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Volunteer Engagement

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It's November and we're so thankful!

New resources available to help volunteers thank other volunteers 

November is a time of year when many of us reflect on what we are thankful for. Here at the American Cancer Society, volunteers are at the top of that list. It may not seem like much, but taking a moment to thank volunteers can make a huge impact.

"It's easy to get lost in the minutia and the work itself, but a simple thank you - be it in-person, over email or in the mail - makes all the difference. It's a thoughtful reminder to stop and think about why you're giving your time, reflect on the impact that you're making, and remember that you're a part of something much bigger than yourself," said Kyle Polke, Gen2End Roundtable co-chair

We are very pleased to share this new resource, Volunteers Recognizing Volunteers with our volunteer leaders. This one-pager shares some ideas and tips for volunteer-to-volunteer recognition. There are both in-person and virtual ideas included, given that our teams are getting more and more virtual and want to be able to thank everyone!

There are many other resources available for you on Brand Toolkit, and you can easily find them by searching "NVW" (the acronym for National Volunteer Week).  Some highlights include the new Where to Recognize Volunteers guide and the November Volunteer Thank You Local Toolkit.

Thank you again for all that YOU do to help further our mission!  We couldn't do what we do without all of the amazing volunteers that support the American Cancer Society each and every day!

  • Our 2017 Annual Report now available on

    Our 2017 Annual Report is now available electronically on This report highlights how we are attacking cancer from every angle, showcases our accomplishments and the diverse communities we serve and partner with to achieve our mission, and details revenue and spending in 2017. The report also demonstrates our comprehensive and important program of work. 

    The Annual Report is an opportunity for ACS to recognize the countless contributions of our volunteers, and community and corporate partners who join with us in our work to lead the fight against cancer. 

    Volunteers and staff are encouraged to take a moment to read the stories about our work in action, as well as review the audited and certified financial information in the Annual Report. It is a great way to appreciate the depth of public commitment we receive each year, as well as better understand the importance and scope of the work we accomplish. The report can be a vital communication tool tell the ACS story and engage both new audiences as well as longtime supporters.

  • Let your hair grow for good this November!

    Join the American Cancer Society GrowNation initiative and be a part of a hair-raising movement to lead the fight for a world against cancer. Raise funds by starting a team or joining a team, then collecting donations for growing bigger beards, manlier mustaches, or even a little leg hair. 

    This November, individuals, businesses, and organizations can support the American Cancer Society's lifesaving mission by simply growing out their hair. Last year, we introduced the GrowNation initiative as a new fundraiser for ACS which brought in approximately $30,000 towards our mission. 

    Relay For Life and Making Strides participants taking part in GrowNation can even allocate funds toward their event and team fundraising pages. To do so, volunteers must contact their ACS staff partner first, so coding can be set up. Staff will be responsible for entering the donations received from volunteers' CrowdRise fundraiser into the Relay or Making Strides website as offline donations.

    So, stop shaving and start saving lives! Join the GrowNation at

  • Congratulations to our 2018 Spirit of Relay Award winners!

    The results are in, and we are excited to celebrate the success of Relay For Life events, volunteers, and staff through the nationwide 2018 Spirit of Relay Awards.

    Award winners have been named in 14 different award categories on Relay Connect. Some awards were given based on an application process, and others were determined by data compiled in American Cancer Society reporting systems. 

    Be sure to check out both pages, comment, and share the announcement with all those you know, including on your event's Facebook page. We want to shower our winners with congratulatory messages for their achievements!


    Gordy Klatt #1 Net Income Event
    Relay For Life of Gwinnett County, Lawrenceville, GA

    #1 Rookie Event (year 1)
    Relay For Life of NACS Fighting Cancer, Fort Wayne, IN

    Highest Growth – Net Income Increase
    Relay For Life of NEPA, Moosic, PA

    Highest Growth – Percentage Income Increase
    Relay For Life of East Tampa, FL


    Nationwide Mission Integration Award
    Relay For Life of Evansville, IN

    Digital Innovation Award
    Relay For Life of Cowlitz County, Kelso, WA

    Innovation Award
    Relay For Life of Butler County, NE

    Local Marketing Award (honoring Hall of Fame Member Terry Zahn)
    Relay For Life of Tigard Tualatin, Portland, OR

    Youth Achievement Award
    Relay For Life of Farmington Valley, Farmington, CT

    Great Collaborator Award
    Relay For Life of Virginia Blue Ridge, Roanoke, VA

    Exemplary Volunteer Award
    Relay For Life of Muskogee, OK

    Customer Experience Award
    Relay For Life of Grove City, PA

    Raise Your Way Award
    Relay For Life Defiance County, OH

    Advocacy Award
    Relay For Life of Inland Empire West, Ontario, CA

  • Watch a Making Strides Pacesetter get the surprise of her life on the Today Show

    ​On Oct. 19, breast cancer survivor and MSABC Point Pleasant Beach NJ Pacesetter, Kelly Thomas, was featured on the Today Show!  Kelly shared her inspiring story and why she is so passionate about raising awareness. 

    Watch the replay!

    If sharing the link on Twitter or sharing a photo/screengrab on Instagram, please tag @klgandhoda, @TODAYShow @NFL @Eagles @NickFoles

    Kelly's breast cancer journey began this past January when she was diagnosed with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer at 33 years of age.

    A huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, Kelly received surprise of a lifetime when her favorite Eagles player, Nick Foles, gave her a tour of the Eagles facility and then presented her with two tickets to the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta. 

    The NFL and all of its 32 teams support Crucial Catch and the fight against cancer all year long. More than $18.5 million has been raised and donated to ACS through this initiative.

