As a former career counselor and academic advisor, I know the importance of networking. I used to teach my students that “nEtworking is one letter away from nOt working.” Since coming aboard at the Ulman Cancer Fund with a new contract to plan more events and fundraisers for UCF, I have made some cool connections recently.
On a networking lunch in Virginia with some hospitality industry folks, we got to talking about a mutual friend who just lost a friend to cancer at 28 after a 4 year battle with breast cancer. This friend saw my twitter post “Networking and building connections in DC for @ulmancancerfnd” and posted that she wanted to now be in the fight! This got those of us at lunch talking about starting a DC Team Fight running group and recruiting some more of our DC running buddies. I am very sad for my friend, but encouraged that she now has a place to go to talk to people who understand what she is going through. So many of our young adult fighters and their friends tell us they don’t have many peers in cancer. They never see other young people in treatment or in most of the support groups and when they find us, they breathe a sigh of relief. Ashley, our Volunteer Maryland Coordinator and I started brainstorming ways we can get all our contacts together for DC YACS events and we’re going to make some announcements about upcoming events soon!
Another cool connection came from the magnet on my car! I was on my way to an open workout at Hardbody Outdoor Fitness hosted by Team Fight sponsor Shawn Chevalier. If you’ve never been to Inside Out Performance (also home to Nic Ebright, Massage Therapist another Team Fight Sponsor), it can be kind of tricky to find, especially in the dark. My husband I and got out of the car and a woman was wandering close by and she asked us where she should go…. She had seen the bright yellow “Cancer Changes Lives… so do WE!” magnet on my car and followed us there! Turns out she’s a friend of Brock’s and heard about the free workout on Facebook. But our new social media got helped out by some old school branding – a bright yellow magnet! So Shawn sponsoring Team Fight got us in the door through Facebook, and Jennifer found her way by following my magnet! We talked with her for a while about CA Masters swimming and Team Fight!
Moral of the stories… modern social networking is great… we use it, it gets the word out… but the personal connections we make are so important and help us make a difference in people’s lives!!
Cancer changes lives… and so do WE!!