Relay for Life has been a part of Second Life for the past, 9 years, and has done a lot to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. The History of how Relay For Life became a part of Second Life is truly an inspiring story, and the Torch SL Guide was able to hear it at Relay For Life 2012 Kick-Off Celebration.
In 2004, a resident by the name of Jade Lilly realised that Second Life had the potential to do good through fund-raising. After holding a party which raised 5000 Lindens (L$), she contacted the American Cancer Society and pitched the idea of using online fundraising. At first ACS shrugged at the idea but Jade was able to convince them to give it a try and once they did it grew rapidly. ACS worked with RFL SL and monitored the events and quickly realised that the sky was the limit.
Second Life Resident MamaP Beerbaum is a chair person for RFL and plan the relays along with other committee members.
"Every Relayer has a story, my story is that my father had cancer, my mother and I were his caretakers. I came into SL with some friends" Said MamaP "one of which worked with Canadian Cancer Society. Through Relay For Life I was able to Relay, raise money and spend time with my father, if i were to relay in real life that would take time away from him and I didn’t want that, so relaying in Second Life really helped."
At the Kick Off, we heard the story of a couple who met in Second Life, and it touched our hearts. Pippa Rexen has been a prominent member of RFL, she met her husband in Second Life, but unfortunately he discovered he had cancer. Pippa became his care giver and stood beside him through thick and thin. Unfortunately he is no longer here but their inspirational story lives on.
"I am amazed by how many people have joined RFL and how much money they have raised for our cause." MamaP continued, "Every year more and more people become relayers and raise amazing amounts of money, up to date the grand total is about 2.5 million US dollars, last year’s total was 320,000. We are still going strong even though we are in hard economical times."
Raising money in Second Life is very different from that of real life, while 100 Lindens (L$) might look like a lot of money it really isn’t, "A key to this is the fact that RFL isn’t raising large amounts at once," Comments the Chair Person Of Relay For Life, "it’s nickels and dimes tossed into our kiosks. Most people have a few lindens to toss into a kiosk, while in real life that amount is very small, in the end it all adds up to a big amount "
Whether you are 300 days old or one day old you can still get involved with RFL. " Newcomers are always encouraged to join a Relay For Life time, they can choice to do as much or as little as they want. There are a lot of different teams, so find one that is close to your interests, whether it is music, art, gorean roleplay or time travel. On the website you can find information on all of the teams and if you find one that is interesting you can get in touch with their captains."
Donating to an organisation online will always raise suspension, unfortunately it is no different in Second Life. Relay For Life tries their best avoid scammers who say they fund raise for them.
MamaP comments on this topic: " Heading into the 8th year, the fundraising fidelity have always been in the centre. They have never changed the kiosks because they want the ones that put money into them to instantly recognize them." There are many limitation in Second Life, the kiosks of RFL try to work within these limits. When money is placed into a kiosk it is paid to the person that rezzes ( or loads) it in world, it is then taken from the person’s account and diverted straight to RFL automatically and as soon as it is paid into the kiosk. If you are unsure about Relay For Kiosk, simply click it and select verify, it will tell you if it is legit.
"The American Cancer Society are working hard and close with Linden Labs to prevent fraudulent items with the RFL and ACS logos and we recommend that our relayers NOT use the Marketplace and similar places to fundraise. If you come across a team that you would like to donate to make sure you ONLY pay official verified RFL kiosk and vendors. "
If you are not sure about a team you’ve come across, you can always check the official website http://www.relayforlife.org/secondlife and click the Our Teams tabs to get a list of all the teams in this year’s Relay For Life.
Pictures by: Isthars Kiss from the SL RFL Album