Passion – it’s one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a volunteer job.

When you are passionate about a cause, you’re more motivated to make a difference. I’ve seen firsthand how passion can motivate volunteers. One year ago, I lost a close friend to malignant melanoma. Before her death, Cathy and I had agreed to serve as co-captains for a team running in the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Cancer” 5K event.

So two months after her death, 75 of Cathy’s friends and family gathered at White Rock Lake to run the 5K in her name. In our matching baseball caps, Team Cathy raised more than $15,000 – more than any other team. This year, we hope to continue the tradition and help raise the funds that will someday lead to a cure for cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1,220,100 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed this year. More than 1,500 people a day die from this disease. In all likelihood, you know someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. If this is a cause you’re ready to support, then join Team Cathy for the ninth annual “Making Strides Against Cancer” 5K June 3 at White Rock Lake.

The American Cancer Society is seeking hundreds of volunteers to make this event a success. Volunteers are needed immediately to serve on the planning committee, and more volunteers are needed to help on the day of the event. You also can recruit a team to participate. It’s a non-competitive run, and every team member who raises at least $50 in donations receives a free T-shirt.

For information, call Chris Stanton at 214-819-1207. For other volunteer opportunities, call the Volunteer Center at 214-826-6767.