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Volunteer Engagement

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Seeking volunteers for new roles within our Volunteer Engagement Team

Our Volunteer Engagement Team has a new structure that, when in place, will have far more volunteers in positions than staff – an 8 to 1 ration to be exact.

These volunteer teams will play a critical role in informing, developing, and implementing nationwide strategies for the recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and engagement of our volunteers. Some of these teams are already in place, and more opportunities will be added.

We are recruiting members for the four teams listed below. If you know someone who is interested in serving on one of these new teams, please have them fill out this questionnaire

  • American Cancer Society Volunteer Product Council:  This group will help ensure that the volunteer staff partnership remains the heart of everything we do. "Our overarching priority is to maximize the volunteer staff partnership," said Diana Diaz, volunteer chair of the council. "The volunteer who might be interested in this team is one who has had an opportunity to work across program roles with ACS. We need volunteers who aren't afraid to identify where we fall short, and who are able to utilize data to develop strategies that will support volunteer engagement (recruitment, development, retention."
  • American Cancer Society Volunteer Performance and Evaluation Team:  This team is looking for volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise with our Volunteer Engagement products and services, and are knowledgeable about performance and evaluation. It will be responsible for providing insight into business data analysis and customer trends, prioritizing projects and identifying solutions in areas of data support on engagement surveys, evaluation, metric development and market trends, and monitoring quality assurance.
  • American Cancer Society Volunteer Technology Strategy and Implementation Team: This team is looking for volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise with our Volunteer Engagement products and services, and are comfortable with technology. This team will provide leadership in technology strategy; model and promote technology use to volunteers; advise the training and roll-out of new technologies to volunteers; advise design and customer support process; review content and feedback; and test systems, experience, and processes on programs such as Salesforce, Office 365, and the Volunteer Learning Center.
  • American Cancer Society Volunteer Recognition Workgroup: This group will be made up of volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise in recognition practices and standards. The team will strategize and implement recognition requirements and best practices for ACS; apply business metrics and evaluation data to improve recognition standards, specifically for National Volunteer Week; partner with Regions to provide strategic support of recognition requirements; develop partnerships with other organizations to enhance recognition standards; and ensure our products support our diversity and inclusion strategy.

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."  - Helen Keller

 "As our department went through an organizational design process, we were committed to identifying meaningful roles that volunteers could play, both in the overall strategy development and the daily execution of our work," said Eustacia Mahoney, vice president for Volunteer Engagement. 

"Engaging volunteer leaders is a critical component to ACS remaining viable and relevant," said Tim Osterholm, volunteer co-chair of the Volunteer Engagement team's organizational design process. "There will be even more opportunities, as we continue to build our diversity and grow as an organization."  

Working with volunteers is not new to members of the Volunteer Engagement team. There are several volunteer teams currently in place:

  • The nearly two-year-old National Volunteer Training Team (NVTT), which offers virtual trainings to fellow volunteers
  • Volunteer recognition teams that help develop and guide the process for prestigious ACS awards like the St. George Medal of Honor, Lane Adams, Volunteer Leadership, Trish Greene, and the newly established Volunteer Staff Partnership.  These teams are led by volunteers and guide the process for volunteer award nominations, including the review and selection of the nominees and determining the format for recognition.
  • The Gen2End Roundtable of volunteers and staff from all different areas of the organization who work with young professionals regularly. The Roundtable is led by young professional volunteer leaders who have significant ACS and ACS CAN experience among them. Their goal is to come up with ways to get more young professionals involved in all aspects of our mission.

  • Meet Tina Roberts, a 2018 Lanes Adams Quality of Life Award winner

    When the Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program at St. Luke's Regional Cancer Center in Duluth, MN, was re-established in 2017, Tina Roberts, LCSW, searched through months of records to find the patient she had met months earlier. Tina registered the patient for the program, because she remembered how disappointed the patient had been when the program became unavailable in mid-2016. The patient was amazed that Tina had remembered their conversation, but for Tina, patient needs are never forgotten.

    As a licensed oncology social worker at St. Luke's Regional Cancer Center, Tina makes each day a little brighter for her patients, families, and colleagues. She spends quality time with patients to understand their concerns, as well as their spiritual and social needs. She spends the time to get to know them on a deeper level. 

