Posted: March 17th, 2011 | Author: Lori Harvill Moore | Filed under: Volunteering | Tags: breast cancer, bridal gowns, sale, tour, volunteer Chicago | No Comments »
On April 15-17 the Brides Against Breast Cancer national tour will come to Chicago, and volunteers are needed to help with this fundraiser. Donated gowns that are worth as much as $20,000 will sell at the Wyndham Chicago at deeply discounted prices to benefit Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Assisting at the event or helping out with the group’s other programs are significant volunteer Chicago opportunities.
Their Mission is Granting Wishes
The national tour is a charity event that takes place in cities throughout the United States each year. Brides-to-be can choose from a great selection of designer and custom wedding gowns and support a worthy cause at the same time. The mission of Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is, “To grant wishes and memory-making events for metastatic breast cancer patients while continuing to support, educate and increase resource awareness.”
Breast cancer strikes woman — and men — of all ages and the number of people who have the disease is increasing. According to statistics on the group’s website, “It is estimated that this year alone over 200,000 women and nearly 1,200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, breast cancer will take the lives of almost 40,000 people this year in the United States and over 300,000 worldwide.”
Volunteer at Brides Against Breast Cancer Event
Among the volunteer Chicago opportunities needed for this upcoming event is assistance with registering brides as they arrive, greeting brides as they enter the sales area, and restocking sales racks with gowns from the fitting room. Volunteers are also needed to assist brides as they try on the dresses.
Oprah Finds an Angel
The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, which was the subject of a feature article in Bride Magazine, was created in the late 1990s by Fran Hansen, who now serves as its Executive Director. Her daughter, Anna Nelson, is co-founder and Wish Director. After catching the attention of Oprah Winfrey and appearing on her show, Hansen became one of Oprah’s Angels and soon after received hundreds of wedding gowns from the talk show host. Nelson has been able to grant wishes to more than 1,000 patients with breast cancer.
Quilters Against Breast Cancer
The generosity of women from coast to coast, as well as that of Oprah, allowed a spin-off fundraiser to be established. Quilters Against Breast Cancer asks volunteers to make quilts from wedding gowns. This is a volunteer Chicago opportunity for those with a flair for sewing and a group of friends with the same skill. After ordering and receiving the gowns from the group, volunteer quilters complete and send their work to the company at the Portland, Oregon, address. Some quilts are displayed during the tours; others are offered for sale at the various stops along the tour route.
More Gowns, More Wishes Granted
The media attention received by the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation for its Brides Against Breast Cancer national tour and sale, along with other programs, has resulted in more donations, with an inventory of more than 22,000 gowns in the Portland warehouse. At least three new branches opened within the past ten years, including one in Texas, another in North Carolina, and one in Washington state that specializes in antique bridal gowns.
The group offers volunteers many ways to get involved. Whether donating time as a volunteer, donating a gown, helping at the gown sale event, or forming a quilting circle for Quilters Against Breast Cancer, anyone committed to helping women and men diagnosed with breast cancer can make a significant contribution.
photo credit: by Gwilmore
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Posted: March 17th, 2011 | Author: Lori Harvill Moore | Filed under: Volunteering | Tags: blood donor, healthcare, nutrition, outpatient, tutor, volunteer Chicago | No Comments »
Chicago, with a population of more than 2.8 million, needs committed volunteers to work in areas of health and health education. One website lists 50 volunteer Chicago opportunities with some of the 242 different organizations engaged in improving the health of local citizens or providing health education for better self-care.
Chicagoland’s Blood Center
LifeSource, also known as Chicago’s Blood Center, has an ongoing volunteer Chicago need for people to transport blood and blood products to area hospitals. The company is searching for people 18 years of age and older who can work in shifts of up to four hours in the morning, afternoon and evening on all days except Sunday to make deliveries.
LifeSource is also looking for volunteers to care for donors who give blood during community blood drives. More specifically, these volunteers extend a welcome to donors as they arrive and then provide refreshments. Position requirements state that only one day a month is necessary and volunteers must be 18 years old or older. This ongoing volunteer Chicago need is for a year-long campaign that began on Feb. 2, 2011, with drives planned every day of the week in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Help a Child
Volunteers are needed to work with staff members at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Child Life volunteers assist during story time and with arts and crafts activities, which may take place in the nursing unit or at the child’s bedside. Services are needed for two hours in the morning, afternoon or evening from Monday through Saturday.
Each school year the La Rabida Children’s Hospital needs tutors to work with outpatients and their sisters and brothers. In this volunteer Chicago opportunity, one tutor is assigned to one child and help with skills in reading and math on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon or evening. Tutors need to be 18 years of age or older and be available at the chosen time each week.
Provide Resources and Relieve Stress
The Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC) is looking for Helpline Intake Specialist to answer calls and provide information about health care resources. Those volunteering for this position will receive training and, according to the expanded description on the website, “[...]you have an opportunity to alleviate many of the stressors the US and Illinois health care system imposes on the uninsured and underinsured living in Illinois. We help consumers find affordable health care providers.” Hours are flexible in both morning and afternoon shifts, which occur only during the work week.
Cooking Better for Less
Cooking Matters- Chicago needs an Assistant for Cooking & Nutrition Education Class. The class teaches kids, teens and adults how to prepare meals that are both healthy and low cost. Started in January 2010, Cooking Matters-Chicago has an ongoing need for a volunteer in this capacity. Classes are held mornings, afternoons and evenings from Monday through Saturday. Among the qualifications for this volunteer Chicago position are an “interest in working with individuals with diverse backgrounds [and] dedication to helping alleviate hunger, poor nutrition and poverty.”
The Chicago Volunteer website is a good place to start when looking for ways to use skills in health and education to benefit the community. From giving blood to assisting donors, and helping children with school subjects after an illness, there are a variety of ways to help.
Photo credits: by Jay[N]