BY SHARON SAMUEL
Want to help people who are fighting cancer? Then, buy a daffodil pin during the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month.
Every April the charity launches its daffodil campaign selling daffodil pins and fundraising door-to-door. The Canadian Cancer Society, Waterloo-Wellington Community Office, is looking for site co-ordinators and volunteers to help raise funds.
“The co-ordinator’s job is a bit more of a responsible position than any other volunteers,” said Karen Griffiths, senior manager. “They would take over supplies (daffodil pins), make sure all the stores have them at particular times for the volunteers, pick the supplies up at the end of the day and bring the money and everything back to us.”
On any scheduled weekday or weekend, the volunteers would go to a local Loblaws store, Canadian Tire or Walmart and sell daffodil pins for a minimum $2 donation.
“Also throughout April we have a residential campaign, that’s a door-to-door campaign,” said Griffiths. “Volunteers go door-to-door and people just make a straight donation and they get a tax receipt.”
Often the door-to-door canvassers get $20 donations from people. These donations are accepted via cash, cheque or credit card, she said.
Though the daffodil campaign doesn’t start until April, the volunteer work starts in January as it takes a lot of time to co-ordinate the volunteers’ schedule and supplies, said Griffiths.
People who want to volunteer should call the Canadian Cancer Society, Waterloo-Wellington Community Office, to register with Griffiths.
“What they can then do is go to the ccschedule.ca website and pick what shift they want or pick multiple shifts,” she said. “It saves us time here to make those phone calls, having to co-ordinate that because once the schedule is set up they can just go online and just pick a shift.”
The money raised through these campaigns goes into either research or supporting people living with cancer.
“So, in Waterloo Region and Wellington County we have volunteer drivers who take patients to their cancer-related appointments,” said Griffiths. “We recruit the drivers, orientate and train them locally and then they go out.”
The drivers do not get paid for driving, but they get reimbursed for mileage, she said.
“They drive clients to maybe Grand River Regional Cancer Centre or to London health sciences or many hospitals in Toronto,” said Griffiths. “That’s something we are proud of. That (donation) money goes for that type of support program in our community as well as research.”
Arshdeep Kular, a third-year public health student at the University of Waterloo, said she started volunteering at the Waterloo-Wellington Community Office because she thought the Canadian Cancer Society does a good job serving the community.
“They are a group of dedicated individuals helping others who are fighting cancers, or cancer survivors. They are just like a beam of hope for everyone,” she said.
For more information on the daffodil campaign or to make a donation, visit www.cancer.ca.