    It is not unusual for Tina to spend countless hours on the phone connecting patients with local resources. Often, patients may be too weak from the side effects of treatment, so Tina will help make any necessary arrangements so the patients can rest. She has helped patients find the perfect wig and referred cancer patients in need of a meal to a program called Loaves and Fishes, which she has supported for close to 30 years by preparing a home-cooked meal once month. 

    Tina does not just work at the Cancer Center. She stays in touch with patients even after their treatment is complete. "Tina became a part of our support team. When my brother had to travel hundreds of miles from home to receive treatment, she arranged a hotel room through the American Cancer Society. She was there when we learned that his disease had progressed, and she visited in the hospice to be with him in his final days. She made his two-year battle with cancer much easier and a little less fearful," recalled the patient's sister. 

    Tina has spent evenings and weekends attending patient wakes and funerals. Often after someone has passed, family members come to the Cancer Center just to talk with Tina. Her comforting voice and hugs help them process their grief. 

    Tina also is involved with Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She recruits survivors and colleagues and organizes fundraisers. "Tina, literally and figuratively walks alongside patients, in this setting, and every setting, every day," said one colleague.

    Tina's colleagues refer to her as a "shining light" and say that her "never-ending dedication is a calming presence for patients in uncharted waters." 

    In February, Tina was honored at the 2018 Nationwide Volunteer and Staff Leadership Summit with the American Cancer Society's 2018 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award. You can listen to her acceptance speech.

    Do you know an exceptional volunteer that should be nominated for the 2019 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award? 

    The Lane Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes those who are providing care and support which impacts the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. This award seeks to recognize individuals who go beyond the duties of their positions to make a difference in the daily struggles of cancer patients, yet their contributions are seldom significantly acknowledged. Learn more here. The nomination deadline has been extended to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, May 25.  

    TOP PHOTO: From left, ACS CEO Gary Reedy; Tina Roberts, LCSW; volunteer Susan Henry, chair, Lane Adams Quality of Life Award Workgroup; and ACS Board Chair Kevin J. Cullen, MD.

  • Meet our new Board member - Margaret McCaffery

    Margaret McCaffery has been elected the newest member of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors. Her term runs through December 31, 2019, and she fills a vacancy created by the departure of a Board member.

    Margaret, whose son Patrick is a survivor of thyroid cancer, devotes her life to advocating for cancer patients. She and her husband, University of Iowa head basketball coach Fran McCaffery, have been actively involved with Coaches vs. Cancer for years, raising more than $1.3 million since 2010 to support the American Cancer Society. 

    She continues to serve as a member of the American Cancer Society's National Survivorship Roundtable, where she contributes her vision to the importance of helping survivors thrive after cancer.

    "Margaret's commitment and passion for cancer patients brings a unique perspective to our outstanding Board," said Kevin J. Cullen, MD, chair of the Board. "Her dedication and influence in motivating individuals to take action in the fight against cancer will be an asset to the Board."

    Margaret has undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame, where she was a standout basketball player. She also played professionally overseas.

    She and Fran met when they were basketball assistants at Notre Dame. They have three sons and one daughter.

    In 2014, the McCafferys turned their family struggle with cancer into an open and ardent fight. When their 14-year old son Patrick was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, the McCafferys shared their grief, fear, and struggle with basketball fans, and the world. They directed contributions to the American Cancer Society and Coaches vs. Cancer, and many fundraisers started spontaneously to fund cancer research.

    Patrick has committed to play for his father after graduation in 2019.

    Below is a list of our 2018 American Cancer Society Board of Directors:


    Kevin J. Cullen, MD – Chair
    Daniel P. Heist, CPA - Vice Chair 
    Carmen E. Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP - Board Scientific Officer 
    John Alfonso, CPA, CGMA - Secretary/Treasurer 
    Arnold M. Baskies, MD, FACS - Immediate Past Chair


    Joseph A. Agresta, Jr. 
    Bruce N. Barron 
    Edward J. Benz, MD, FACP  
    Jennifer R. Crozier
    Gareth T. Joyce  
    Jeffrey L. Kean  
    Amit Kumar, PhD  
    Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq.
    Brian A. Marlow, CFA  
    Michael T. Marquardt 
    Margaret McCaffery
    Scarlott K. Mueller, MPH, RN
    Joseph M. Naylor  
    William D. Novelli  
    Gregory L. Pemberton, Esq.  
    Gary Shedlin                                        




  • Trainings that will help you in your volunteer, personal, and professional roles!

