52 Walks, 1 Cause

eloise at SF Walk 2011I can’t begin to tell you how much the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer means to me. I work for the Avon Foundation for Women and am an eight-year breast cancer survivor. At the end of the 2013 season, I completed my 52nd consecutive Avon Walk while in Charlotte. You would think that after all of this time one Walk is the same as any other, that the excitement would wear off after a while. Not true! Each Avon Walk I go to is just as exciting as my first one; the enthusiasm, the celebration and the inspiration are there every time. Yes, it’s my job to be at each Walk, and they are long, hard-working weekends, but I look forward to each and every one because of the spirit and the sense of community that make the Avon Walks so special.

The 12th season of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (our U.S.-based, eight-Walk series) kicks off in April 2014 in Houston, TX. But our eight “Great Start Parties” begin this weekend to connect everyone in the Walk community – a fun way to kick off the Walk season, learn more and celebrate our commitment to ending breast cancer! Additionally, to educate people about the importance of getting involved in the Avon Walk and the impact they can have by participating, we’ve created this incredible new video. Please watch it and share it with everyone you know.

Every Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in the United States is 39.3 miles over two days. I get out on the route in every city and while I can’t always walk the whole distance due to other job responsibilities, I typically do about 20 miles of each Walk and that’s one of my favorite parts of my job. You meet the most amazing people from all walks of life, and I love hearing their stories. I also love meeting our Youth Crew. These kids, ages 10-16, are too young to walk but want to participate because they’ve been touched by breast cancer in some way. They fund-raise, they work hard all weekend, and their boundless energy and enthusiasm helps to keep the Walkers going mile after mile!

The Closing Ceremony of every Avon Walk is a special way to end our weekend together. It’s a real celebration for all the walkers, crew members, survivors, friends and family, and it’s when the Avon Foundation announces where the money raised will be donated. That’s what it’s all about – for the audience to see those huge checks being given away and know they helped to make that happen and know that money is going to help people in their communities.

Eloise-Walk-Sign-2Fifty-two Walks may seem crazy to you. For many of you, just one Walk – and those 39 miles – can seem daunting, and many people are afraid of the fundraising, too. But don’t let those two things keep you from registering. You can definitely conquer both, and we help you every step of the way. Plus it’s not a competition, so you can walk the distance that suits you best. No matter how far you walk, you’re helping to raise money and awareness.

Avon is the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause globally, and with our support, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has donated more than $815 million to the fight against this disease. Prior to joining the Foundation, I spent the majority of my career working in public relations. After going through my breast cancer journey, I decided I wanted to find a job I could feel really good about at the end of the day – where I could give back and make a difference. Well, I’ve definitely found that job. I was so lucky when I was diagnosed. I had great health insurance and access to incredible doctors, but so many people are not that lucky. That’s why it is so rewarding to be part of this organization, knowing that the funds we raise at the Avon Walks will help people have the same chance at survival that I did, regardless of their insurance or their ability to pay. We are helping turn more and more diagnoses into stories of survival, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

Marshall-Moneymaker-Eloisew

A number of my colleagues – who have been with the Avon Foundation even longer than I have – have also passed the 50-Walk milestone over the years. I hope you will consider joining us at an Avon Walk this year – we’ve got eight great Avon Walks on tap for 2014. Pick a city and register today! It is a life-changing weekend and one you won’t regret.

PS: Please help us spread the word about the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Don’t forget to watch and share our new video! Thank you.

More information: http://www.avonwalk.org or www.avonfoundation.org
Follow us: www.facebook.com/avonwalks and www.twitter.com/avonwalks

UK Avon Representative Fights Fires and Wrinkles

I am a firefighter, but I also sell Avon. I feel like I have the best of both worlds; it’s great to combine the elements of danger, in what is a predominately male environment, with a touch of glamour, thanks to my Avon business.

I started selling Avon in August 2012 and have never looked back. Something that was meant to be a quick and easy way to earn extra money for Christmas has turned into a passion and a successful business.

Donna and son with firetruck

The “Perfect Flexible Business”
I began by selling Avon to friends and family, dedicating a few hours a week to my business. Avon fit around my part-time job as a firefighter and my full-time role as a mother. It’s the perfect flexible business for my lifestyle and family commitments. The extra cash goes toward family treats and holidays and has provided my family with a comfortable lifestyle. Also, one of the best things to come out of this is all the new friends I’ve made.

Donna UniformThe Adrenaline Kick of Firefighting
For the past 12 years, I have been a part-time firefighter in Andover, Hampshire in the South of England. I had wanted to go into the firefighting profession since leaving school when I was 16 years old. People often ask me if I’m scared of what I do, and I always answer ‘‘no.” The adrenaline kicks in as soon as you hear the station siren, and you don’t have time to think about your feelings. The job is so unpredictable; one week I could be called to a house fire and another week I could be rescuing pilots from a helicopter crash.

As a firefighter, I have a tough schedule. On average, I attend two incidents a week, but I’m typically on call 83 hours a week – including nights. It’s hard work physically and, sometimes emotionally, but at the end of the day, I know that along with many other firefighters around the world, I am saving lives, which is such a rewarding feeling.

Strange as it may seem, there are lots of qualities I have as a firefighter that I think contribute to my business as an Avon Lady: determination, friendlessness and courage. Both roles also require you to be open- and strong-minded.

Donna with campaign brochureA Firehouse First
I was the first female to join the crew, although my station has since added three additional female firefighters. For such a serious job, the environment is quite relaxed. There’s always someone cracking a joke, and the team members gel really well.

I usually take my Avon brochures into the station in case someone wants to order. I’ve had a few male colleagues order products for their wives and girlfriends, and when needed I’ll advise them on what to get.

Donna with Avon productsA Family Business
My family is really supportive of my profession and my business. When I’m doing my door-to-door rounds, I like to take my son with me. It’s a good opportunity to spend some much-needed time together and get some fresh air. He enjoys giving out the brochures and seeing the friendly faces.

I have built up my business quickly and now manage 27 Representatives in my local area. The number of hours has increased, but I’m determined to make my business even more successful in the years to come. The new U.K. online Avon brochure is a great tool to have and very easy to use. I have gained new customers from it as well as kept my existing customers happy.

Life is really busy at the moment, but I’m enjoying the challenges that come with being a mother and running my own business. I’m really looking forward to what the future may bring.