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6 min read

5 Ways to Volunteer in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

5 Ways to Volunteer in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

In the United States, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. That’s an estimated 266,120 new cases of breast cancer in women in 2018 alone, along with the 2,550 new cases diagnosed in men.

But breast cancer affects far more than just those who develop it. Friends and family are touched as well, and often fight alongside their loved ones.

This October, we gear up to support the breast cancer survivors and warriors in our lives during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But don’t forget that just as breast cancer patients fight the good fight every day, there are opportunities to volunteer and support them all year round.

Lend a Helping Hand

If you have the time to do some hands-on volunteering, it can be the most rewarding and satisfying way to help in the fight against breast cancer.

If you’re a breast cancer survivor, the American Cancer Society has a great program called Reach to Recovery that gives you an opportunity to help newly-diagnosed patients by providing support, information, and resources that will help relieve some of their stress and anxiety.

Reach to Recovery volunteers are also trained to provide patients and loved ones with emotional support during their fight, and are an example and reminder of real-life recovery

Not a breast cancer survivor but still want to be involved in hands-on volunteering? The American Cancer Society has a way for you to help, too.

Road to Recovery matches volunteer drivers with patients who need to go to treatment. While simply giving someone a ride may not seem like much, having a reliable way to get to treatment can make a big difference in a patient’s fight.

Lace Up Your Walking Shoes

Breast cancer support is well-known for fundraising marathon walks, like the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and the now-ended Avon 39.

Avon 39 had its last season in 2017, but Avon is now partnering with the American Cancer Society to sponsor Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a non-competitive 3 to 5 mile walk to raise funds and awareness. Not only this, but Making Strides is a celebration of survivors and a way to remember loved ones whom we’ve lost to breast cancer.

If you’re up for more of a challenge, sign up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! It’s a 60-mile walk over the course of three days, including two nights of camping. Walks take place from August to November all across the country.

Susan G. Komen has set its sights high with the goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% in 2026. Definitely a worthwhile goal, and they’re there to help!

You’ll have a coach and mentor throughout your training, and you’ll come out on the other side transformed, stronger, and part of something bigger.

You can also support the Susan G. Komen cause by volunteering. It takes a lot to put on such a big event, and they need volunteers to set up camp, mark the route, serve walkers along the route, and serve meals. Check it out here.

Donate Your Skills

You may not think that your office or bookkeeping skills could help in the fight against breast cancer, but they can! Breast cancer organizations and support groups often rely on volunteers to help with event planning, marketing, making phone calls, and financial recordkeeping.

Cancer treatment is stressful enough by itself, but many people are also burdened with the worry over how it will affect their appearance and self-confidence.

Look Good Feel Better is an organization that helps with just that. They’re always looking for experienced beauty professionals to help conduct group programs or one-on-one consultations to teach cancer patients how to deal with the appearance side effects of treatment.

Become Part of a Support Group

Feeling like you’re alone can be one of the scariest aspects of being diagnosed with cancer. Finding support from someone who understands what you’re going through can mean a big difference in your journey.

Organizations like Cancer Hope Network and Cancer Survivors Network provide one-on-one support and online forums to connect cancer patients with survivors and others who are in the fight, too. As a cancer survivor, you can share your experience and offer your support to those who need it.

Donate Funds

If your schedule is too packed to donate your time, never discount how much a donation of funds can make a difference.

And now that you’ve decided to give, which organization should you give to? You want your money to go where it can make the most impact, and the following organizations are a good starting point, as over half of every dollar donated is spent on research, programs, education, and support:

Susan G. Komen Foundation

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Show Your Support in October and All Year Round

There are so many ways to give and to show your support for your loved ones or to celebrate your own victory over breast cancer.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be the launchpad for your own involvement year round in the worldwide fight to end breast cancer and save lives.

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