Cancer: Let’s Stomp the Monster

Emily Jurcsek

How would you describe your "Choose To Matter" project?  
The Metuchen Annual Country Fair is a big event for central New Jersey. Stomp the Monster is a 501c3 charity for supporting families with cancer . I wrote to the Fair Committee, successfully secured a booth at the fair, then organized supplies, volunteers, and with the support of my neighbors and family, we were able to work the stand all day, raise money, and successfully spread the word!
Explain what “need” or problem your project is addressing? 
There are tons of Cancer Foundations out there; Stomp the Monster was the first one that I knew that doesn't spend their money directly on research and treatment. Instead, Stomp the Monster puts their efforts towards everyday activities and responsibilities that are often overlooked while a family is fighting cancer. We help contribute toward groceries, child day care, a dog walker, and many other small activities that add up to make a family who they are.
What positive change(s) happened as a result of your project? 
I was able to get people to think about the name and mission of Stomp the Monster. We raised over $350 for families who were fighting cancer. My project brought people together for a common cause; we all know someone that has been affected by cancer. It gave everyone pause when they learned about this charity’s focus; I hope that in that moment of reflection, they see the opportunity to continue to help those they know that are fighting for survival during this difficult time.
What type of creativity/innovation did you use to implement your project? 
My stand at the fair was unique as it was decorated by the visitors. The fair’s theme was Garden; for a $1 donation, guests colored flower and butterfly cutouts in honor of those that they know that are affected by cancer. We hung the cutouts all over our stand, creating a garden that was made by the new supporters of Stomp the Monster. To me, having all of the named decorations on our canopy was the best part of my day. No doubt - Stomp the Monster booth was by far the best decorated!
What did you learn from doing your project? 
I gained many new leadership skills and learned that a teenager to do almost anything! I was scared at first to reach out to the Metuchen Board, but they welcomed my idea for the fair. I saw how much work it was to organize an event; from volunteers, to setup, to cleanup, to materials. I also learned that a community can truly come together to support a common interest. I know that no one that was at the fair will forget the name Stomp the Monster - I accomplished my goal!

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