Back in 2005, we held a naming competition amongst CCF Families' Club members for an original and catchy title that best describes 'patients' or 'survivors' in a more positive and lively way. And the winning entry "Sunshine kids" has become our adopted title ever since, bringing a new touch of vitality and hope for our sick kids. In 2006, we took that one step further by starting our own volunteer group called "Sunshine Ambassadors" for Sunshine kids over the age of 16 and their family members.
Over the past few years, we've got over 80 Sunshine Ambassadors helping us in different areas of work, such as coordinating and managing game booths, making props for game booths, leading games, taking photos, fixing computers and drawing pictures. Through taking part in all this, they have not only become participants but also volunteers who bring joy to the others. While we applauded them for living up to the Chinese idiom "happiness lies in lending a helping hand", we have more expectations from this volunteer group. By drawing members together, we could build a "kindred” spirit that's unique, supportive and encouraging. It's a group that forges a special bond amongst old members and sets goals for new members. Altogether, they would form a steadfast volunteer base and an invaluable asset for CCF.
However, one-off volunteer projects do not build up a sense of belonging easily. Ongoing projects or organizational work
for events would call for extra time, effort, and coordination. As a resolution, we started brainstorming on something that would involve regular volunteer team work. Bingo! The idea of starting a Families' Club Newsletter came right through, and we invited several active young Sunshine Ambassadors to join as the editors. The publication not only provides a link for Club members to keep in touch with each other, but also serves the purpose of building stronger team spirit among volunteers.
Over the past three years since "Sunshine Station" was premiered in October 2007, each and every volunteer editor has been totally dedicated to every aspect of the newsletter; from content ideas, research and interviews to photo-taking and copywriting. Despite the thin volume of several pages of the by-yearly publication, we have to rack our brains in editorial meetings to come up with the most meaty contents for readers of all ages. That alone has built up a link and fostered a sense of belonging with CCF amongst the editors in no time. Although these may not be the faces you see on every occasion, we can always count on them to give us a helping hand!
To keep this service growing, we need old timers as much as new comers. So, if you want to get involved in the organizational work leading up to any CCF events instead of just "doing your part" on the event date, we would like you to contact us. With your support, Sunshine Ambassadors will surely grow stronger and brighter like the sun that keeps you and me warm.
CCF Newsletter Vol.39 (Jan 2011)