Monday, June 27, 2011

Archives: Missing Komen & Getting Involved

I'm amazed that I'm already finding so many things to write about. Even more amazing that I'm finding the effort to write outside of work (which mostly involves a day full of writing and editing).

Komen Stop In Paducah

So, the other day I was pleased to find this little surprise in my work mailbox. The only way to understand why just a few pamphlets and rubberbands mean so much to me is understand that Komen for the Cure has a special place in my heart.

First off, I must say that I am lucky enough that no one in my family or close circle of friends has dealt with the pain and grief of breast cancer. With that being said, my hometown Peoria is were Susan G. Komen is from. And my previous news station, WEEK/WHOI was very involved with the Peoria Komen affiliate. Not only did I help volunteer at a Race For The Cure before I moved, but I also produced a half hour special covering about anything you can imagine that relates to Komen: local survivors, their families, Susan's sister, Nancy's promise to help find a cure, etc.

And not only was I touched by all these stories, but I also realized what Komen for the Cure is doing for women. Not only are they fighting for a cure, but they battled decades of taboos- urging women to stand firm and talk to their doctors about their breast. They help survivors who have lost a factor that "makes" them a "woman." It has also helped break the stereotype that only women can get breast cancer-- saving thousands of men's lives.

Sadly... There is no Komen Affiliate in my new home. Now that I've gotten older, I feel a need to try to find the time to dedicate to something beyond myself. I also have a great role model who made it her life goal to combine her news career with community involvement. Anyone from Central Illinois reading this knows full well that I'm speaking of Gina Morss-Fischer. Throughout my years in Peoria as a part-time director, news intern, and producer, I always found inspiration in Gina's never ending work to use her "power" on television to help numerous local charities. All of this combined with producing and anchoring shows, setting up countless interviews, not to mention be a dedicated wife and mother (to three adorable children, I must add!) All while having smile on her face. Several of my previous and current coworkers chose charities and organizations to follow, but Gina's constant dedication to so many deserves recognition.

Many of us are called to be involved in our community whether it be through religion, family, or politics. For one, there is an obvious need in our community- especially with the government cutting several social programs. For two, it's part of being in a community. So many of us (including myself) take without giving back.

Helping society is the reason I got into this field. Granted at the time I thought I could easily get in a high enough place to instruct the masses-- promote change and reason. But on the way to change the world, I'm learning I can do so much in my neighborhood. Guess the next question for me is how- and I'd love to hear suggestions.

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