Today’s busy lifestyles can make it hard to find time to volunteer, however, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family and your community. The right match can help you make an impact int he community, learn new skills and even advance your career. As an American Cancer Society volunteer, you also can honor a survivor or a loved one lost to cancer while joining the fight to end the disease.
The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery® program offers flexible scheduling and a chance to give back while literally helping to save lives.
An estimated 172,090 California residents will learn they have cancer this year and getting to their scheduled treatment will be their greatest concern. To helppatients get to the critical care they need without additional stress, the American Cancer Society Road To Recovery program can help providefree transportation to and from treatment for people who have cancer and who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
“One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need between 20 to 30 trips to treatment over the course of six weeks,” said Elizabeth Turney,Program Manager, Mission Delivery for the American Cancer Society. “A patient receiving chemotherapy may need weekly treatment for up to a year.”
Many cancer patients don’t own a vehicle, can’t afford the extra gasoline, or don’t have access to public transportation. Some patients may be elderly and unable to drive, too ill to drive, or have no family members or friends who are able to provide regular assistance with transportation.
“Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be a valuable experience,” said Elizabeth Turney “In fact, just three or four hours per week can be highly beneficial to both you and your chosen cause. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should be a fun and rewarding experience, not another chore on your to-do list.”
The Road To Recovery program provides transportation options for patients in dire situations and currently is in need of volunteer drivers in Contra Costa County. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars so patients can receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Drivers also provide encouragement and support.
To volunteer, you must have a valid driver’s license, a safe and reliable vehicle, and proof of automobile insurance. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older andhave a good driving history. They arrange their own schedules and can commit as many or as few hours as their schedule allows. The American Cancer Society provides free training to drivers and conducts criminal background and driving recordchecks.
Volunteer coordinators also are needed to schedule the requested rides. Coordinators can work from any location that is convenient for them. Great organization and communication skills can make a major impact on the well-being of cancer patients in the community.
“While learning new skills may be soughtby many, it’s not a requirement for a fulfilling volunteer experience,” said Elizabeth Turney “The most valuable skills you can bring to any volunteer effort are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to do whatever is needed, and a positive attitude.Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. It also strengthens your ties to the community, exposes you to people with common interests, and provides a sense of purpose.”
To learn more about the benefits of volunteering and how to become a Road To Recovery volunteer, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress,14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.