Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Refreshing Evening...

It's National Volunteer Week and since the majority of my job is working with volunteers, they've been on my mind a lot today!  Hands down, throughout my thirteen years with the American Cancer Society, the favorite part of any job I've had here, has involved volunteers.  It's an honor and a privilege to work with such passionate and dedicated people.

I'm blessed to have wonderful volunteers.  Without them, I could not achieve anything.  It always amazes me how much they do for ACS.  Life is busier than ever these days, it seems, and so when someone is willing to freely give of their time, it impresses and inspires me.

Last night I had the joy of spending the evening with a few of my "pink lady" volunteers.  I call them that because they are normally wearing pink, in some form or fashion, and because they all just exhibit that color.  They emit joy, passion, courage, and hope.  They are volunteers for a program known as Reach to Recovery.

This program, through the American Cancer Society, provides one on one support for women facing breast cancer.  Volunteers are trained by ACS to help a newly diagnosed woman by offering information and help.  More than anything, they offer their stories and are visible proof of survivorship.  Many women who are recently diagnosed are filled with questions, fears and concerns.  Seeing a positive, vibrant, healthy survivor and hearing how they overcame the battle is a huge comfort.

Our meeting last night was for the purpose of a training, something we call a "refresher" meant to update them on changes in cancer, news about ACS, and giving them a chance to discuss concerns or questions about recent visits.  What I often find interesting though is how they end up refreshing me.  Hearing their stories again of how they survived, the difficult journey they may have faced, and their amazingly positive attitude now, always rejuvenates and lifts me up. 

I consider myself very blessed to work with and along side these beautiful volunteers.  What I love most about them is that they each chose to make the most of the situation they were given.  Through it all they not only remain positive but they choose to help others.  They choose to make a difference.  They choose joy.  And surrounding myself with those special women is always a boost to my soul.

1 comments:

debi said...

This is Beautiful! Thank you for all you do for us ! As a Survivor I know the Journey a person has to take to get well and stay well...You have said it all..We are here for each other, that is our Purpose here on earth,,,God Chose us to go out and help one another, in some way or another each person we help is Blessed, And the Blessing God pours down on us the *chosen* are blessed daily. Each visit, each phone call, each journey, is God map for us to follow to help and comfort his people that are ill, This is our Journey: this is our Walk: this is our Purpose.....Thank you..from a Survivor and a "pink lady",,Debi Michael

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