As part of our “Volunteer Appreciation” blog series, we will be publishing stories and testimonials about our amazing volunteers.
By: Phyllis Rose, Director of Volunteer services of Breast Cancer Resource Centers
Through our caring, compassionate, concerned AsSisters volunteers – who we affectionately call Angels – we are able to greatly expand the care provided to the women we support. I think the quotes below show that quite clearly! When coordinating an AsSisters volunteer for a client, I so often hear something like “as soon as I’m able, I want to pay it forward and provide this type of help for someone else going through this”. And that’s exactly what happens, as many of our volunteers are clients or someone close to them, who have been touched by the BCRC. I’m continually in awe of our amazing volunteers who give of themselves so completely, with such joy. I think it’s important for our clients to understand what a gift they are giving to our volunteers by allowing them to help. I am continually thanked by our AsSisters Angels for giving them the opportunity to “pay it forward” or “give back” in a way they feel is meaningful and important.
“Jamie came and helped set up my washer-dryer after I moved. That was such a huge blessing. He also emptied and carried out heavy large boxes. He made me feel so comfortable and cared for – what a gentleman!” BCRC Client
“Leigh and Ana helped me pack my household items so I could move to a more affordable apartment. It was the best and most cheerful help I could imagine!” BCRC Client
“I’m not very good at asking for help, but help was sent and not only did I get the assistance I needed, I made a friend too. Thanks Valerie” BCRC Client
“Charles has been so kind, thoughtful and sensitive to my needs. It put my mind at ease knowing I can get to and from my treatments without my husband having to take off from work each day. When Charles realized I could use help with food, he reminded me of the Food!Food! gift certificate program and was nice enough to pick the food up and bring it to me. I am so grateful for the help.” BCRC Client
“Lori has been such a friend, encouraging me to come to the luncheons, cheerfully taking me to my appointments, even running me to Walmart and buying my lunch. I couldn’t have done this without you all.” BCRC Client
“I am grateful to Debbie for taking such good care of me, driving me to Houston and back for my appointment and going out of her way to make sure I was alright.” BCRC Client
“The best thing I did was reach out to BCRC and request a volunteer from their AsSisters program. Rhonda has been a godsend……what compassion and sensitivity she has had for me. She understood that it was hard to let someone in to a house that had gotten out of control. She understood that decluttering the house was not just about the “stuff” but about the way the house made me feel. Rhonda has also been very sensitive to my energy levels and has been committed to getting the project done at my pace……but best of all, I’ve ended up with a new friend.” Cathy, BCRC Client, IV League
“…Lorraine was wonderful! Our client said she was able to sleep better than she had in a long time. She said it was great to talk with someone who is having similar experiences. She is looking forward to meeting with her again.” Elaine Gonzales, BCRC Patient Navigator
“Sheryl, I am at a loss for words. THANK YOU SO MUCH for responding so quickly and your willingness to help. I always knew our AsSisters were amazing but I wanted you to hear that again. I just got off the phone with our client. She is so grateful for your help!” Runi Limary, BCRC Patient Navigator
“Our volunteer provided a warm dinner, on a very cold night, to our client who otherwise would not have had anything to eat. I thank them from the bottom of my heart – they made it possible, they made a difference that day, and they brought her joy and warmth!” Jessica Jones, BCRC Patient Navigator
“The volunteers have made a huge difference in the lives of my clients. From drop in visits to organizing craft rooms, I see my client’s anxiety level go down and they are able to focus on getting on with life.” Dianna Petrick, BCRC Patient Navigator
Our AsSisters Angels have provided almost 450 hours of compassionate care in 2014 and 2015 to date. The BCRC is eternally grateful to the following individuals for their unparalleled contribution:
Rhonda Loeliger, Charles Milton, Lori Lacy, Debbie Moe, Sheryl Lowe, Jamie Dohrman, Leigh Zimmerman, Ana Badillo, Jeannette LaFontaine, Rene Brown, Dee Dee Lohmeier, Ronnie Palmer, Dorothy Lichenstein, Gayle Wismar, Felicia White, Marcus Millan, Darlene Huebner, Julie Adams, Suzie Harriman, Patty Prater, Deanna Cluck, Suzie LaPlant, Mary Alice Andrada, Lorraine Petko, Lisa Davis, Natasha Pruitt, Joanne Garrett, Lorraine Saunders, Valerie Schwarzwaelder, Alex Detman and UT’s HOPE Austin team.
If you or someone you know is facing breast cancer and could use our support, please visit our website or call our helpline at 512-524-2560.