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PRIDE, REMEMBERANCE AND THE ART OF GIVING BACK
One of the first people you meet at the Community Cancer Center will likely be a volunteer. Our volunteers fill so many vital roles at the Community Cancer Center and our events, but the most important thing they provide is the friendly welcome, the helping hand or even a patiently listening ear to our patients and others when they visit our center. Many of our volunteers are survivors or family and friends of survivors. For those who have been patients here, walking through that door again can be a big thing. But wanting to return and give something back is truly incredible.
MY ROLE AS VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Volunteer Coordinator is part of my title, but many of our volunteers have been here long before I came into this role. My job includes recruiting volunteers, managing schedules and helping to answer questions in addition to overall management and support. I help cover volunteer spots when there is a need and take care of background tasks like ordering volunteer coffee and supplies.
The Community Cancer Center has 72 volunteers, 52 of whom are greeters. Many of our patients need assistance, so our volunteers help transport them back to the doctors. Volunteer support also includes such tasks as refilling coffee, bringing snacks back to the infusion area every hour and providing overall support to patients and staff. Our volunteers range from college students up through retirees who are looking for meaningful ways to spend their time. A typical volunteer shift would last 4-4.5 hours in either the morning or afternoon. Since greeter shifts are from 7:30 a.m. to noon and noon to 4:15 p.m., a flexible schedule is helpful for these roles. We’re excited to announce that we are working to develop a junior volunteer program for high school students as well! These positions will have more limited hours, more supervision and specific tasks. Volunteering at the center will give interested students an inside view of what it’s like to work in a medical environment.
A RANGE OF VOLUNTEER ROLES FOR MANY TALENTS
We have a variety of volunteer roles here for people with different interests, skills and talents. While most of our volunteers fill the Greeter role, many of our volunteers work behind the scenes to help our center work efficiently. For example, we have volunteers who help with the linens, ensuring that the linens coming in from Advocate Health Care are washed, folded and put in exam rooms and back storage areas so that our clinical staff has all that they need on hand. Other volunteers have chosen to help with clerical work or on event committees, so there are opportunities for all different interests. We have a fantastic group of volunteers who dedicate their time to the gardens and grounds of the Community Cancer Center. This group of dedicated gardeners keeps our Butterfly Garden and our Healing Garden looking their best, select all our flowers and help with seasonal gardening and garden planning. If you’ve had the opportunity to visit our grounds and enjoy the gardens, be sure to thank our volunteers! It's not always evident how much we rely on the volunteers, but they are such an important piece in making sure everything runs the way it should.
A PASSION FOR CARING
As a center volunteer, you can make a positive impact on each person walking through our doors whether it’s through helping transport patients to their appointments, guiding visitors to the appropriate staff with questions or by providing a smiling face and a caring ear to listen to those who need it. I love getting to work with the volunteers because they are passionate about what they do. They care about this place and the patients and it shows. It's inspiring that they want to give back. Many of them are survivors or have had someone they care about who has had cancer. I think about how it must have been to have endured what they went through. They see that the doctors and the cancer centers have given them so much that they want to have a way to give back.
CATCH US AT OUR BEST
If you’d like to thank a volunteer, be sure to fill out a Catch Us at Our Best Card while you’re here. It’s an opportunity for people to express appreciation for services big and small. Our volunteers get a lot of those cards because of the open and friendly attitude they set for the entire facility.
A MESSAGE FROM THE HEART
I want to let all of our volunteers know just how much we appreciate you and all that you provide to us. You provide so many things that most people don’t realize comes from you. We see you. We hear you. What you contribute to make the Community Cancer Center special is irreplaceable.
Care to volunteer? Would you like to contribute to the Community Cancer Center as a greeter? Do you have a particular talent or skill set to share? Reach out to a volunteer at the front desk and ask to speak with the Volunteer Coordinator. We have so many different opportunities and can work with you if you truly are dedicated to investing in giving back to the center and its patients.