    Follow Kelly on her journey, and offer support and well wishes! She posts regularly on her Instagram account @talkischeapxo.

    PHOTOS: Kelly is pictured above with ACS staffers Desiree Berenguer Carton and Sheri Barros (middle row, far left), and the Today Show crew. Pictured with Kelly in the smaller image is Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles, and her husband, George.

  • Meet the 2018 Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award recipients

    This year, the award goes to Laura Bruce from Marshfield, WI, and the Tuesday Crew (Elaine Dixon, Ronnie Dixon, JoAnn Lewis, Bobby Manning, and Patsy Manning) from Greenville, NC.

    These award winners have given their time to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Let's learn more about their impact at their local Hope Lodge!

    Individual Award Winner

    Laura has been dedicated to volunteering at the Hope Lodge in Marshfield, WI, since 2003 when the facility opened to guests. As a volunteer, she has spent more than 1,600 hours in various roles including making beds, managing fellow volunteers, greeting guests, and filling in where she is needed. 

    She is the volunteer coordinator and helps to recruit new volunteers, guides them through the onboarding process, manages volunteer schedules, and recognizes fellow volunteers for the contributions they are making. She also regularly participates in annual fundraisers for the facility, Daffodil Days, and her local Relay For Life event.

    "It's difficult for me to summarize Laura's contribution to Hope Lodge," said Jewel Quelle, Hope Lodge manager. "She fills in every gap we have, filling whatever need we might have, and has done so from day one."

    In her "spare time," Laura volunteers with Columbus Catholic Schools and Our Lady of Peace Parish.

    Group Award Winner

    In 2005, the Tuesday Crew began volunteering at the McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge in Greenville, NC. This group of family and friends all started volunteering because one high school student needed volunteer services hours. Now, 13 years later, the Tuesday Crew spends hours preparing feasts for guests and leading devotionals and sing-a-longs every Tuesday. That adds up to serving approximately 13,000 meals conservatively at Hope Lodge. Wow!

    They go "all out" on holidays by dressing for the season and serving seasonal dishes. For Valentine's Day, they serve a "couples" dinner for the caregiver and patient. In December, they host a special holiday dinner program for guests that includes a visit from Santa. They also serve at the Lodge's annual Volunteer Appreciation celebration and our reunion each year.

    "When we count our blessings, we can always count the Tuesday Crew," said Katrina Combs, Hope Lodge manager.

    Additionally, this crew raises money for Relay For Life by selling hand-crafted/homemade items such as jellies, jams, pickles, Christmas wreaths, and wooden benches. They also help sponsor the Pitt County Survivors dinner each year and attend the Pitt County Fair to raise awareness and money for their Relay For Life team. 

    An incredible volunteer group, Tuesday Crew, welcomes each guest at the McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge with down-home southern charm and loving hearts.

    About the award

    The Margot S. Freudenberg National Award is named after Margot S. Freudenberg, founder of the first Hope Lodge facility in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1970. It honors an outstanding individual and a caring group of volunteers each year.


    If you have any questions, please contact Lora Strauss, regional director, Hope Lodge Operations. 

  • Are you looking for recruitment resources? New Volunteer Recruitment Page now available

    ​We know you've heard us say this before, but you, as volunteers, are often our best volunteer recruiters! You know how to share the ACS story by sharing your first-hand volunteer experience. 

    The Volunteer Engagement team is consistently evaluating, updating, and creating new recruitment resources to support the work you are doing. We are excited to share the new Volunteer Recruitment page on My Society Source to get this information to you.

    What can you find on this page?

    • Recruitment Resources: On this new page you will find an array of volunteer recruitment resources – including a volunteer recruitment toolkit, volunteer spokesperson resources, recruiting young professional tips, and so much more. All resources are organized based on programs, events, and audiences.
    • Resource Spotlight: Our new monthly resource spotlight will highlight a different resource each month to make your recruitment efforts a little easier. The first Resource Spotlight featuring the Volunteer Program and Event Guide is now available. Check it out on the Brand Toolkit. (If you don't have a log in yet, please create one.)
    • Important Links: You can also find links to sites like Brand Toolkit and, where you can access additional resources and information. To access materials on Brand Toolkit, you will need to complete the simple registration process.

    On this page, you can also stay up-to-date on all the volunteer engagement news. If you have any questions, please contact

  • Seeking volunteers and staff for a new health equity workgroup

    To make further progress in the fight against cancer, ACS is strengthening its commitment and action toward addressing cancer disparities and achieving health equity. We continue our path forward within the Healthy Communities mission platform to support the opportunity for everyone to lead healthier lives, including preventing, treating and surviving cancer. 

    As part of the ACS's partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are looking for volunteers and staff to join the National Health Equity Workgroup. This workgroup will support a goal of developing volunteer engagement strategies that will build awareness, education, and action. 

    For more detailed information about the workgroup, please read the overview document available on My Society Source. The deadline to apply is November 30 and you can submit your application by filling out the form online

    If there are any questions, please contact

  • Tech savvy volunteer trainers still needed; application deadline Deadline extended to Oct. 5

    ​Deadline for submitting applications extended to Oct. 5!  

    Our National Volunteer Training Team (NVTT) is recruiting new members to assist with training and development for volunteers and staff in technology-related systems and processes.  The ACS is nearing the launch of a variety of new tools and systems and will need to build capacity across the organization. 

    The NVTT will conduct virtual training for these new technology platforms beginning in early 2019. Preparation for training will take place over the last few months of 2018. 

    If you fit the bill, please apply! Or, if know a tech savvy volunteer, please encourage them to join this important training team. 

    We welcome brand new volunteers to this role, as well as existing volunteers.

    A complete list of the role expectations and requirements is included in the application.  

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