Summer 2015 is the polar opposite to how I thought it would be. My life has changed a lot in such a short space of time. I’ve gone through numerous life events within the past few months that have really shaped me as a person. We all go through both good and bad times in life. Life throws the bad things at us to make the good things all the more worthwhile. So with a clearer mind and a different view on life the new and improved me was determined to make the most of the summer. One of my main goals was to give back to the world and to help others.
I am proud to say that I stuck with this goal and over the past few months I have given my time to help others. One of the most important days of the year, well of my life, was the day I took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon. The charity I chose to raise money for was the Irish Cancer Society. The Irish Cancer Society is a charity that holds a very special place in my heart. I lost my two incredible uncles David and Alfie to cancer, my witty gran-uncle Noel, and this year an incredibly special friend of mine lost a loved one to cancer. It is a devastating disease that has claimed too many lives. I dream of the day when a cure is found that will defeat this dreadful disease. Fundraising for this charity was so important to me. Receiving donations from friends and family was heart warming because I knew every penny we raised would help. I have raised over €140 so far for the Irish Cancer Society. I will always support and raise money for this charity. We Won’t Give Up Until Cancer Does.
I promised myself that I would pluck up the courage and donate blood this summer. I know many people can’t handle needles and the sight of blood makes them sick, but if you’re able for it I would highly suggest donating blood. I went in on a Thursday afternoon to the blood donor clinic on D’olier Street. The entire procedure took less than an hour and I can honestly say that it does not hurt in the slightest. All the staff were extremely warm and kind and made me feel as relaxed as possible. During my donation process I sat and chatted about Waterford Whispers with the staff member that was monitoring my blood. It’s a straight forward process and takes very little of your time. For more information on donating blood you can visit https://www.giveblood.ie/ There is nothing more rewarding than knowing the blood you donated will save someones life.
Whilst at the blood donor clinic I picked up a donor card to keep in my purse at all times. They are free and you can register for a donor card here http://www.organdonation.ie/donate.html Make the greatest act of generosity by giving the gift of life. Recently I voluteered for the Meningitis Research Foundation. I gave up a few hours on a Friday afternoon to help raise money for this extremely important charity. I spent three hours in Nutgrove Shopping Centre raising funds and meeting some of the most lovely and inspiring people. Many women came up and told me about their children that survived having meningitis. I also spoke to a women who generously popped a fiver in the donation bucket and told me I was one of the loveliest young ladies she had met. It was so warming meeting so many great people whilst raising money for charity. I found out that we raised a total over €394.19 for Meningitis Research Foundation, a truly amazing amount of money that will go a long way.
I stand by the phrase it’s nice to be nice. It doesn’t cost you anything to be kind to people. Volunteering and fundraising for charities is so heart warming and rewarding. You give up your own time and you don’t get paid, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest. I can honestly tell you that having a father walk up to me and tell me about his daughter that survived meningitis is one of the most amazing moments I’ve ever experienced, seeing him smile and thank me for volunteering meant the world to me. Crossing the finish line at the mini marathon with my best friend knowing that the money we raised would help fight cancer felt so special. Knowing the pint of blood I donated can save up to three lives is mind blowing. As I write this post I feel quiet overwhelmed by the fact that these simple deeds I did will help so many people. I urge you to consider doing some volunteer work this summer, especially those of you who are on a break from school/college. Never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better.