A Note From SHARE’S Breast Cancer Program Director

Over the holidays I had the pleasure of administering the breast cancer helpline, interacting directly with volunteers and taking calls.  I was reminded of the AMAZING service our volunteers provide to women affected by breast and ovarian cancer and their friends and families.  I was also reminded of how some of these calls can stay with you, bringing up a range of emotions from elation to anger to sadness and grief.  As it was the holiday period and I wasn't in the office, I had no one to process these emotions with.  I was left worrying about the young woman with a 16 month old child and her stepmother who was the initial caller.  I hoped the information I provided was accurate and the support, enough for them to get through it for now. 

It is with this experience in mind and our commitment to our volunteers that "Support the Supporter" becomes a needed and relevant program.  Our social work intern Gay Doherty and long time Helpline volunteer and group facilitator Kathy Hynes-Kadish have devoted long hours into the development of Support the Supporter.  The goal is to be able to provide information, support and recognition for the incredible service provided by our volunteers.  These sessions will focus on the topics you expressed you needed help with, will bring in speakers to educate us on a variety of subjects and will provide opportunities for you to get to know one another and get the support YOU need to continue to do what you do.  It will be social, you might learn something and if nothing else, you might have a decent snack.

Support the Supporter will be offered 6 X a year or every other month.  My hope, dream and desire is that each Helpline volunteer and group facilitator attend at least 2 sessions each year. I will harass you more about that some other time...   In addition to Support the Supporter, the Helpline Training and Group Facilitator Training are getting a makeover.  All of these improvements are being put in place with one goal in mind.  To help SHARE volunteers continue to provide knowledgeable, sensitive support and information to anyone needing our help. 

Again, I thank you for all you do.  I hope you know you make a difference each time you pick up the phone or sit around a table with others needing your help.