    ​The National Volunteer Training Team (NVTT) is excited to be offering several live webinar trainings that will better prepare volunteer leaders and their staff partners to be successful in their roles! 

    These 90-minute interactive webinars are conducted by volunteer facilitators and address subjects that are relevant for all volunteers, whether that be navigating through the Relay planning cycle or supporting a program in your Region. You will not only find the strategies discussed helpful in your volunteer role, but also in your personal and professional roles.  

    We welcome you to sign up for as many of these webinar topics that peak your interest!  Please visit the Volunteer Learning Center, create an account (if you haven't already), and sign up today! 

    Offerings include:

    Change Savvy

    A change savvy individual understands why business change is constant and what they need to do to succeed. Learn about the stages of organizational and personal change, how to support yourself and others, and strategize about how to thrive.  

    Sharing Our Story

    "What does the American Cancer Society do?” is a question that many volunteers are asked every day. Learners will review key organizational literacy facts and figures that demonstrate the breadth of the work of the American Cancer Society. Participants will have the opportunity to craft their personalized response and have an opportunity to share and get peer feedback.

    Making the Ask

    You have built a relationship with a volunteer and think that you are getting to the point where you want to ask for their commitment to a task, role, or position. How do you move from a contact to a connection? Get practical tips for making a commitment ask.

    Beyond Making the Ask

    You have made an ask of a volunteer and you have a yes, no, or somewhere in between. What do you do in those scenarios? How do you follow up to keep the relationship growing? Connect with your peers on how they are building relationships beyond the ask regardless of the outcome.

    Communication Not Confrontation

    Dive deeper into overcoming conflict.  Most of the time conflict is the direct result of a conversation you are not having, or if you are having it, it is not going well.  We lay out a process to help you plan for that conversation, as well as steps to take to start a conversation in the right way to put the relationship at the center.

    The Working Partnership Agreement

    Be a “fly on the wall” for a partnership agreement discussion.  A Partnership Agreement is the basis of a great relationship between volunteers and staff and, if done well, is a living, working document that changes and develops throughout your time in a role and your overall career.

  • Caesars Entertainment: 50 Years of support and still growing

    Few businesses can say they have supported the American Cancer Society for five decades. Among those that can, is Caesars Entertainment, the casino-entertainment company that is a global leader in gaming and hospitality with brands such as Harrah's, Bally's, and the World Series of Poker.

    For more than 50 years, Caesars properties have supported ACS in fun and exciting ways, including providing top-notch venues as well as food and beverage for fundraising and other events. This year, Caesars is hosting 12 "Battle of the Bras" events at which male executives model hand-decorated bras to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. Adding to the fun is Caesar's newest event – the "Pink Ladies Weekend" in Atlantic City which celebrates breast cancer survivors.

    Over the years, the company has rallied thousands of employees to support Hope Lodge, Relay For Life, Making Strides, galas, and golf events nationwide. In total, more than 450 Caesars teams have participated in our community events. Working hand in hand with Caesars management, we are developing strategies to engage all Caesars properties and their executives in our work, including CEOs Against Cancer, Region boards, and local councils. The goal is to have every property represented by an executive.

    "The passion and commitment of our Caesars Entertainment team members in the fight against cancer has never been stronger. From coast to coast, we are building events and activities to engage employees and guests in not only fun but meaningful ways," notes Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars Entertainment's Executive VP of Public Policy & Corp Responsibility. "Whether it's a survivor weekend in Atlantic City or our Battle of the Bras event in Las Vegas, we are proud to be inspiring Grown Ups to Play for a great cause and for a great partner – the American Cancer Society."

    This corporate partnership has provided critical funds supporting our life-saving work. Caesars is a three-year participant in the Partners Against Cancer program raising more than $500,000 each year, with a goal of $750,000 this year. Since 1964, Caesars has raised $5,629,735 for the fight against cancer. 

  • ACS and Avon join forces to fight breast cancer

    We are thrilled to announce that Avon has signed a multi-year agreement to become the National Presenting Sponsor for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer!

    A public joint announcement took placeApril 10 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida at Avon's annual President's Recognition Program Celebration, which hosts approximately 300 of Avon's top sales Representatives from around the country. 

    The announcement was shared on our Making Strides Facebook page shortly after 1 p.m. ET  and featured leadership remarks from both organizations, as well as a rallying cry for all Avon reps attending the event in Orlando to make strides for the first time as one united team in a ceremonial lap around the Crescent Lake of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.

