Get Involved!: A High Schooler's Experience as a Relay for Life Volunteer
We interviewed Christopher, a high school student who has been a volunteer for Relay for Life (RFL) for over two years.
What is Relay For Life?
It is an event that everyone around the globe can participate in to celebrate the lives of people who battle cancer, who have lost their loved ones to cancer, and who are currently fighting back against the disease. Their motto is Celebrate. Remember. and Fight.
How’d You Get Involved?
I got involved with RFL through my high school’s Key Club, an organization that provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character, and develop leadership.
What’d You Do at the Event?
Before the event, the other RFL volunteers and I made pad thai and Korean rice rolls (kimbap) for the fundraiser. We sold the food to people at school and donated all of the money to Relay For Life. We were pretty happy with the results—we raised over $500.
On the day of the relay event, volunteers, cancer survivors and their families all walk around a track. The most important lap around the track is the "Survivor Lap," when the cancer survivors get to walk their first lap. Volunteers either walk the lap with them or enjoy other activities that are going on in the field.
At night, they host a “Luminaria Ceremony,” when people decorate a white bag dedicated to someone they’ve lost to cancer. People light the candle inside the bag and place it around the track. At the end of the event, many of the volunteers and families have sleepovers in tents.
What Did You Learn as a RFL Volunteer:
There is this notion that people with cancer do not really feel happy about their lives. But after being an active participant over two years, I learned that many cancer victims are still positive and continue to keep smiling throughout their battle.
Here is a link where you can be a volunteer: relayforlife.org