As summer draws to a close, many families and kids start looking ahead to back-to-school season—and our CancerCarefor Kids team does too! 2021 marks the sixth year of our Back-to-School Program, which provides brand-new backpacks full of school supplies to children and teens in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
In the second installment of our focus on Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast, Sarah and A.J. reflect on memorable episodes and what’s next for the show.
In June 2020, CancerCare launched its newest service: a free telephone case management program to help clients overcome barriers to care. This program was designed in direct response to the needs of people living with cancer. During such an overwhelming time, it’s easy to get “stuck” at certain points during the cancer experience, not knowing who to turn to for guidance. It has been especially useful for those managing with a cancer diagnosis while also coping with additional stress, safety concerns and other factors related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, 11 families met virtually for an all-remote version of our annual Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp. The camp, which is open to families with children and teens who have recently lost a loved one to cancer, is usually held at a rural setting in the Pocono Mountains where visitors can ride horses, roast s’mores and enjoy a change of scenery. Though our families were unable to be physically together this year, our dedicated staff and volunteers planned seven hours of programming over the course of the weekend for parents and children to connect, remember their loved ones and find support.
CancerCare was thrilled to host the 2021 National Gala virtually on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The event was the first fully virtual gala hosted by the organization, following last year’s successful online auction.
Carolyn Messner, DSW, OSW-C, FAPOS, FAOSW, LCSW-R, CancerCare’s Director of Education and Training, remembers the first CancerCare Connect Education Workshop as if it was yesterday. “It was a snowy day in March thirty years ago, and we held a telephone workshop on doctor-patient communication called, ‘Doctor, Can We Talk?’ About 30 people signed up, and it was an amazing experience,” she recalls. “I could feel it was the start of something special.”
Last month, CancerCare debuted a brand-new digital fundraising campaign called Do Something for CancerCare. In place of our traditional walk/run events, our Events team designed a do-it-yourself campaign that made it possible for anyone to join in and support us—including friends of CancerCarelocated across the country!
CancerCare’s Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp is an annual highlight for our clients, their families and our staff. As the spring progressed, it became clear that gathering at Memorytown USA in Mount Pocono, PA, would not be possible due to the risk of COVID-19. Undeterred, we kept in touch with our campers over the summer and held a virtual activity earlier this month to help them connect with other families and honor their loved ones.