Imagine the items that make you feel comfortable.
Maybe it’s a soft, warm blanket, or soothing cup of herbal tea. Those little things that bring us comfort mean so much after a long day, and if you’re going through an especially trying time, they mean even more.
The caring folks at Giving Comfort realize this and I was happy to be able to spend some time with them on the Gainesville, Florida stop on their #GivingComfort tour.
Created in 2012, Giving Comfort provides comfort kits to patients undergoing cancer treatment. This wonderful non-profit service is offered through the McKesson Foundation, who provides funding to organizations that offer non-medical services to low-income cancer patients in the U.S.
On the cross county Giving Comfort tour, video, photo and written messages of encouragement are collected and shared with cancer patients across the country. The stop in Gainesville is one of many and you can follow their travels on their blog.
My day started with meeting Elizabeth Howland and Sarah Tanner of Giving Comfort and touring the Hope Lodge, funded by the American Cancer Society. Hope Lodge provides lodging and support to patients and their caregivers. These spacious rooms are provided free of charge, while they’re undergoing treatments at nearby hospitals.
The comfort kits had been distributed earlier in the day and all the patients I spoke to appreciated them and told me how much it meant to them. Comfort kits contain items such as a soft blanket, comfy pillow, gripper socks, toiletry pack, sleep cap, a journal, words of comfort book containing notes of encouragement, and a small hope chest containing 30 affirmation cards. For someone going through cancer treatments, these items offer a much needed boost, physically as well as emotionally.
During our time there, we spoke with patients and caregivers who shared their personal stories with us. Elizabeth and Sarah invited them to record an encouraging message by their comfort bus. One of the patients was a beautiful woman named Sally, who was with her husband of 56 years. She had previously cared for her husband during his cancer treatments, and she now found herself on the other end with him caring for her through her own battle with the disease.
Sarah helping Sally her record her message of hope
Elizabeth meeting with staff and patients.
Elizabeth and City Commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls
It seems unfortunate that we live in a time where so many lives are touched by cancer. I’ve lost family members myself, and more recently lost two friends that were my age. If you are moved to help and want to pay it forward, Giving Comfort would be a great place to start.
How you can help:
1. Make a donation: 100% of individual donor dollars go towards purchasing, packing and shipping of Comfort Kits to patients in need.
2. Purchase a kit: If you know someone who needs some comfort from cancer treatments, you can purchase a comfort kit. There are kits for men, women, teens and children, along with some specialty kits.
3. Volunteer or organize a fundraiser: Make blankets, share words of comfort, or raise funds with a group.
4. Share words of comfort: Offer encouragement and support to patients currently going through cancer treatments.
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Giving Comfort blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Please use the contact link to discuss promoting your event, product or service.