Sunday, January 11, 2009

Volunteering at the 2009 NBC4 Health Expo

This weekend I volunteered at the Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse booth at the 16th Annual NBC4 Health Expo! There were 200+ businesses and non-profit organizations who provided thousands of dollars of free advice and information, tests and screenings, and services. While volunteering at the Stop the Silence booth, I met survivors and many people who wanted to volunteer for the organization. While many ran from our table due to not wanting to discuss the issue of child sexual abuse, many welcomed the idea of spreading awareness and being an advocate for the cause.

I met fellow Heart Health Awareness Ambassadors

With the help of Juliette Williams, I joined the National Marrow Donor Program registry to help any patient in need. I will be listed on the registry until I am 61 years old (approximately 33 years from now!).

I met Miss Arlington, who was volunteering at the Go Red booth. I am so happy to have met such an energetic and upbeat queen. I wish her the best in her upcoming pageant!

It was also a pleasure to meet another queen, Deborah Barnes, Ms. Wheelchair DC, and her daughter. She was inspiring as she offered me words of advice and encouragement.

I gained a sponsor and a friend in Jennifer Bartholow, my new Arbonne International consultant. I am so glad that I ran into her as I love Arbonne products. She was also very encouraging and she lives near me. I got free products from her too!

Another treat was reporting the weather with NBC's Bob Ryan. I have a copy of the video (that I do not know how to upload for others to see... sorry!)

One of the most exciting parts of this experience was taking a picture with Barack Obama! (His cut-out anyways...) So many of my friends were fooled by this picture, especially with the event being in DC and the Inaguaration only a few days away! I thought it was so cool...

The other exciting moment was meeting Steve Villanueva of the NBC News4 Team, the #1 television station in Washington, DC and the country's 9th largest television market. He was so upbeat and funny, claiming that he wanted to be "Mr. Owings Mills". I also met other members of the News4 Team, including Jackie Bensen, Julie Carey, Pat Collins, Doreen Gentzler, Veronica Johnson, and Joe Krebs.

I was given the Pearl of Wisdom and told by the booth volunteers to wear it on my sash as a symbol to stop cervical cancer (you can see it on my sash in the above picture). Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. I am thankful for the volunteers at the booth who thought of me...

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