We are thrilled to wrap up Volunteer Appreciation Week with ECM’s 2020 Group Volunteer of the Year, the College of Charleston Track Team! This may have been the track team’s first time volunteering for the Charleston Marathon® (ECM’s largest annual fundraiser), but they came out in force. Meeting an essential need for the race, these student-athletes filled the majority of our course monitor positions downtown, keeping marathoners on course and motivated!
“Appropriate to the sport they love, the College of Charleston track student-athletes and coaching staff went above and beyond to answer our call for help at the 2020 Charleston Marathon. I can’t say enough about the willingness to help and the positive attitudes they exhibited very early in the morning on a Saturday in January!” – Andrew McGlaughon
- What motivated the track team to volunteer with ECM?
- My friend Andrew McGlaughon who worked in the College of Charleston Athletics Department for a number of years reached out to me to see if the team would be interested in volunteering. We have volunteered with quite a few races in the past and were excited to have the opportunity to volunteer for the Charleston Marathon.
- What makes this volunteer experience a meaningful use of your time?
- The experience was certainly a meaningful use of our time. I heard many comments from the team about how inspiring it was to see the runners focused on finishing the race. In some instances, we saw people run by us who may have had a physical limitation or some other obstacle. To be able to give a word of encouragement to that person felt good but at the same time, also provided motivation for each of us in witnessing them focus on their goals.
- What is the biggest benefit the track team receives as a volunteer with ECM?
- With volunteering with the marathon specifically, it was the ability to be a part of giving back to something we all love (running) and see others sharing in and enjoying the sport themselves. Whenever you have the opportunity to be a part of something greater than yourself, it’s a big deal. We have a mission on our team and we call it CofC BEST. It’s an acronym that stands for Character, Optimism, Fortitude and Communication: Building Excellence and Success Together. Accordingly, our mission as a team is to not only work to be our best, but to help others be their best too. This volunteer opportunity was a great way to help us work on our mission.
- What is the most memorable accomplishment and/or moment of your volunteer experience?
- For the team as a whole, I think it was engaging with the runners, offering encouragement, and having the runners express their gratitude for us being there to support them.
- What have you learned from volunteering?
- From volunteering, we have learned that we can be our best version of ourselves when we help others. When we work as a team, we are working for something that is greater than ourselves. It feels good to be a part of something beyond oneself – something that can be lasting and carried on in others. Inspiration is a powerful force and whether on the giving or receiving end, it’s always a privilege to be a part of.