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Do you know someone living with cancer and wonder how you can help?
Past participants in support groups at Ann’s Place offer up these practical ideas to help you help others when the diagnosis is cancer.
People who are faced with life-altering and life-threatening diseases such as cancer do indeed need your help. You may hear that the parent of your child’s classmate is ill, or that someone in your office, club, church or synagogue has cancer. It may be a neighbor or someone you do not know well. You are not the primary caregiver, nor are you a close friend or family member, but still ….
Is there anything you can do to help?
YES! There is . . . but first consider:?
How much time do you have to volunteer?
- Do your current activities take all your time and energy?
- Might you provide a service on a regular basis or would you prefer a one-time or episodic commitment?
- Are you comfortable around sick people or would you prefer to help out with the kids or the pets?
- You can only help on an on-going basis if you enjoy (yes, ENJOY) what you are doing.
- No one person can help everyone in need.
- Sometimes the smallest gesture can be a lifesaver.
- Everything that lightens the burden of illness is a gift.
With those things in mind, here are some suggestions of ways YOU can help.
These ideas have been submitted by caregivers and by the cared-for.
Offer to shovel their snow.
Bring meals in a disposable container.
If their child is in an on-going activity, such as sports or scouts, and your child is in the same activity, offer to regularly drive their child.
Give them coupons, such as: “Good for 1 Trip to the Grocery Store,” or “Good For 1 Trip to Dunkin’ Donuts.”
Offer a one-time Spring or Fall yard clean-up.
Wash their windows.
If they have a relative or friend coming from out of town, offer to pick them up at the airport. E-Mail notes of encouragement to them.
Leave an encouraging note or card at their door, or send cards regularly.
Organize friends to send cards monthly.
Offer to be a messenger or spokesperson – to pass along updates to friends.
Offer to help write thank you notes.
Offer to do things which regularly would be the responsibility of the caregiver –- often they are stressed out and overwhelmed as well.
Check back here periodically for new ideas on how you can help. If you have ideas on how to help, send them to us so we can pass them along to others through this website. Your generosity will touch the lives of many.