Tag: Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana

Volunteer Profile: Artist Turned Volunteer- Arlene Dennis

by Michele DeVinney

Picking up creative hobbies is one of life’s pleasures once your kids have grown and one has a little extra time to enjoy the artistic process. While this has proven true for Arlene Davis, a woman who enjoys everything from making quilts for her grandchildren to working on her embroidery machine, that urge has taken an unexpected turn. In recent years, she’s found a way to use her talents to contribute to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana along the way.

When a friend of hers was diagnosed with cancer and benefited from the organization, Arlene learned of a need for someone who made cards. She had already been making greeting cards for all occasions by stamping, but the stamps, many of which included quotes and sayings, weren’t exactly what Cancer Services were looking for. Arlene first looked to a program held at a downtown church, finding the woman who was teaching it was painting the cards – something Arlene immediately knew she would not be able to do.

“She was painting pictures of flowers – and they looked like flowers. I knew there was no way I could paint a picture. This woman who was demonstrating was fabulous so I almost decided there and then to give up the whole idea.”

But before she could give up entirely, she was given a couple scraps of paper and told to go home and make something. Given that challenge, the world quickly opened up to her and with the help of some paper and ribbon, Arlene was soon producing the beautiful cards found at Cancer Services. She has proven prolific, as well, generating 100-200 at a time and more than a couple thousand so far.

“I don’t keep track of them, I just make them. It’s a good tension reliever, and I enjoy sitting down and doing it during the evenings or during the day. I sometimes do it with a CD on or the TV on – or with nothing on at all. When I see Linda and she gives me the empty cards, I usually say ‘Is that all you got?’ But then I get to go to Michael’s for paper.”

With her friend now in remission, Arlene is nonchalant about her contributions to Cancer Services, simply saying “I enjoy my end of it.” But Cancer Services is grateful for the hours of time Arlene has contributed – and the joy those cards have brought to so many.

Invisible Ink… a new kind of grief therapy

by Gail Hamm, program director

Invisible Ink….a catchy and intriguing name. What a name for a bereavement group! Having already completed more than half the lessons, I can say joining this course has been a wonderful experience. It is not for the faint of heart, however. I’ve been working hard on my grief. I write to my daughter. I dig deep to unearth my feelings and put them on paper. My head and heart seek to find meaning in my experience.

Each session starts with a meditation/guided imagery. A topic is introduced and I write in the privacy of my space. If I want to share what I have written, then I do so. Otherwise, what is written remains in my notebook for only me to see. No more than 9 people are ever in the group. This keeps it small and intimate; I feel safe.

Even though I have expressed that the work at times is difficult (who likes to swim around in pain-filled feelings?), I would not want that to dissuade anyone from joining this course. You need to know ahead of time that this is for those who are ready to move on through their grief. The healthiest way to grieve is to acknowledge the loss, feel the feelings, and move through the feelings so you don’t get stuck or stay stuck. Writing is a great way to pull out feelings and give them up or give them over. We don’t forget our loved one. We transform the relationship through the catharsis of writing.

Writing helps both start, and, at times, finish conversations. Writing can help us see what has been hidden because our grief. Writing may help us find a depth to the relationship, which we were not previously aware of. I am finding that since I started my work in Invisible Ink, I am different. I am not sure I have words to explain that difference. I only know that it is so.

Join Kathy Curtis as she starts the next 9 week series of Invisible Ink on March 15, at 6:30PM. You will not regret the experience. Please call your reservation to 260-484-9560. I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Volunteer Spotlight: Cancer Services Nominates Dave Fee for Carl D. Rolfsen Stewardship Award

Yvonne and Dave Fee

By Kristin Newbauer

Each year, the Foellinger Foundation asks for nominees from the non-profit community for its Carl D. Rolfsen Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding board members. In order to qualify for the Award, one must demonstrate at least three of the “Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards,” such as protecting assets and providing financial oversight, ensuring adequate financial resources, and ensuring effective planning.

