Every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day empowers people and organizations around the globe to unite in taking action in the fight against cancer. It began in 2000 and has since grown into an effective campaign to raise funds, show support and encourage governments to do more. It’s a serious cause, too; the campaign estimates that 9.5 million people around the world were expected to die from cancer in 2018.
In this post, we highlight a few simple ways that you or your organisation can get involved with the critical fight against cancer, on World Cancer Day and every day.
1) Band Against Cancer
One way to fight cancer is to leverage moments like World Cancer Day to spread awareness through visible or wearable items, like fundraising bracelets. At Rocket Charities, we’re proud to support our friends at CLIC Sargent, who are encouraging supporters to ‘band together’ this World Cancer Day to support young lives against cancer. People can show their support by purchasing and proudly wearing a Band Against Cancer wristband, which is available in three different colours: plum, teal and grey. The bands are available in CLIC Sargent’s online shop, or in their partners Morrisons’ stores, JD Wetherspoon pubs, and in select Ernest Jones and H Samuel stores.
Cancer Research UK also are tapping into the power of wristbands to unite people and communities around World Cancer Day with their “unity bands”. The colourful cloth wristbands can be purchased in nearly 600 stores and 2,000 partner shops in the UK and help to raise money for cancer research. People are asked to make a donation of £2 and sport the bracelet on World Cancer Day and all year long to show support and raise awareness.
At Rocket Charities, we know that a special campaign can benefit from a special product. If you’d like to put your own spin on a unity bracelet, consider creating a new bracelet that you can gift or sell for your own charity or campaign. Or maybe you’d like to create a special wristband for an office cancer challenge or for every member of your extended family. We offer a range of wristband options and prices, including these new and unique alternative wristbands.
And, if just nothing seems to fit the bill, we’re also passionate about developing new items and helping you turn your vision into customised merchandise to help you raise awareness for your own cancer fighting causes. World Cancer Day, for example, has an online shop of custom clothing and accessories featuring the 2019 slogan, #IAmAndIWill.
2) Make a Pledge
The growth of social media (39 million users are on social media in the UK and the numbers are only expected to grow over time) has opened up new avenues for creative pledge drives and online campaigns. World Cancer Day, for example, is using the hashtag #IAmAndIWill for its 2019 campaign. It also offers people an easy way to design a custom poster that can be shared on social media.
Another example is an initiative from Macmillan Cancer Support. The charity provides emotional, physical and financial support for those affected by cancer. For World Cancer Day, Macmillan asks people to share on social media a kind gesture that helped them or something thoughtful they did to help support someone else. Supporters tag @macmillancancer and use the #WorldCancerDay or #LittleActsofKindness hashtags to help aggregate and follow the campaign.
If you don’t join a pledge, consider creating your own. To leverage the popular World Cancer Day campaign, establish a new hashtag and social media graphics that are specific to your charity, and ask people to include this along with #IAmAndIWill to help magnify your posts. If your budget allows, you could consider using giveaway items, like a button badge, to encourage people to participate. Offer to send a special, free low-cost item to everyone that makes a pledge, or draw a name from a group of pledges for one or two special prizes.
Many cancer support charities would not be able to operate without the support of volunteers. One enduring way to help fight cancer is to find a charity you’re passionate about and get involved. Into athletics or exercise? Volunteer to work at a charity run. Interested in learning more about leadership or management at a charity? Consider an office internship with a charity.
Perhaps your passion is beauty or fashion. One great opportunity is Look Good Feel Better, a program that connects volunteers with complimentary beauty classes and services to help people undergoing cancer treatment. Look Good Feel Better celebrates its 30th anniversary this year! To date, the program has logged over 150,000 hours from volunteers and 150 companies now support it. (Note: Look Good Feel Better is currently on a volunteer recruiting hiatus as it rolls out a new delivery structure this year.)
Do some research to find a volunteer opportunity that speaks to you. Gov.UK, for example, has a website with resources to help you identify local volunteer opportunities. Ask around at your office, too. Perhaps your colleagues have ideas for volunteering, or you could pool together and volunteer as a group. As a bonus, volunteering with your teammates is a great way to get to know one another and to build positive team spirit.
4) Make a Donation
Last but not least is making a donation. Most charitable organisations depend on donations and financial support to achieve their research and impact goals. If a unity band is not your style or you can’t find a way to volunteer your time, consider making a donation to your favourite cancer charity. Choose one that’s meaningful to you and that has a good reputation for its work.
With any charity or campaign, do a bit of research to see all the ways that you can get on board to help fight cancer. Many of these opportunities will change from year to year, and often times they’re quite creative and fun activities to participate in, locally or online. World Cancer Day 2019, for example, asks people to help them “light up the world” by illuminating landmarks or buildings in the campaign colours (orange and blue) on February 4.
What other creative ways have you heard of to help fight cancer? We’d love to hear more. Please get in touch with us today for help with any charitable cause, large or small. We’re here for you.