Volunteers are the heart and soul of CURE Childhood Cancer; their dedication to our work and our children is simply inspiring. This month we would like to share with you the volunteerism of Stephanie Mitra.
I began volunteering at CURE several years ago after getting to know the staff through my association with the Country Club of the South Charity Guild. At CURE, I’ve done office work, I’ve helped prepare for the Quiet Heroes Luncheon, and I’ve helped at the CURE Annual Picnic. I’ve enjoyed all of those events, but none of those things truly became an extension of me like my contributions to CURE’s Good Grief Luncheons.
When a child is lost to cancer, it’s understandably devastating to the family and friends of the child. Beyond the family, in the shadows, stand the nurses who fought beside that child. There are times that the nurses barely have time to grieve one child before they lose another, and another. I cannot imagine a more emotionally grueling job. Good Grief is my opportunity to show those nurses how heroic I think they are for what they do every day.
When the hospital suffers a cluster of cancer deaths, the chaplain assigned to the hospital designates a day for spiritual healing and renewal. She provides the words and I provide the food. I approach the meals from the perspective of wanting the nurses to taste that they are appreciated in every bite that goes into their mouths. It should be comforting. It should be fresh. It should be delicious!
I do this because I love good food and I’m in awe of people who have chosen to do a job that I feel inadequate to do. It is a constant source of joy to recognize and celebrate the hard work of these nurses. At the end of these meals, I always find that I’m a little bit confused when I’m thanked so profusely. I have the easy work. Thank the nurses.