On 15 October, with an early start of 5.00am, 52 Carey students, teachers and parents came to participate in the annual James Macready-Bryan Foundation (JMB) drink station for the Nike Melbourne Marathon. This was a successful day with over $30,000 being raised for JMB. The volunteers directly helped JMB because every person at the drink station meant that the Melbourne Marathon donated money to the organisation. This filled our fellow volunteers with an extreme sense of pride and purpose. Not only were we helping the runners at the last 2km of the race, but we were also assisting the JMB Foundation with the great work they do in supporting young people with an acquired brain injury.
Volunteers ranged from Year 11 VCE and IB students, as well as Year 10s and Middle School students. This was a great opportunity for us to collaborate with people who we wouldn’t normally work with across multiple year levels. This experience helped strengthen collaboration skills and resulted in many new connections being formed.
The volunteers were split into a few groups, including the people handing out the drinks and the people refilling the tables. Those handing out drinks had to make sure they handed out the water cleanly and provided encouragement to the runners. With over 14,000 people coming through the station, it was quickly realised that the drinks we had preprepared in the morning needed topping up, thus the group to refill the tables was born. These people had to fill cups and replace the cups being taken. This was very challenging as it was so busy. At the end of the day we finished the event with just enough water left for the last competitors.
The experience was both fun and exciting, with only a split second to hand over the drinks to the participants. It gave us a great satisfaction that a small gesture like this had such positive consequences for the runners. All participants were profoundly grateful for the encouragement and support that the JMB water station volunteers offered. In the end, we realised that volunteering at the marathon was more than spending time with friends, rather it made us feel a part of something bigger and worthwhile. We witnessed Melbourne’s overwhelming sense of community and spirit which has empowered us to try and do more community service, and we are sure many others will want to volunteer for future years.
Thank you to all that participated, as this helped continue the legacy of Carey’s prolonged support for the JMB Foundation.
Audrey and Marcus
Year 11 students