|NOT Jay & Shay|
(Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net)
The tagline for this blog reads, “Working to make the world a better place, one blog post at a time”, which, of course, sets the tone for many of my posts. Thus, when I find examples of others who use their talents and assets to help others, I get all giddy inside and want to scream from the rooftops: “Hey, everyone, look! We’re all in this together and here is someone else working to make life better for others!” I found such an example today in my email inbox when Jay Cooney, social media strategist for Omni Hotels, informed his followers that he and his fiancé, Shay, have decided to turn their Cancun wedding into a charity event in an effort to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an independent organization that has awarded over $100 million in research grants for pediatric cancer research since 2005.
Almost all of us know someone affected by pediatric cancer: a family member, friend, neighbor, a child’s classmate, or perhaps a fellow church member. Pediatric cancer robs its victims of their childhood, often placing parents under great financial stress as their children undergo necessary medical treatments in an effort to regain their health. While great strides have been made in pediatric cancer research, ongoing efforts are needed to continue to help improve the lives of children battling cancer and, hopefully, eradicate this disease forever.
You know, I never even considered the possibility of taking a personal event such as a wedding and using it as an opportunity to raise awareness for someone or something else. I think this is one of the most selfless things I have read about in a very long time. Here is a couple wanting to utilize their social network and professional connections to help make a difference in others’ lives. Instead of saying, “Hey, look at us, we’re getting married at this fabulous resort – aren’t we so cool?” these two are taking the focus off themselves and telling us – friends and strangers alike – “Hey, it’s not all about us, it’s about other people, too, and together we can all make a difference!” And that, people, is something I applaud. Very loudly.
Jay and Shay are seeking donations from readers as well as partnerships with companies who would like to participate in giveaways in exchange for raising more awareness about St. Baldrick’s. You see, they want this charity wedding event to be a win-win situation. Companies get great advertising, participants have an opportunity to win fun stuff, and kids get the opportunity to get healthy. It just doesn’t get any better than that, friends.