In 2011, we nominated board member Dave Fee because of his strong leadership, active support, and service as a dedicated volunteer. Dave is a bridge builder, whether it means serving on the Executive Committee, Friends Committee, Finance Committee or on the Board, he is a critical and pragmatic thinker who expresses his opinions with a mission focus and in a manner that encourage others to be just as engaged. He serves as a standard for all board members. As a member of the Friends Committee, Dave actively invites friends and acquaintances alike to visit Cancer Services and learn about our mission and programs, while his broad skills support giving initiatives with individuals and foundations.

Dave is infectious and has a legacy effect on those members who have been privileged to serve along his side. In his leadership of finance, fund development and strategic planning, he has performed the fiduciary and governance responsibilities incumbent to an exemplary board member. His unyielding focus on the mission, dedicated service as a community ambassador, and financial oversight leadership, have produced sustained and healthy growth for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. His leadership has been utilized in the development of an expanded plan to include individual and corporate giving in the surrounding counties and the creation of a strategic plan with measurable targets for the next 5 years.

We could not do what we do without dedicated volunteers like Dave, and it is our great pleasure to honor him with this nomination. Thank you, Dave!

Calling all quilters… and crafters… and supporters!

We are creating a quilt and we need your help! For our annual auction, which will take place on February 25, 2012, we will auction off a quilt made from squares designed by cancer survivors and volunteers.

Want to be a part of it?

You can pick up your square from Cancer Services and let your imagination take it from there. The slideshow features squares that have already been turned in.

You may use any type of permanent media like markers, crayons, stitching, etc. You can even embellish the square with 3-D materials like beads and ribbons. Just remember that all material must be washable.

Your square must be returned to us no later than January 23 to ensure that the quilt can be assembled in time for our event.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Linda Bewley atlbewley@cancer-services.org or (260) 484-9560. Or simply stop in and pick up a square.

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast Recap

On Friday, we hosted our annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. We say it over and over again, but we could not help as many families as we do without our dedicated volunteers. Each year, our volunteer coordinator, Cheryl, throw a big party for all of our volunteers- this year, over 200 attended and enjoyed an entertaining “name that ice cream flavor” game and the sounds of Christmas Bells.

Here are a few stats about our volunteers:

Our transportation volunteers provided 476 trips for our clients, driving them to and from treatments centers.

Our volunteer receptionist come in each week, greeting our clients with a warm smile, answering phones and keeping things running smoothly. Collectively, they gave 645 hours to us this year.

Our health fair volunteers represented us at 37 events this year, offering information and material about our programs and services.

Our office helpers, wig salon stylist, card makers, ribbon makers, chef and handyman are perfect examples of the variety of skills and talents that help further our mission. Our volunteer coordinator, Cheryl, was able to calculate the hours donated for many of the other categories of volunteers, but this one was a toughy. So we put our heads together and gave it our best shot, and we came up with about 1200 hours.

Our volunteer massage therapist provided 298 relaxation massages to our clients and primary caregivers.

Our special events volunteers donated more than 1200 hours in planning, implementing, and assisting with our events.

Our sewing group volunteers make bed pads for our clients and donated 5,411 hours washing, ironing, cutting, pinning, and sewing 6,072 bed pads for us.

Our mailing volunteers folded, tabbed, stuffed, and prepared 104,007 pieces of mail this year, which included newsletters, appeals, client calendars, and inspirational letters to our clients.

All together volunteers have donated 12, 020 hours this past year.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

12 Bands Before Christmas

The 12 Bands Before Christmas Festival has selected us as a beneficiary. The event is December 17 from noon to 3 p.m. at Sunset Hall, 6809 S. Hanna, Fort Wayne.

Local and acoustic bands will perform for an all-ages audience, while face painting, water tattoos and body drawing is also included in this event. Children ten and under are admitted free and will have the opportunity to meet with Santa and receive a small gift.

Everyone who attends is invited to help local families by donating canned goods for a local food pantry and warm coats for the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.

