American Cancer Society in Need of Volunteers

Jul 6, 2012 11:15 PM

From support groups to something as simple as giving a patient a ride to treatment, The American Cancer Society provides assistance to people all over the country. The Road to Recovery program has been around for decades, providing rides to and from treatment for cancer patients who do not have transportation or cannot drive themselves. Recently though, the program has been having to operate with just a handful of drivers, making it difficult to meet the needs of patients locally.

American Cancer Society Community Mission Director Cindy Bahl says, "We just don't have enough Road to Recovery drivers in every community. Basically wherever you live in the north state there are patients that need help getting to their treatment facilities."

The program is flexible when it comes to time commitment. In some cases, drivers are only required to donate 1-4 hours of their time a week, depending on how far the patient lives from the nearest treatment facility. But the cost of gas has made it difficult to recruit volunteers, especially in rural areas.

"While the federal government does allow volunteers to take off 14-cents per mile on their taxes, there is no reimbursement to the volunteers. So they truly are volunteering not only their time and their automobile, but the gasoline to get the patient to the treatment facility," says Bahl.

Despite the challenges the program is facing, Bahl says current volunteers get just as much out of the program as the patients.

"They find it very fun and interesting to meet patients and encourage them, and really have something meaningful that they're doing in helping people in their own communities."

If you'd like to volunteer for the Road to Recovery program all that's required is a good driving record, proof of insurance, and a reliable vehicle. For more information, we’ve posted a link under Newslinks.


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