I first learned about Cancer Lifeline through Volunteer Match. I felt that my training as a counselor, coupled with my past experience as a hospice worker, would serve me well as a Cancer Lifeline volunteer. Of the four members of my immediate family, I am the only one not to have received a cancer diagnosis in my lifetime. I was therefore intimately aware of the toll cancer takes on both
body and mind.
One doesn’t need a counseling background, however, to be a good fit for this work; empathy is at the heart of it all. I found the Lifeline training to be hugely instructive and inspiring as it teaches all the necessary skills you need to be successful.
To me, the most amazing thing about Cancer Lifeline is the culture of caring and mutual respect that prevails throughout the organization. I see this in the way that staff members interact with one another, with volunteers, clients, colleagues, and everyone in their orbit. I have felt embraced by CLL from the moment I first walked through their door.
I am thrilled to be able to offer people something so special. The person who calls about financial assistance and then discovers that we offer an empathetic ear, support groups, nutritional guidance, expressive arts…a light goes on for them. It’s amazing! In addition to answering the phone, I also prepare the mailing of the monthly financial-assistance checks. It may sound silly, but the act of putting a check in an envelope and, later, dropping that envelope in the mailbox, makes our help feel all the more immediate and tangible. I love that.