Where “The Job” is More
We usually focus on the benefits that children with cancer and their families receive as a result of organizations like Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California (CCFSC). Often overlooked, however, are the transformational gifts that a nonprofit’s staff receive from helping clients manage illness. You may be surprised to realize that these benefits are plentiful and they can be life-changing.
Nonprofit work is challenging as it typically involves extra work hours, low pay, small staffs and demands the ability to switch between a variety of roles and shifting priorities. And, it can be emotionally taxing – especially when working with children who are battling critical illness such as cancer.
A majority of people embrace nonprofit work because their heart leads them there. Such are the stories of CCFSC’s primary staff – Stephanie and Angelica. The two women share the role of connecting families managing a cancer diagnosis and, in the process, they become intimately familiar with each family’s needs. It is this familiarity that results in feelings of fulfillment and reward for Stephanie and for Angelica.
CCFSC provides emotional, social, educational, and emergency assistance to families who have, or have had, a child with cancer. Stephanie and Angelica - alongside all the volunteers who offer their time, energy & emotional support – will confirm they receive as much as they give.
Stephanie – A Team Approach
Stephanie, as the executive director, divides her responsibilities between administrative tasks, fundraising, communications and “being there” for the families. For her, the most fulfilling role she has is being there on a personal level for the children and their families.
Angelica – It Takes Connections
Angelica, who coordinates the Teen Connection Program works to provide family support from the moment of diagnosis remaining available through every stage of treatment and beyond. The Teen Connection program promotes communication and friendships between young adults battling cancer but her work extends to all children, regardless of age.
Moments That Matter
Both women agree that the smallest and most heartfelt kindness often makes a huge difference. It’s at the core of their daily interactions as well as special programs that allow families to enjoy smiles and create memories for a lifetime. Programs that allow families to forget their pain and struggles – if only for a few hours.
Daily, these women alongside an army of volunteers lend a listening ear, give a hug or simply hold a parent’s hand…and that is more than enough.
In 2017, a young lady named Priscilla was diagnosed with (and continues to fight) Osteosarcoma. Stephanie and Angelica went into action-mode to assist the Lizarraga Family with finding temporary housing and encouraging them to attend the weekly parent support meeting at the hospital. And, for Priscilla, following her initial 6 weeks of treatment, she was able to participate in the Teen Connection program and immediately was engaged with others who could all relate to the fight against cancer.
Stronger Than Cancer
For more information about Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California visit:
http://ccfsocal.org | FB @ccfsocal | Twitter @CCF_SoCal | Instagram @ccfsocal