    We encourage you to join the celebration by sharing the news online using #AvonMakingStrides. 

    This partnership includes a sponsorship fee, a multimillion-dollar cause marketing arrangement involving select Avon product sales, and Team Avon participation at events across the country. For more details, read the media release.

    As many of you may know, Avon is known for empowering women and being a passionate supporter of women's health, especially the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. In fact, Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women have donated more than $800 million to breast cancer causes, educated 180 million women about this disease, and funded breast health screenings for nearly 20 million women. 

    Avon had already announced on its website that 2017 was the last year of the AVON 39 event. The announcement said, in part:

    "We are excited to share that Avon will be introducing a new fundraising program in Spring 2018 that will help continue our work with the breast cancer community. This program will build off the success and learnings we’ve gained with the AVON 39 walks, and will engage passionate supporters like you who are committed to this fight against breast cancer."

    TOP PHOTO: From left, Howard Byck, VP, Corporate Alliances and Solutions, ACS; Susan Petre, VP Staff Events and Innovations, ACS; Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer, ACS; Betty Palm, president, Social Selling, New Avon LLC; and Scott White, chief executive officer, New Avon LLC.

  • Volunteer extraordinaire celebrates her 95th birthday

    Tash Sogg, an ACS California Division Lifetime Board member, ACS CAN volunteer, cancer survivor, and ACS volunteer since the early 1980s, attended the Orange County Leadership Council on March 29, just days before her 95th birthday. Her current volunteer peers surprised her with a wealth of warm wishes, and what did Tash do after the meeting? Fold Relay For Life t-shirts!

    The retired 5th grade teacher lost her mom to breast cancer when she, herself, was 22 years old. In a 2006 interview with The Orange County Register, she said: [My mom] was told it was not operable. There was no chemo, so they used radiation. In May of ’45 she died. Her doctor in those days made house calls. … He showed me how to check my own breasts. Seventeen years later, I found a lump."

    Tash was 39, with three young children, when she received her breast cancer diagnosis. She underwent a mastectomy and back then there was was no reconstructive surgery. "’I'd put a pair of my husband’s socks in my bra and that worked," she said. She later got a soft prosthesis. 

    When asked about her volunteer work, she told the reporter: "I do presentations to corporations. I do programs in the schools. I spent five shifts at the fair this year. I’m going to Washington again this year for Celebration on the Hill. We visit with our legislators and encourage the passage of money for research."

    She went on to say: "I am convinced if more people lived a healthy lifestyle, we could minimize the devastation from cancer." The reporter asked her about her lifestyle. Tash responded: "For breakfast this morning I had Malt-O-Meal with raisins. For lunch, I had yogurt and a small piece of whole-grain bread with a smear of peanut butter. This morning I walked from my house to the bank and the grocery store and carried my groceries home."

  • Pennsylvania Chapter of CEOs Against Cancer wins prestigious award

    The Philadelphia Business Journal has selected the Pennsylvania Chapter of CEOs Against Cancer to receive its 2018 Faces of Philanthropy Award. This award recognizes partnerships between corporations and non-profit organizations that have a major effect on employees, the community, and charitable fundraising.

    "Our CEOs Against Cancer chapter is so deserving of this award because our members truly embody a 360-degree partnership with the American Cancer Society," says Jennifer Lombardo, senior director, Regional Corporate Relations, NER Distinguished Partners. "In addition to their commitment to the chapter, these companies led employee engagement efforts that raised an additional $2.8 million in 2017, and they have implemented employee wellness campaigns promoting healthy lifestyle, cancer prevention, and screening."

    The Pennsylvania Chapter of CEOs Against Cancer has 21 members representing 1.7 million employees globally. Its co-chairs, Steve Collis, president and CEO, AmerisourceBergen, and Doug Yearley, CEO, Toll Brothers Inc., lead a comprehensive program that has encouraged members to become more actively involved with the American Cancer Society. For example, in 2017, more than 4,100 employees of member companies participated in Society events such as Making Strides Against Breast Cancer or Relay For Life. Members also have prepared dinner for AstraZeneca Hope Lodge guests, and have achieved more than 30 percent participation in the 80% by 2018 initiative.

    For the past three years, the chapter has hosted a signature event, Advancing the Breakthrough, that raises funds for research. Since October 2015, this event has raised nearly $2 million, and funded five pay-if research grants.

    The Philadelphia Business Journal will honor the chapter co-chairs at a reception on Thursday, April 12, and the chapter will be featured in the Friday, April 13, issue of the newspaper. 

