West Cancer Center is fighting the war on cancer – but there is much more work to do. With your help, we will ensure that cancer patients have access to the most cutting-edge research and effective therapies possible.

A Volunteer’s Spirit

Wings volunteers represent tangible evidence of hope and survival. Their spirit strengthens sometimes simply by their presence or by fulfilling a specific need or request.

“We listen to allay fears.” 
“We touch to comfort.”
“We tell our own stories to give strength.”
“We create a circle of friends and a support network.”
“We partner with one another.” 
“Together, we provide physical, emotional, social and spiritual support.”

These are all quotes from Wings Volunteers

Working as a Volunteer

  • Pay attention to the other person (body, mind and spirit).
  • Let this person know that you acknowledge their uniqueness as an individual.
  • Human warmth and kindness expresses connection. Look at them with gentle eyes.
  • Allow things to be just as they are. 

Ways to convey caring : what to say when you wish to comfort another person

  • Ask permission. “Would it be okay if I called you tonight?”
  • Ask specific ways to help. Share information about resources available through Wings.
  • Restate to make sure you understand. “Would you like me to get you a cup of coffee?”
  • Get to know their interests.
  • Practice active listening.  Give them a chance to give you advice or tell their story.
  • Speak from the heart or not at all.

Some phrases to open conversations: A few suggestions to guide you

  • So, you feel….
  • I’m picking up that you….
  • It’s like….
  • So, you think…
  • Ask open ended questions: what, how, could, why

Some tips on Setting Boundaries:

  • Be a caring observer. Let the experience be theirs, listen attentively and remain compassionate.
  • Avoid trying to “fix” other people’s problems.
  • Be aware of others’ extreme dependence on you.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Be aware of your own opinions, beliefs and emotional responses.
  • Take active responsibility for your own personal care.
  • Pay attention when stress increases, you obsess about the care of the person you are helping or you feel the desire to take over.