This guest blog was written by Olive, one kid who is making a big difference through her volunteer work and commitment to help the cancer community in Columbus. Her story will prove that you are never too young to make a powerful impact on the lives of others.
Hi! My name is Olive. I’m 11-years-old and lucky to be able to use my talents to help others. I feel it is important for kids to volunteer in their community because it gives them a chance to help others and see the world in a new perspective. Young people have a lot of good energy – we should put it to good use!
Some of the ways I am involved in my community including being a Girl Scout. I am in my sixth year of scouting and our mission is to volunteer and give back to our community. For my scout project last year I organized a Be Bold, Be Bald event at my school. I held a “Be Bold, Be Bald and DANCE-off” and I collected $1.00 per participant.
I also help my mom with Hope Hollow – a local non-profit that supports cancer patients going through treatment by giving them lodging, transportation, and food free of charge.
Every year my family and I raise colon cancer awareness in memory of my Uncle Andy. My uncle died of colon cancer when he was 26-years-old. Every year we brainstorm a fun theme and raise money for hereditary colon cancer research. We invite all the people we can, and share Uncle Andy’s story. Some fun themes have been: Coffee for a Cure, Superhero for a Cure, Tailgate for a Cure, and Get Your Rear In Gear. We dress in costumes, design and sell t-shirts, have beverages and food, and collect donations. This summer we organized people to be “Andy’s Royal Hineys” and dressed up like royalty and ran in a fun run.
One night we were brainstorming for Andy’s 14th annual event, Get Your Rear in Gear – Columbus, and my mom asked me to design a little logo for my own team. This was the first year I decided to have a team. I drew a couple of funny cartoons, and the “happy butt” picture I drew was so funny we turned it into the Happy Butts headbands. My favorite part of Get Your Rear in Gear is at the very end when I am finishing the race and I’m so tired. I realize by finishing that race I just helped a lot of people who were not able to run. Getting my photo taken in the big colon is fun, too.
My family has been celebrating Uncle Andy annually for 14 years now. When I was little I didn’t understand the cancer events that my mom worked on. She always had us attend the events. Now that I am older, I understand it’s important to her – it was her brother and he died young. Colon cancer took a lot of young people on my mom’s side – grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Knowing your body and the signs of colon cancer is key to survival in my family. My mom’s family gene-tree is a big deal at Ohio State University’s hereditary colon cancer research center. I’m lucky my mom was born without the colon cancer gene. That means she won’t get colon cancer at a young age like her brother.
My Uncle Andy passed away 2 years before I was born, so I only know him through stories my mom tells me. He was pretty cool. He liked to do fun activities and everyone liked him. He graduated law school and became a lawyer right out of college. He passed away shortly after he graduated. He looked a lot like my mom and people say they were a lot alike. It’s important to my mom to carry on his legacy, and so it has become important to me.
What I would say to kids who think they are too young to get involved in a cause is that you are never too young! There are people just like you and me who need our help. You’re young, but you’re mighty. You’d be amazed at how much your talents can benefit people.
Thank you for reading,