My name is Robin and I am a Board Member and also a volunteer for Here For the Girls. I am not a Boober! (a nickname some H4TG members have for each other); never had breast cancer; have no immediate or even distant relatives who have had breast cancer. I have, however, watched several co-workers and the wife of a good friend die from this horrific disease. My husband Steve is also a very active volunteer and supporter of Here For the Girls. He sports a pink ribbon tattoo and is thrilled to answer when someone asks why. The assumption is always he has lost a mother/wife/sister/daughter to breast cancer. Nope to all. In addition, we have pulled in our daughter Kari and son-in-law John as volunteers for H4TG!
Our relationship with the organization began five years ago. As the charity of choice for Steve’s motorcycle club, we sometimes spent 12 hours a day on the weekends raising money at every fair and festival during the spring and summer. Nothing better than a bunch of bikers sporting pink tutu’s and boas, asking folks to support an organization called Beyond Boobs! (H4TG's former name). Some of the ensuing conversations were priceless!! The money raised by the motorcycle club funded a Retreat for the ladies. I was honored to be asked to be a “kitchen fairy” at one of these retreats (and continue to do so) and I can honestly say it changed my life.
During that first retreat, I watched the ladies attend seminars on topics such as healthy eating, painting, aroma therapy, exercise, team building on the beach, etc. Some of these warriors were going through chemo, which had left them bald and ill; some were 2 years out; some 10 years out. They laughed, cried, sang, hugged, yelled, - and jumped in the cold Atlantic Ocean, after dark, holding onto each other – 30 strong! I will never, ever forget the joy and laughter on their faces as they ran back into the house - wet, cold, but fully and totally alive. It was during this retreat that it dawned on me that these were young women in the prime of their lives, hit with devastating news, yet living and loving like all of us should be doing.
The goodness, kindness, and fierce support Here For the Girls has for their members is unparalleled in any other organization with which I have worked. The women themselves build each other up by offering love, friendship, unwavering support, laughter and sometime tears. For those of us who are fortunate enough to volunteer for this great organization, we get to meet and get to know the actual ladies – not some line item on a set of financials. For all of these reasons, and many more, I love this organization and all it does for the ladies.
The assumption for many is that you volunteer or invest in an organization because you have been personally impacted by the “cause.” I am here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. You invest because of the mission, the impact, the good, the hope, the difference it makes in the lives of those in need. That is why I totally support Here For the Girls… because they truly are “Here For the Girls.”
So remember, every day is a celebration… sometimes you enjoy it by yourself, or enrich your soul when you share it with others.