by Terry Rogers
Hailee Gooch, Development Associate at the Cancer Support Community Delaware, says that the organization would not be as successful if it were not for the volunteers who help them throughout the year and that it is through their dedication that the organization can offer the services it does to those who have been diagnosed with cancer.
“Our services benefit those impacted by cancer and their loved ones by providing a sense of community and hope,” Gooch said. “We offer mental, physical and emotional stability during the difficult diagnosis. Our programs are designed to help promote a sense of hope, community, well-being and reassurance. We find that our participants enjoy these programs because it increases their sense of control, empowers them through knowledge and helps them continue to live with a sense of purpose.” In 2017, the organization served over 1,000 patients, caregivers and families while also providing over 13,000 visits throughout Delaware.
Cancer Support Community provides support groups, site specific monthly support groups, stress reduction programs that include yoga, T’ai Chi and mediation, as well as educational, nutrition and exercise programs. All programs are led by professionals and there is no charge to patients, family members or loved ones as they try to cope and manage the emotional aspects of cancer.
Recently, the organization held “The Pink Affair,” a luncheon hosted by the Rehoboth Beach Country Club, as a fundraiser. The event sold out in a record four hours and provided attendees with Chinese raffles, 50/50 drawings, boutique sales and a very unique fashion show with seven cancer survivors modeling clothing from the boutique. The boutique consisted of over 600 items of clothing that were available for sale with all proceeds going to the organization.
“One of the most rewarding experiences that I have had was with a woman who was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer” said Thomas Pemberton, a participant in the organization. “We were staged the same, she was inoperable, but she remained inoperable. Having learned of my faith level and how I was using my faith in my journey, I think some of that rubbed off. She became a very dear friend and she did pass away. She was not affiliated with any type of spiritual community, and I was asked, if given the opportunity, if I would conduct her funeral. That’s an honor and a privilege. You can find many blessings in this. It does not have to be a curse and I believe, that once again, that’s what the cancer support community has to offer to any who participate in their various programs. There is hope there for everyone.”
Gooch explained that volunteering for Cancer Support Community Delaware is a wonderful gift for people to give of their time and talent as well as a great community service activity for local businesses and student groups.
“We use volunteers for general office work, like filing, mailing, answering phones or organization,” Gooch said. “We need help with programs and events as far as set-up, clean-up, registration and auctions. Volunteers conduct our outreach including event exhibits as well as distributing flyers or calendars. We even need volunteers who enjoy gardening and building maintenance.”
The organization is statewide. Anyone interested in volunteering in New Castle County should call 302-995-2850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer in Kent County, call 302-734-0898 or email email@example.com and in Sussex County, call 302-645-9150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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