As humans go, I don’t think I’m necessarily the absolute worst. I’m not a total garbage pile of wanton destruction and carelessness. Not once have I ever once torn the head off a Barbie. I share my belongings (just not my food). I pay my taxes, recycle and all the stuff you’re *meant* to do.
But I’m also acutely aware that declaring myself a good person loudly makes it look like I doth protest too much. I try. I do. But I could try a bit more.
Turns out, the first step to being a better person is, well, to NOT make it about me at all.
Why? Because my arbitrary ‘good human’ tally pales in comparison when you think about the Very Good folks who set aside time in their hectic schedules to not only work hard at their regular gig, but also dedicate their spare time to volunteering.
With Daffodil Day almost upon us, I wanted to learn how to be a bit more empathetic and generous with my time. There was one simple solution: I went straight to the source and asked Daffodil Day volunteers why they wanted to get involved.
Here are their stories.
“I’d worked with Cancer Council through my previous job, and my mum has also been through breast cancer, so volunteering for Daffodil Day was a no brainer. Whether they were personally affected by cancer, or had just found $5 on the street and saw it as a sign, it was amazing to see the range of people who are touched by Daffodil Day.” – Aidan
“I volunteered for Daffodil Day in 2018 to pay tribute to my late uncle who passed away from lung cancer in 2010. I wanted to get involved and drive donations to help create a future free from cancer.” – Tai
In the schoolyard
“My school did a lot of different activities each year to raise money for Daffodil Day – from wearing yellow for a gold coin donation through to sending your mates a daffodil in class time. I remember one year there were more daffodils sent than there were roses on Valentine’s Day, so that was encouraging. We all wanted to do our part and contribute to cancer research, and I still do now that I’ve graduated.” – Gemma
“As the teacher in charge of the SRC, we were involved in the ideation of Daffodil Day plans for the school. Both the students and staff were motivated by the personal connections of having family and friends touched by cancer.” – Grant
Contributing to a greater cause
“I’ve always really loved helping people, and I thought it was be a great idea to do something where I could be with my friends and also help raise money for charity at the same time. Being a part of something so valuable was important, but even on top of the ethical side of things, I always found it fun!” – Olivia
“I’ve volunteered on and off for about four years now, and I enjoyed being a part of it so much that it never really felt like a chore. I thought about it like, what else would I be doing? Is there really anything more valuable that I can do on the couch at home instead of getting out and helping? The answer was always no, so I kept going and kept fundraising whenever I had the opportunity.” – Sandra
Doing your part
“There are incredible people trekking and cycling and walking thousands of kilometres, doing crazy things for cancer research or donations, but even though I didn’t have the means to do so I wanted to be a part of it. Going so big isn’t always an option for everyone, and getting involved in Daffodil Day was a simple and easy way to contribute to something so important.” – Emma
“I volunteered for Daffodil Day because every time the day came around, I always felt super guilty for not doing more. And frankly, as much as I don’t like to admit it, I do have quite a bit of time on my hands. Plus I mean, seeing my mates get involved made me realise I needed to lift my game and try to be a better person, at least once a year. Not the entire year, that’s impossible [laughs], but once a year.” – Eddie
Regardless of their motivations, every single person that I spoke to referenced the fact that volunteering in the name of cancer research is, to be blunt, a damn good cause.
Given that it doesn’t take a massive amount of time and effort to make a huge amount of difference, we reckon y’all should get on board with it. Daffodil Day falls on August 23rd, so you’ve got enough time to sign up here and get all organised.
Legit though, you can just do a three hour shift here and there. It doesn’t have to be some huge time commitment, so don’t feel overwhelmed, mates. Besides, there are stacks of locations all around the country so it’s even easier for you to rock up, smell the flowers and urge passers-by to do the right thing.
‘Coz we could all do with being just a teensy bit better.Image: Cancer Council