Juan-Carlos Silva

Juan-Carlos, Kinesiology Student


Where did you serve?
I served with Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society in Visalia, CA.  Essentially, the event is an overnight walk to raise awareness and funds for the families of those that have lost their lives to cancer, as well as those who currently have cancer. Some events also served to raise awareness, such as the Luminaria.

What did you learn?
I learned a lot about the importance of volunteering because of their luminaria ceremony. This ceremony consisted of lighting a candle inside a paper bag that was decorated with people who have passed away from cancer. The bags were in honor of every life touched by cancer, there was hundreds of bags. During the moment of silence, people stopped walking and watched, some prayed. People were crying as everyone silently prayed and honored their loved ones. After speaking with someone who had a loved one who passed away because of cancer, I understood the true meaning of volunteering. That individual was so grateful that volunteers donated their time to host an event that recognized those with cancer. People go through so much suffering and knowing that someone was there for them brought so much light in a dark situation. I saw how much volunteering can impact an individual.

The whole idea is that everything counts no matter how small your act of kindness, it can make a big difference. The purpose of volunteering is not to get hours, but is to help people in need.