Making the World a Brighter Place
With a canopy of glowing balloons lighting up the twilight sky and a misty fog adding an iridescent sparkling coat to the thousands of people beneath them, you can’t help but pause to appreciate that something practically magical is going on. No, we are not at Disney World or an enormous community birthday party, but the electric excitement that encompasses and unites the crowd, feels similar. We are one people drawn together for a common positive goal. We are at the Light the Night walk on the Boston Common – held annually by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) – and we have come here tonight to raise money so that a cure for blood cancers will be found.
I look to my left and to my right and feel extremely proud to be amongst a team of co-workers from Brainshark. In fact, it is our third consecutive year participating in the walk, raising close to $10,000 since we began walking in 2009. We are doing our part to support our friends, family, and co-workers impacted by blood cancers and to help fund life-saving research and services provided by the LLS.
Why does this walk make such an impression on those who participate? It is the people, the fundraising, the goal…..but even more so, how effectively the balloons and their glowing lights are a symbol of all these things together.
Picture this. To start, the balloons are clustered together in the center of the Common. White balloons are carried by survivors; Red by supporters; Gold ones by those who are walking in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. Then slowly, as the walkers make their 2-mile trek circling the park, something amazing happens. The glowing orbs begin to expand from a group, into a column…forty balloons across, then thirty, then fifteen across. And now the column has become a narrower line. By the end of the walk, there is an entire circle of light, proudly glow against the dark for the whole city to see. A circle that represents community, a light that represents the strength that the cure will be found, and the balloons that represent the spirits of those we are honoring and supporting.
It is a powerful image, and one that I hope makes you think, What can I do to make a difference in my community? If you don’t know where to start, check out a site like http://www.idealist.org that allows you to enter interests, location, and availability and do a free search of volunteer opportunities in your area. You could also speak with your HR department to see if there are any company-organized volunteer opportunities. At Brainshark, the Light the Night walk is just one of many civic-oriented events that our employees participate in, and our company encourages each employee to take one day off each year to donate their time to a non-profit program.
In closing, find a way to make the world a brighter place. If you’d like to learn more about Light the Night, visit the website and sign up to participate in an upcoming walk. And if you don’t have the time, consider making a donation to a cause you support. To contribute to our own Brainshark Light the Night team, please donate here.
Christine Pechter, Team Leader
The Brainshark Light the Night Team