It is definitely a rare occasion to find myself setting an alarm for 4 am, and finding a good enough reason to do so does not come around often. Having the amazing opportunity to volunteer for the first ever Cambridge Half Marathon however made that 4 am wake up call more than worth it.
I have never in my life volunteered for a marathon, let alone at a water stop, so taking on the role as “head volunteer” for Team With a Vision was overwhelming at first. During our initial training session, I was given the lowdown on how to do EVERYTHING – from the best way to stack the cups on the table to actually making the gatorade and the proper technique in handing out water (yes, there is a correct way to pass water to runners, who knew!?). If it weren’t for the support of my roommate and DG sister Katie, accompanying me at that first training session, and for the constant support from all of the girls who volunteered that morning, I would not have been able to pull it off.
As I mentioned earlier, DG had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Team With a Vision, an organization of individuals who run to raise awareness and support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We not only had sisters running the race as part of Team With a Vision, but also had the chance to cheer on visually impaired runners who were given the opportunity to participate in this race thanks to the organization. What made this experience most rewarding was seeing how thankful all the runners were for our efforts cheering, dancing and motivating them along the way.
A couple days after the race I received an email from a runner who wrote, “I absolutely loved seeing the Delta Gammas out there, hearing them cheer for me and Team With A Vision, really helped me get through the last half of the race. Knowing they were out there for water stop and moral support was very uplifting, so saying THANK YOU doesn’t seem like enough!” Not only did we have 14 Delta Gamma’s at the race, but with the support of our whole sorority, we were able to help Team With a Vision win a social media competition, donating $1,000 directly to our philanthropy.
Volunteering for the Cambridge Half was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of, and having the chance to share this with my sorority made it all the more special. Their ability to commit and give back to the community makes me so proud to be a part of such an amazing group of women.