In the early 1960’s, less than one in five Canadian children born with Cystic Fibrosis would live to see their third birthday. Members of new charity at the time, the Cystic Fibrosis Canada, were determined to change that. They recognized the enthusiasm and passion that university students possessed, and decided to capitalize on these qualities.

In 1964, Shinerama was born. At eight schools in Southern Ontario, student volunteers shined shoes to raise over $9,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research.

In the forty-eight years that have passed since then, Shinerama has grown to be a nationwide movement. At over sixty-five universities and colleges, spanning from coast to coast, over 35,000 student volunteers shine shoes annually to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

As the success of Shinerama has grown, so too has the quality of life for those suffering from CF. Today, the average lifespan of a patient suffering from Cystic Fibrosis is over forty years old, a far cry from the three-year-old mark that was a reality back in 1964. Nowadays, many people suffering from CF can grow up to attend university or college, get married, have a family, and realize their dreams. This is due to the medical advancements that have been made possible with fundraisers such as Shinerama.

There is still, however, no cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Although advances have been made in the treatment and management of the disease, CF remains fatal. But there is hope. Each dollar raised from Shinerama brings us closer to a cure.

2015 marks the thirtieth year that Shinerama will be held at the University of Manitoba.This year the University of Manitoba Shinerama Campaign is going to work towards a goal of $40,000. This will be done with a variety of fundraisers throughout the summer months, Shine Day, and a couple fundraisers following Shine Day.

This year, you can get involved on Shine Day, which is September 16th. Sign up to volunteer, and you can shine shoes either downtown, or on the U of M campus, to collect donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Foundation. Not only is it for a great cause, but it is also tons of fun!

It doesn’t matter what faculty you’re in, or if you’re in your 1st, 2nd, 3rd… even 5th or 6th year; Shine Day is always a blast! You get to hang out with friends and meet new and amazing people. At the end of the day, we’ll have a Shinerama After-Party for all our volunteers. This summer has been life-changing for us. We never thought we could make such an impact on other people’s lives. You can too; don’t miss out! It’s never too early or too late to become a Shinerama volunteer!