Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I'd rather not belong to. –Gilda Radner
Every non-profit organization needs volunteers to do promotion work. If you work in marketing or media, can write a decent press release, know how to solicit donations, or throw a fundraiser then there is no charity you can’t help. I avoided promotion work so far because this blog is promotion work and I didn’t want to be redundant – that and writing about promotion work is BORING. However, during my non-profit research I found an amazing group called The Wellness Community that was taking a really unique approach to promotion so I decided to give it a try.
The Wellness Community is a global group, which offers education and hope to people who have been diagnosed with cancer. TWC offers support groups, counseling, nutrition and fitness classes, art and writing instruction, and various other forms of assistance. TWC West Los Angeles branch has combined some of their promotion work with the fitness campaigns Fitness, Fun and Philanthropy and the WTC-WLA Street Team. Both campaigns involve walking throughout your neighborhood talking to local business about The Wellness Communities programs, giving them posters or postcards, and soliciting donations for auctions, etc.
I decided to help out as a member of the Street Team so my job was to walk around Santa Monica passing out informative postcards to help recruit runners for the TWC annual Marathon and 5k training program. The training fee each runner pays goes to fund TWC's many programs. I went to the The Wellness Community’s West Los Angeles office around noon, picked up a stack of postcards from volunteer coordinator Nicole who suggested the route I should take, and off I hiked.
The goal was to get the business to display the postcards or even pass them out to their customers. On my two mile circuit I found that: Banks are really unhelpful, and large chain restaurants aren’t much better except for The Coffee Bean &Tea Leaf and Starbucks both of which have a bulletine board for non-profit causes. In one hour I had passed out my large stack of cards, so I went back to The Wellness Community office grabbed some more postcards for my neighborhood and went home.
This volunteer activity was so simple in was actually hard to write about. No drama, no conflict, anyone can participate, and it’s something you could do on your lunch break or walking with friends. It’s promotion work but no cold calls or writing assignments required.
The Wellness Community recently combined with Gilda’s Club (named after the late and great Gilda Radner) to form The Cancer Support Community. Everyone knows someone suffering from cancer – please pass along the name of this wonderful group as it’s made such a difference for so many inflicted with such a horrible disease.