CLEARFIELD – It touches all of our lives, if not directly, then with someone we know and love.
When you hear the diagnosis and the word “cancer,” you suddenly experience a tidal wave of thoughts and emotions: “how bad is it,” “what will I do,” “what about my family and my work” and “what about my life?”
And immediately we think of all the places we can get help.
One of the things we don’t always think of is the little things, such as money for gas for appointments, or budgeting enough to cover regular expenses, such as utilities.
Those seem to be the things that are forgotten by the world at large at times. It’s also those same “little” things that can seem the most overwhelming. But where can you turn to for help?
Mike and Sonya Greene know exactly what that is like. Sonya underwent a diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. During her treatment, they noticed the “little” things and while they reached out for help, they quickly realized that locally, help was limited.
And then, a purpose was born.
The Greene’s realized that they could help fill that gap and started out by using their own money to establish a corporation and file for 501(c)3 status, and from that Clearfield County Cancer Support Inc. was born.
But they couldn’t possibly fund the charity with their own money, and so began fundraising, attending local functions, holding basket raffles, bake sales, etc.
Over the years, they have become a recognized part of the Clearfield community. In addition to regular fundraising events, such as bingo games held with the help of local fraternal organizations, they also have others, such as craft show/flea markets, a golf tournament and more.
They also receive support from local citizens who make donations at varying amounts.
Mike Greene noted he isn’t able to specifically talk about individuals they’ve helped, but he said assistance has come in the form of helping patients with car repairs, heating fuel, groceries and other things we might think of as incidentals.
In return, many cancer patients then turn around and give back by volunteering with the charity.
All of the money remains local, Mike says, and 95 percent of it goes to the patients with the rest going to expenses. The charity is not affiliated with the American Cancer Society or Relay for Life.
So, the question you may have next is, how does a patient ask for help?
Anyone in need of some assistance can contact the Greene’s directly at 814-577-0577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, at this time, only residents living in or receiving treatment in Clearfield County are eligible, though they are hoping to someday expand to neighboring counties as funds become available.
Applicants can apply every three months while undergoing treatment, though Mike cautions that the amount of help they are able to give depends on available funds.
Clearfield County Cancer Support Inc. is planning several fundraisers in the near future. On March 16, a craft show/flea market will be held at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Curwensville.
The next bingo event is March 31; however, it is sold out. The bingo games are limited to 150 admission tickets and are announced in advance on the charity’s Facebook page.
On April 27, a golf tournament will be held at Eagles Ridge Golf Course. The cost is $260 per four-member team, and this includes a cart and a meal as well as the chance to win several prizes, including a car for a hole-in-one.
Please contact the Greene’s for an application or to sponsor a hole for a tax-deductible donation of $100.
This summer the Potter Community Baseball Tour will be held from July 1-3. Its players will conduct community service activities and fundraising events to benefit the cancer charity.
And volunteers are always welcome. Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, located on State Street in Curwensville.
The next meeting will be March 18. They also welcome the help of any person or organization that would like to hold a fundraising event.
Additional information about Clearfield County Cancer Support Inc. can be found on its Facebook page.