Give the Gift of Time this Year

Maria Davis

Happy New Year! If you can read this message, you have thus far survived the pandemic and may be anxious to find meaning in all of the turmoil of the past two years. I would like to share with you how much joy I have found in volunteering at the Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers. In a world where we can’t control many of the events happening around us and to us, we all can choose how we spend our dollars and time. Time is a more precious commodity even than money, since we can’t buy more time. Acquire some treasure in heaven and make people happy, including yourself, here on earth, by giving the gift of your time. My hours volunteering are among the most meaningful of my week.

I first became familiar with the infusion room when someone close to me was undergoing treatment for cancer. Before the pandemic, patients were permitted to have family/companions with them throughout treatment. Now, only first-time patients or patients requiring translators or mobility assistance are permitted visitors, so I act as a companion for as many as I can. Volunteers help with the patients’ comfort by providing beverages, snacks, pillows, warm blankets, or a friendly chat. The patients and nurses are happy to have another pair of hands and feet and another set of eyes in the room. It’s a great way to get in your 10,000 steps a day! You may have noticed how many “Help Wanted” signs there are everywhere you go. Your help is very much wanted and appreciated as a volunteer at Ironwood. Perks include free lunch and all of the smiles, thanks, and things you can learn. One patient inspired me to learn how to make my own jewelry!

Some locations also have wig boutiques, which have been closed since the onset of the pandemic. We are optimistic that these will reopen this year. Companies and individuals donate wigs, scarves, hats, jewelry, blankets, and other items to the boutique. Volunteers help patients find a wig that suits them and items to make their lives more comfortable and beautiful at this most difficult time during their cancer treatments.

Although no special skills are required, training will be provided to explain the volunteer duties, to introduce the staff, and to familiarize the volunteer with the facility.

Shifts in the infusion room are typically three hours, the same day and time each week.

There are many locations of Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers in the East and West Valley. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old, vaccinated, undergo free TB screening, and understand the patient confidentiality rules. If interested, you can contact the Supportive Care Services at 480-314-6660 or by email at [email protected] For further information, visit the website at www.ironwoodcrc.com/volunteer-opportunities.

You can also watch video testimonials of volunteers at tinyurl.com/4v39rcr4.