Long-time readers are aware of my very active political background. I have served on our local party committee and worked for the DNC as a field organizer in rural Nevada. I believed in the party. Four years ago I was a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter and there was much ugliness directed at people like me in that election from my own party. It’s a fact, and I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Sadly, it was a very divisive time and when I finally stepped away from the Democratic party I wanted nothing to do with activist politics. This isn’t to say I stopped being interested in politics, but I was sick to death of the tribalism of it all, Left and Right.
However, I am a helper at heart. I like causes. I like thinking that I am making a difference, even if it is just one person at a time. In May 2007 I started the job I currently hold. It is a large company (multinational) with about 400 employees just at our site alone. In addition, over the years I had participated in the Northern Nevada Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as an individual and on occasion I would be joined by my daughter or a friend.
When I went to work for my very large company I was very excited about the prospect of participating in the race on a team. When I found out that our company did not already have a team I formed one and got about 29 of my co-workers and their family and friends on board. We raised a couple thousand dollars, as I recall. It became an annual tradition, and over the years our team has grown to average about 50 members each year. Over the course of those five years, we raised well over $20,000.
In 2008 I volunteered to serve on the race committee and, in addition to my team captain role, served as the Database Chair for the next four years (2008-2011). For the last two years I also served as the In-Person Registration Chair (in addition to my team captain and database duties).
I’ve tabled for Komen, attended its national conference, personally given hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars to the cause. I even served on the board of the affiliate as its secretary for about two years.
When I commit to a cause, this is what it looks like: Full bore, pedal to the metal.
I am not a breast cancer survivor but have had too many friends and relatives affected or killed by this disease. Just this week one of my co-workers, a young mother of two, underwent a radical bilateral mastectomy. So this is personal. Big time.
In 2009 I wrote this about my experience with Susan G. Komen:
The women I work with at SGK are a varied lot. But one of the things I love most about serving with this wonderful group of women (and men) is that when we are in a room together, all thoughts of political, religious or philosophical differences go out the window in our pursuit of a cure and assistance for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
That all got blown out of the water this week and it is why I’ll never give another dime or moment of my time to this organization. And all the back-tracking and weasel words in the world won’t change that. Linda lays it out in a very blunt and to-the-point message.
Going forward my cancer research donations will go to the American Cancer Society, and locally I will support Moms on the Run who help not only breast cancer patients but women with other women’s cancers as well. And yes, Planned Parenthood can count on donations from me as well. I’ve taken this fantastic organization far too much for granted and it’s time to give back.