Column: Change the world

This upcoming Sunday, Buzzing for Change hopes to step into the record books by breaking the world record for “most heads shaved.” In addition to the hordes of people shaving their heads, others will be cutting their hair for Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for Children who loose their hair due to disease. While doing this, participants recruit sponsorship for their acts and all proceeds will go to Special Love, a local non-profit that supports camps for children with cancer and their families. The significance of shaving your head is an effort to show solidarity with patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

When we held the event the first time, in September 2003, it was phenomenally successful. One hundred and sixty people shaved their heads (short of the 228 world record), 31 people cut their heads for Locks of Love, and we raised $18,000. This money went to buy 14 laptops and accompanying DVDs and software for children in the oncology department at Children’s National Medical Center.

This gift goes along with our philosophy of doing our best to make a difference in the lives of children afflicted with cancer. Not one dollar raised by participants goes toward our overhead costs. By doing this we are not only accomplishing this goal, but we show participants that by doing something small they can have a far-reaching impact – an opportunity rarely afforded to college students.

One of the reasons for Buzzing for Change’s success is that people feel passionate about it. Many people have a personal connection to the cause and are willing to give their all to make sure that the event succeeds. While the reasons people are involved are far-reaching, everyone participating in the event comes away with the knowledge that they changed the world. It is this spirit that inspires the event with love, determination and hope.

This organization was founded out of a personal need by the founder to do something in honor of a family member who passed away from cancer. While that is our issue, it is not everyone’s. If you feel passionate about an issue, do something about it. While our issue is cancer, yours may be AIDS, the environment or affordable housing. Whatever it is, use your passion and ambition to make a difference in your community.

While breaking the world record, cutting one’s hair, volunteering and raising money are all worthwhile and compelling causes, they only scratch the surface of the true meaning of the event. We want to show others through the event that by doing something small, they have the ability to change the world. That is why we look at Buzzing for Change as an event not as an end in itself, but rather as a means to end. If our participants are part of the event, they have helped us succeed, but there is a next logical step.

John F. Kennedy once said, “All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor perhaps in our lifetime on this planet, but let us begin.” Our challenge to you today is this: take an issue in your community that you feel passionate about and begin to make something happen. Use that issue to help you change the world. We all have the ability to do it, let’s make something happen.

For more information about the event, please visit the organization’s website at www.buzzing4change.org or e-mail b4c@gwu.edu. The event will be held this Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Kogan Plaza.

-The writer, a senior majoring in Human Services, is the co-president of Buzzing for Change.

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