    PHOTOS: In top photo, AmerisourceBergen employees are pictured at the Advancing the Breakthrough event presented by the AmerisourceBergen Foundation and hosted by the Pennsylvania Chapter of CEOs Against Cancer. In the small photo, employees at Toll Brothers Inc. corporate office are wearing blue to promote colorectal cancer screening. 

  • Meet Elsa Iris Santiago Class, RN, a 2018 Lane Adams Quality of Life awardee

    Elsa Iris Santiago Class, RN, is an ostomy nurse from Puerto Rico, who began volunteering with ACS in 1973. Her career path is a fascinating one, and she was honored at the 2018 Nationwide Volunteer and Staff Leadership Summit with our 2018 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award. 

    Elsa was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, a small town just an hour outside of San Juan. In 1967, Elsa entered the Nursing School of the Rio Piedras Medical Center in San Juan. After graduation, she became a staff nurse at San Juan Municipal Hospital, directing all nursing care for her patients in the surgery ward. 

    In 1973, Elsa began volunteering with the ACS, helping breast cancer patients with mastectomies. Inspired by the cancer patients' healing journey during her volunteering work, Elsa applied for a scholarship with the ACS to further her education. With the scholarship, Elsa studied enterostomal therapy at Roswell Park Memorial in Buffalo, NY. Afterward, Elsa returned to Puerto Rico to direct the rehabilitation program at the San Juan Municipal Hospital, partnering with the ACS rehabilitation program currently known as the Quality of Life program.

    At the time, there were only two qualified nurses in all of Puerto Rico working with ostomy patients. One of them worked at the Veteran Administration Hospital dedicated to the military patients. Elsa was the only one working with the public.

    Every Saturday, Elsa worked with patients at a rehabilitation clinic that was staffed, in part, by ACS volunteers. From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., patients from all over the island would show up at the clinic, patients like Velazquez. Velazquez was diagnosed with colon cancer. To make life more difficult, Velazquez would have to live the rest of her life with a permanent colostomy. A colostomy s an opening -- called a stoma -- that connects the colon to the surface of the abdomen. This provides a new path for waste material to leave the body and be collected in a pouch.

    The therapy Elsa would give to patients like Velazquez at the clinic made a world of difference. Elsa taught Velazquez how to properly and hygienically manage her ostomy. More importantly, Elsa taught Velazquez how to manage her fears - of accidents and smells that would paralyze her social, work, and personal life. However, with Elsa's help, Velazquez learned to accept her ostomy. With Elsa's guidance, Velazquez led a life as normal as possible, traveling with her ostomy to different countries. Ostomy patients like Velazquez can live their lives to the fullest, all thanks to Elsa and other ACS volunteers at the rehabilitation clinic.

    As an enterostomal therapist for the last 30 years, Elsa has always put her patients' needs first. As testified by her colleagues, the phrase most often used by Elsa is "the quality of life and dignity of the patient." Elsa is a strong advocate for our Quality of Life program, expanding service to Arecibo and Mayagüez. Partnering with various non-profit organizations, Elsa has been able to extend service to the underinsured and the medically indigent population. With the help of a group of ostomized patients, she founded the Association of Ostomized of Puerto Rico which provides education and support to patients. For everything Elsa has done for her patients, she has been recognized as the "Most Outstanding Woman in Health" by the Municipality of San Juan.

    Throughout the years, Elsa has mentored numerous colleagues in helping patients cope with their difficult diagnosis. Directly or through her mentees, Elsa has improved countless lives. By simply always considering how to better help her patients, she has grown to become a key player in wound management and ostomy care, highly regarded by surgeons, nurses, and patients all over the island.

    You can listen to the awards ceremony and particularly Elsa's acceptance speech (Time: 26:45 -29:50.

    Do you know an exceptional volunteer who should be nominated for the 2019 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award? Information about nominating them can be found here.

    The Lane Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes those who are providing care and support which impacts the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. This award seeks to recognize those individuals who go beyond the duties of their positions to make a difference in the daily struggles of cancer patients yet their contributions are seldom significantly acknowledged.

    TOP PHOTO: From left, ACS CEO Gary Reedy; Elsa Iris Santiago Class, RN; volunteer Susan Henry, chair, Lane Adams Quality of Life Award Workgroup; and ACS Board Chair Kevin J. Cullen, MD.

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