by Anne Nicoll
In mid-September, colleagues from our office raised over $10,000 for the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers here in Toronto. We’re proud – but my inspiration isn’t about totals – it’s about how we got there.
Throw a stone
We all know about the ripple effect. You throw a stone in a calm lake and before you know it – ripples grow over the entire smooth surface – all starting with one single stone.
That’s what happened when a few of our colleagues suggested walking in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. It started out with a few individuals getting on board. And then came the ripples.
Watch the ripples
We regularly held activities like bake sales and raffles over a six month period. Our launch meeting and the regular reminders peaked interest. As the event time approached we put a thermometer poster up in our office so everyone could see the progress in fundraising we were making. There was something every few weeks – a constant reminder about the cause – to end women’s cancers – and the importance of being well. Each week more people got involved–beyond just fundraising.
Ripples can turn into waves
Training for the big event motivated colleagues to get moving. Colleagues got together for their training and each day would record how far they had walked and what we were all doing to get ready for the big day.
The training also spilled over to other offices – our office in Moncton got on the competitive board with their own wellness challenge – counting how many times colleagues took the stairs each day. We’re talking eight floors of stairs – that’s some pretty serious moving. The floor keeps a track sheet where everyone can see progress – and sign up!
By the time the big event came in September –we had 12 walkers traveling the 32 km, but behind those participants were hundreds of other colleagues who got inspired to support the cause by making a donation and eager to take on their own wellness challenge as a team.
One stone makes a difference
You don’t need to be preparing for a big event to start a wellness ripple effect. Our event gained momentum because of a few simple things that can be done in any organization.
We were inclusive – we regularly shared information and invited everyone to get involved. You did not need to commit to being a walker to be involved.
Management walked the talk – literally and figuratively. I was so proud to walk along with my colleagues to support women’s cancers. Our organization matches funds raised by colleagues— and our leaders participate in wellness challenges and activities alongside colleagues every day. This leadership by example adds real impact to our wellness culture.
Finally, we made it fun – colleagues were invited to get active, be part of a supportive group– to get on board and start riding the waves with their colleagues.
On the day of the actual event – we were all so inspired – by the courage and power of all the teams coming together. The team is already planning for next year and the goal is to have even more participants and make a bigger splash!
A ripple effect can make a big difference on an organization’s culture, colleague engagement and overall well-being.
It just takes one person to start the ripples. Ready to throw your stone?