PT Day of Service has come and gone. The day, for so many of us, provided the extra “push” we needed to get up off our couch and pledge to make a difference in the lives of others. Its purpose to unite the Physical Therapy profession in a global effort to better our communities!
And wow, CORA. Everyone delivered. Your impact was far-reaching across ALL regions. For that, we say thank you.
For Becky West, CORA Kids Regional Pediatrics Manager – Georgia, PT Day of Service represented much more. It was an opportunity to give back to AMBUCS, an organization that has been serving Savannah, GA since 1941 and one that was important not only to Becky’s Father but also to Kevin Sheehan, a dear friend of Becky’s and current National President of AMBUCS.
Founded in 1941, AMBUCS remains incredibly active in the Savannah community supporting programs for people with different abilities. Coincidentally the organization hosted their 7th Annual Bowlapalooza event on October 13, 2018 – this year’s PT Day of Service. As she so often does, Becky viewed Bowlapalooza as an opportunity to rise to the occasion to help others and raise support and awareness for those with special needs on a day recognized globally by participants spanning more than 55 countries.
“Making a difference in the lives of others is what it’s all about,” said Becky. “Volunteering and being involved with organizations who serve and support others, is near and dear to my heart.”
Each year the event features “Celebrity Bowlers” tasked to find sponsors and help raise funds for AMBUCS. Money raised from the event goes directly towards supporting area programs for people with different abilities. Perhaps, most importantly, the event annually brings much needed awareness to local philanthropy.
Her Fundraising Goal
As a Celebrity Bowler, Becky’s goal was to raise $3,500 for AMBUCS. With the support of CORA and so many generous people, Becky far exceeded even her wildest expectations raising over $6,500 — nearly doubling her initial goal.
But even she knows that her efforts were made possible by what she considers a special support system, acknowledging “the support I received from the community was overwhelming! I am passionate about helping children and adults with special needs, and I am grateful for my generous friends and family who support me in my missions.”
When all was said and done, Bowlapalooza raised more than $120,000. Proceeds from the event go directly towards providing Amtrykes (specially adapted 3 wheel bikes for children, veterans, and adults in need) as well as scholarships for Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy students from the Savannah area. The money will also help fund The Savannah AMBUCS Bowling League for Adults with Different Abilities, according to the site’s official press release.
Hearing of Becky’s impact with AMBUCS motivated us to learn more about what drives her undeniable passion and commitment to serving those around her. And it afforded us the chance to truly understand what it means to selflessly serve others, something she and her husband have grown accustomed to while raising six beautiful and healthy children – three of their own and three in which they fostered due to their family situations.
And she’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t always easy; oftentimes it was “hectic trying to get to different ball fields all at the same time or forgetting to pick up one child from basketball practice while trying to get to another one’s game!”
She attributes that maternal instinct and chaotic nature of running her six children around town to fulfill their responsibilities as students, teammates and friends as what motivates her efforts today. In fact, it’s in those moments amidst of all the craziness where she feels the most blessed.
“When I am so busy running in all directions, I have to take a breath and be thankful for these situations,” she said unequivocally. “So when I am involved with families with special needs, they help to ground me and hit my “reset button”.
It’s this incredible perspective that guides her every day.
“These families would give anything if their child could play on a team of any sort or even walk. So many will never have the chance to shop for their prom dress or watch their child graduate from High School. Things I am so blessed to know as normal, are only dreams to others.”
We can all make a difference…sometimes just with a smile!
She even had some parting advice for those wanting to lend a helping hand but unsure where to start.
“There are so many needs in our communities, and we all have our own talents and skills. Someone may not feel comfortable serving meals to the homeless, but they may be willing to cook a meal for someone else to serve. Someone may not be able to run in a race to support Cancer Research, but they may feel comfortable holding the hand of someone in hospice.”
When asked for words of wisdom to leave with those who follow in her footsteps, she replied:
“We should strive to do all the good we can,
For all the people we can,
As long as we ever can.
I know the day will come when I have to slow down and may need others to do for me. But I don’t want to have any regrets about not doing all that I could while I could!”
May her impact be a lesson for us all – a lesson of compassion and selflessness that enriches our lives and uplifts those around us.
Thank you, Becky! Feeling inspired? You can join her in February for her next charitable endeavor benefitting Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Angels Charity!