Exploring Shine’s impact

Megan Burrow reflects on her experiences over the past ten months. (Contributed photo)

Megan Burrow reflects on her experiences over the past ten months. (Contributed photo)

From Nov. 4-8, Laurier Shinerama held its fall awareness campaign on the Waterloo campus. The campaign was called #my10months and was meant to continue to educate the Laurier community about Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

“The premise of the campaign was to show how every year a campaign is run, ten months of life is added, on average, to the lives of people living with Cystic Fibrosis,” explained Olivia Montgomery, Shinerama coordinator.

All of the money raised by Shinerama committees across the country each year is donated to research on CF and to help care for people living with the disease.

“We wanted to get people talking about how significant ten months of life really is,” Montgomery continued. “We got people thinking about what they’ve done in the last ten months.”

This year, for the first time, two booths were set up on campus to promote awareness. The Shinerama team was located in the Concourse while the Health Science Students Association (HSSA) Cares team, first-time partners with Shinerama, was located in the Science atrium.

The campaign had students write a list of things they had done in the past ten months on sticky note, which was then put on display for the remainder of the week. Shine volunteers wrote their lists on dry erase boards which they took a picture with and set as their Facebook profile picture. Students also participated on Twitter, using #my10months.

Over the course of the week, 202 sticky notes were filled out.

Students were also engaged using trivia questions and straws, which were made available so students could simulate what it is like to breathe when you have CF.

Students who stopped by the booth were also able to enter a draw for ten $10 Starbucks gift cards. Students had to “like” the Laurier Shinerama and HSSA Cares Facebook pages and write on a sticky note or participate in a trivia activity before they were given a ballot to enter their name.

The same activities were engaged in at the booth located in the Science atrium.

A new student committee on campus, the role of HSSA Cares is to help support the health of students on campus and in the community. Julie Bain, one of the executives, explained that they will be acting as liaisons between students and the community to make volunteering off-campus easier.

Erin Smale, the other executive, explained that they decided to partner with Shinerama because they thought it would be a good first initiative for the committee.

While Smale and Bain both found the location of the booth more challenging to get students to stop by than in the Concourse, overall they thought it went well.

“Cystic Fibrosis is something that science students really learn about and it’s applicable to their everyday life,” said Smale. “I think for science students it really puts it in perspective.”

She noted that the partnership was beneficial to both Shinerama and HSSA Cares, as the campaign gained a second location and HSSA Cares was able to promote their committee.

“Partnerships with other committees on campus is so essential,” said Smale.

“We couldn’t have picked a better cause,” Bain added.

As a member of the promotions committee, this was Megan Burrow’s second year volunteering  with Shinerama.

“I think last year wasn’t as organized as we were this year,” she said. “This year we came out with one approach, which was our #my10months campaign.”

Last year, she explained, volunteers spent the week at the booth telling students facts about CF. Having a theme, however, helped better engage students.

“We kind of put it into perspective; if you can do all this in ten months, imagine what someone with Cystic Fibrosis can do.”

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