By: Rachel Kiserow
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and underwent surgery, chemo, and radiation in 2012, I realized how critical it was for me to somehow show my gratitude for all of the help and support I received during that difficult time. So, I helped organize Charles River’s annual bake sale in 2016 that benefitted a local charity. I learned about the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF), and after being educated on what NNCCF does for our local community, I felt like I didn’t do enough.
That’s what led me to request my month-long sabbatical to be spent at NNCCF. I was compelled to give back in a meaningful and lasting way. And now that my sabbatical has come to a close, I hope I’ve contributed to the good work that is done by the people of NNCCF each day. My passion to do more for NNCCF stays with me, and I want to continue to give and volunteer in any way I can for years to come.
My experience at NNCCF has been an unforgettable one, and so much of that has to do with the wonderful people that work day-in and day-out at NNCCF. NNCCF’s work is unlike any other work I’ve ever experienced. They are driven by the children and families that need their help the most – they take their work to heart and carry an immense obligation to help families in need. In my short time with NNCCF, I felt this prevailing sentiment each day I was volunteering and I was fortunate enough to witness NNCCF’s impact on children and their families. The experience also gave me a clear understanding of what it means to truly volunteer – to give of yourself without any benefit in return.
Charles River’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program has grown since inception just a few years ago with an increasing number of employees participating. Charles River has worked with a number of local, national, and world –wide non-profits because we believe that giving back to our community is crucial to our work and an important part of our employee’s lives. With our growing number of employees world-wide, the impact on our communities will be exponential if we can all do a little something to give back to those that need a helping hand. I feel fortunate to work for a corporation that makes community service and volunteerism a priority and for being afforded the opportunity to volunteer for a month at NNCCF. It is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“I’m convinced of this,
Good done anywhere
Is good done everywhere.”
“Salamat is thank you in Tagalog (Filipino). Salamat for opening your doors and your arms to me this last month and for making me feel so much a part of the team. I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to help an organization that does so much good every single day. You’ve given me an invaluable experience and a glimpse into the selfless work you do each day and the immense impact you have on our local children and families affected by cancer. Our community is so very fortunate to have an organization like NNCCF here, and I’m better off having gotten the chance to get to know all of you
Thank you for all that you do! Count on me for coming back and volunteering again soon!”
– Rachel Kiserow, Human Resources Representative, Charles River
By Natalie Van Hoozer
As a college freshman, everyone asks me what my plans are for the summer and the coming school year. I am happy to tell them that a large portion of my time spent outside of the classroom will be spent volunteering with NNCCF.
When I first started volunteering at NNCCF, I was a senior in high school looking for somewhere to intern for a school class. Once I visited NNCCF, I knew it was the place for me. I received the “tour” around the office and got to meet all of the lovely staff.
After that welcoming experience, I was put to work preparing for the 2013 Tournament of Hope. I had the opportunity to meet even more kind, generous, and ambitious people through this experience. As a volunteer, I have found that you don’t just sit behind a table and perform one task most of the time at NNCCF; at events you have the opportunity to really interact with the other volunteers and event participants.
Since that time, Poker Tournaments, Radiothons, and other events have come and gone, each event being efficiently organized and run. All of them have been learning opportunities for me, as everyone, staff and otherwise, is always extremely helpful and happy to answer all of my questions.
Most importantly, my own knowledge of childhood cancer has increased, which has helped me become an advocate for the many worthy causes related to it. I now let people know about NNCCF events and fundraisers, direct them to the website, and tell them about the importance of cancer research and clinical trials. My only hope is that people take my information to heart and learn to spread the word about childhood cancer.
The most recent event I volunteered for was the 2015 St. Baldrick’s “Brave the Shave” event. For me, it was the best opportunity I have had to see the community of the Northern Nevada area come together and stand in solidarity with those who have childhood and other cancers. The fact that almost $200,000 dollars was raised just made the experience even better. As a volunteer, one of the aspects I love about the event the most is getting to see people, familiar and new alike, come together despite differences to make a positive impact in the world. My opinions about NNCCF and nonprofit organizations have only been reinforced since this event a few weeks ago. I am still encouraged that one day I will be able to work for a nonprofit organization like NNCCF full time and help to make the difference that I see people at NNCCF making every day.