Proceeds from the 50/50 drawing and silent auction will be split among the charities the event has chosen to support. The holiday festival will offer a cash bar, luncheonette and gift shop with the participating band’s merchandise available for purchase.

This year’s event, as well as past, have been dedicated to our armed forces here and abroad with the Disabled American Veterans being the main charity. Discounted tickets will be available for members of the armed forces with their military I.D.

The 12 Bands Before Christmas Festival is sponsored in part by Big Mama Promotions, Dimension 4 Media and F.O.C.U.S Productions. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased at Phantom Fireworks on Lima Road, Wooden Nickel on Clinton or Jam Crib on North Anthony Blvd; costs are $8 for pre-sell and $10 at the door.

Big Thanks to Guardian in Ligonier for Their Pink-Out Fundraiser

Corrie Henschon from Guardian Industries, in Ligonier, organized a company ‘Pink-Out’ to help spread breast cancer awareness as well as raise funds for Cancer Services. We would like to send our thanks to Corrie Henschon and Dawn Alcala, along with all Guardian employees who helped make this donation possible.

Corrie and Dawn visited our offices for a tour and to present a check of $430 to Linda Bewley, Outreach Coordinator.

Corrie chose our organization as the recipient for their fundraising efforts when she personally experienced the difference Cancer Services made in her friend’s life after being diagnosed with cancer.

Oncology Massage Training Opportunity with Nationally Renowned Trainer

In 2010, we hosted nationally renowned oncology massage trainer, Tracy Walton, MS, LMT, for a three-day intensive training session with twenty-three local massage therapist. As part of that training, each therapist agreed to provide volunteer time to our organization to help us launch our oncology massage program, Caring Touch. Beginning in July 2010, 30-minute massage appointments became available to clients and caregivers. The program has been so well received that we are bringing Tracy back in 2012 to train more massage therapists.

March 5 through 8, 2012, we will host an intensive massage training: Caring for Clients with Cancer: Simple Steps to Safe, Effective Massage Therapy. Participants will earn 32 hours of NCBTMB-approved instruction, as well as the benefits of oncology massage for cancer patients, which include reduced pain, anxiety, nausea, depression and fatigue.

Certified massage therapists interested in learning more about oncology massage are encouraged to register. The cost to attend is $200 and all participants must be willing to provide 16 hours of volunteer service to our Caring Touch massage program. Applicants must have completed a recognized professional training program in massage therapy and be certified by the state of Indiana. Registration is limited to 24 and there are only a few spots remaining.

We are also looking for clients to assist with the training sessions by being willing to receive massages from students the last day of training. If interested, contact Cheryl Dafforn at (260) 484-9560 or cdafforn@cancer-services.org.

Knights of Columbus Host Fundraising Dinner for Cancer Services

The Knights of Columbus held a free will offering spaghetti dinner on October 26 at the K of C Hall, with Cancer Services as the chosen recipient for the donations. We would like to send our thanks to Robert Hinga, Grand Knight of Council 451, for selecting our organization as the beneficiary for the month of October.

Linda Bewley, Outreach Coordinator, was invited to attend the dinner to share the our story with other individuals who were in attendance and to accept the donations.

The K of C is a non-profit catholic men’s organization that cherishes charity work as one of its key principles. They host a fundraising dinner for a different charity each month.

Debra Brown Does it Again- Wig Drive for Cancer Clients

We would like to send our thanks to Debra Brown, from the Fort Wayne Urban League, for coordinating a wig drive to collect wigs for African Americans. Debra, with the help of many others, collected 60 wigs along with donations amounting to the purchase of 20 new wigs.

Just as women with breast cancer begin to lose their hair and possibly even their hope, Debra is there to step in and provide women with a good hair day and some self-confidence because of her initiative in collecting wigs for Cancer Services.

By donating a wig, you will aid in providing women who may not financially have the resources to obtain one free of charge. Wig donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in donating or would like more information, contact Debra Brown of the Fort Wayne Urban League at (260) 745-3100 ext. 45 or call Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana at (260)484-9560.