for the event, and encourage them to donate to your 3-Day cause instead of contributing food or drink to the party. This is also a great way to recruit new team members!
  • Invite donors over
    • Going along with this, you can just cut right to the chase and hold a 3-Day informational event at home. This is great for a team to do together, because it allows you to really tell your 3-Day story and share your motivation with donors in-person.
  • Join us on social media
    • Following the 3-Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also give you access to fundraising tips! We love tracking the hashtag #FundraisingFriday for tips from across the net.

  • Kids can help too
    • If you have children (or your friends have kids you can recruit), make them a 3-Day task force! They can help with canning, putting fundraising flyers in mailboxes, or planning your next fundraising event. Now that school is out for the summer, it will give them a fun way to pass the time and give back!
  • Local businesses are your friends
    • Ask local businesses to sponsor you! You might be able to hit your fundraising goal with just one donation. Just be sure to give them a thank you and shout out on social media.
  • Make the most of mail (email too)
    • We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Ask more than once! Email is free and direct mail is very cost efficient, so these are the best ways to reach your donors without breaking the bank.

  • National Holidays make a good reminder
    • Don’t forget about Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, Columbus Day and all those funny, random holidays. If you can think of a funny way to use one of these holidays to get your donors attention, then use it! We love finding funny holidays here.
  • Organize your plan and stick to it
    • Some of our 2018 3-Days are still months away, so it can seem like a far-off deadline. Make yourself a plan and stick to it. Continuous fundraising efforts will have you accumulating donations for months on end.
  • Pancake Breakfasts make fundraising delicious
    • Encourage your place of worship, work, or school to host a pancake breakfast to benefit your 3-Day fundraising. Have all your friends help with the cooking, then ask for a suggested donation amount to join in the fun. Make sure to have plenty of donation forms or 3-Day business cards on hand for the donors who want to give more.

  • Queen (or King) of the 3-Day
    • Not a lot of words start with the letter “Q,” but this one is a fun one! Make a crown, sash, even a fun scepter, and ask for donations to help you become “Queen 3-Day” on event. Then, for every person that donates to your goal, add some more flair to your outfit. Think sparkles, pins, feathers and fun décor! That way, you can also send status emails to your donor list with photos of how your costume is coming along, and reminders to donate.
  • Remind, remind, remind
    • We’re going to keep reminding you to remind your donors 😊 That way you won’t forget to ask, and they won’t forget to donate!
  • Social media is your friend
    • Change your Facebook status to remind people to donate. Send out some tweets. Post photos on Instagram of amazing 3-Day memories. Social media is the perfect, instantaneous way to remind donors just how much the 3-Day means to you. Also, we post fundraising challenges and tips and tricks often on OUR social media, so be sure to follow us!
  • Tribute Donations
    • Encourage your donors to make their donations in “honor of,” “support of,” or “memory of” someone they know who has been affected by breast cancer. This is a great way to let them feel part of your experience.

  • Use your talents
    • Offer any talent or skill you have for a minimum donation; graphic design, massage, hair stylist, photography, sewing, cake decorating, etc. People always need help with random tasks, so you’ll have no shortage of potential donors this way.
  • Voicemail…it’s still a thing
    • Voicemail isn’t used as much as it used to be thanks to texts, but it’s important to leave no stone unturned. Change your voicemail and answering machine messages to announce the fact that you are walking in the 3-Day. This will be news to some and a reminder for all!
  • Walk it out, 3-Day style!
    • Make sure to wear your 3-Day gear whenever you go out on training walks! You never know who will see you and want to donate, so bring those 3-Day business cards with you too if you can.
  • X marks the spot
    • Host a fundraising scavenger hunt! There are tons of ideas online and most of them can be put on for free. Try to incorporate the 3-Day into clues or goals and use it as a fun reminder to your donors.

  • Your workplace can also be your fundraising hotspot
    • Put up a display in the lunch room, break room, or front desk at work (a sign with your picture and a note about what you are doing); be sure to include a jar for donations and a stack of your donation forms.
  • Zone in
    • And stay focused! Fundraising is a long-term game but don’t get discouraged! Here are even more ideas to help you reach your goal. You got this!

What else can we add to this list? Comment below – you just may be the person who inspires someone else to hit their fundraising goal! 😊

Top 3-Day Training Songs, According to YOU!

Let’s get moving and grooving, 3-Dayers! Music is a large part of our 3-Day experience, from the inspiring tunes you walk out to after the Opening Ceremony, to a playlist of upbeat classics welcoming you to camp every night to our all-event dance party at the end of the Closing Ceremony. We love a good tune!

Music can be a great training partner, too. That’s why we tapped our 3-Day community for their favorite songs to walk to. Let these recommendations fuel your next training walk, or just get you dancing today!

Jen L. from Facebook loves “Cupid’s Shuffle, The Wobble, and We are Family” when she needs to get moving.

@HeflinBelinda from Twitter recommends Carrie Underwood’s “The Champion” and Rascal Flatts “Yours If You Want It.”

Karen S. prefers “Geronimo,” “Honey I’m Good,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Fire and Flood.” She says, “I would dance (as much as I dance) to any of these. 😂”

Coach Liz trains to old time funky 70’s stuff or Motown!

Laura G. from Facebook likes happy tunes like “Walking on Sunshine” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!”

Linda Z. fittingly says “I Would Walk 500 Miles” is one of her favorites, plus anything by Meghan Trainor!

Debbie S. says, “I don’t necessarily have favorite tunes, but I have an iPod with thousands of songs. Plus, singing and walking go hand in hand! I love 70’s music! But then again, I’m 61 years old so that makes sense! 😊”

Coach Jennifer loves anything from the 80’s like anything from The Go Gos, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “I Got You” by Split Enz

What are your favorite training songs? Tell us in the comments!

Also, be sure to follow along with the 3-Day on Spotify! We have playlists from our walks, plus walking playlists you’re sure to love.