I had the unfortunate luck to come across Padres Contra el Cancer after a friend of the family was diagnosed with cancer. Although it’s not something I would ever wish on anyone, I thank God that my eyes where opened to this organization. Through Padres, I was given the ability to work with many children that have been touched by cancer. Seeing their struggle has made me a better person. As I have volunteered I have been exposed to all different stages of cancer which has left an unforgettable imprint in both my mind and heart. This organization was able to take on many parents that might not completely understand where their child or family member stands in their battle. Not only do we spend time at the hospital through activities such as “CafÃ© con Leche” or through the countless hours we put in to teach the parents about the disease and the options they have. Thanks to Padres, immigrant parents are given the chance to be helped by our Latin community. Events such as the annual picnic really bring into perspective how many people are touched by this great organization each year. I have enjoyed my time with Padres immensely, whether it is cutting meet, under 90 degree weather, taking care of kids, arts and craft, and even stuffing envelopes I look forward to each and every moment spent. Personally my family hasn’t been affected by cancer, but thanks to this organization I am able to learn how this devastating disease can impact many, yet it is not a battle that cannot be won. I have seen the smallest of miracle babies pull through. The idea that it can be done puts great hopes in my heart. I now volunteer with my mother, which only adds to how personal this experience has become for me. I hope that through this description I reach many that are thinking to join because the experience is truly unforgettable.
I first heard of Padres through the hospital a close friend was receiving chemo treatment at. At that time I was very angry and scared since the world of cancer was all new to me. I wanted to start volunteering to boost my spirits and help people. I became interested in Padres because of their goal of wanting to help families that are going through the hardest time in their life financially and emotionally. I was going through a situation where myself and my friends family didn't know where to turn to for answers since he was uninsured so I was able to relate to the families they help.This was almost 4 years ago and since my first event I have been actively involved with Padres. I enjoy every event I participate in, from picking up trash, stuffing envelopes, to doing arts and crafts with the kids. I look forward spending my free time volunteering. It brings a smile to my face and uplifts my spirit. I love seeing the families enjoy the events Padres does. I have volunteered with other organizations and I have to say Padres is my favorite. The flexibility they provide to be able to volunteer is very helpful. All events are open for registration and you just have to confirm via e-mail or phone you would like to volunteer. I truly admire the staff for all their hard work and making the experience that more enjoyable. Padres holds a very special place in my heart. Gerry the volunteer coordinator helped me personally when I had no where to go. No doctors, social workers or nurses would call me back when my friend was turned away from being admitted in the hospital for his chemo treatment because he wasn't covered by Medicare anymore. After 4 months of trying we were almost ready to give up. That's when I asked Gerry a simple question and he gave me a very simple answer. This helped us get my friend to continue the treatment he so desperately needed. I experienced first hand what Padres was all about. There are times when I volunteer after a full day at work for a couple hours or on the weekend for a full work shift. By the end of the shifts sometimes my feet are sore, my eyes are red, and my legs are stiff but every day I come home with a smile thinking how worth it, it all is. Thank goodness for Padres making life better not only for the families but for me.
Somewhere in a lonely hospital room, a young child is enduring chemo-therapy or awaiting a bone marrow transplant or other similar procedure. The rigors of her hospital stay or his procedure will be mitigated by the work done by PADRES CONTRA EL CANCER. During my ten years as a volunteer with the organization, I have seen so many children smile, so many parents express sighs of relief and thanks, and so many families given the opportunity to play, recover and thrive because of this caring group. My Latino roots are non-existent; my Spanish skills are paltry, but I feel that I am a part of a family whenever I am at a PADRES event. Everyone feels the embrace of love and support that is amply available. Parties, educational events, grief support, translation services and so much more are all made available to families of any ethnicity. My experience working with these marvelous people is far more than just positive; it is inspirational.
I have been a volunteer for Padres Contra El Cancer for the last four years. I orginally came to Padres having lost my 17 y/o niece to cancer. As a way to heal the loss of my beloved niece Christy, I knew that I had to help other parents by reaching out and offering them hope that their own child will over come their cancer. My very first volunteer work was to help paint the old Padres office that was located on Cahuenga Blvd. The volunteer director, Gerardo, reassured me that there would be more rewarding volunteer opportunities than the one I had signed up to do. Let's face it, painting an old building was not exactly what I had in mind but I kept an open heart and ran with this opportunity. He was absolutely correct. Every volunteer event was so rewarding and satisfying. I've volunteered for the Easter Spring party, Christmas party, and Family Picnic. I was even asked to be an instructor at their educational fair. All the events have been a great opportunity to not only work with the children and their families but also to work alongside other volunteers who want to make a difference in someones life. I enjoy volunteering for this organization because I see the first hand positive effects it has on the children and their families. Volunteering for Padres is like having another family as well. The volunteer director and all the staff at Padres make you feel welcomed and they are very appreciative of the work that we do. They even give us a special luncheon where they thank us for all the hard work we do throughout the year and this is very much appreciated. This last year for Christmas, because of the financial economy, I suggested to my siblings that instead of a gift exchange like we do every year amongst ourselves that we sponsor a Padres family. I made a special request to get a family with 6 children since we were six in our family. We were given a family nearby where I live. I distributed the "wish list" for each family member on the list and we collected our gifts. I set out to deliver the gifts to my family and they were so grateful and they hugged me and thanked me and told me they "loved me". How I wish my other siblings were there to share this special moment. Overall, my volunteer experience has been truly a blessing for me. Volunteering for Padres...all I can say is, "It's priceless.
I started volunteering along with my niece less than a year ago...It's great organization that helps both kids and their parents forget about their troubles for a few hours.. I feel very proud and honored that I volunteer for this great organization. The only regret that I have is that I didn't do it sooner..
For the past five years I have volunteered for Padres' events and have enjoyed every moment I've spent with this great organization. I've enjoyed working with the staff and have met a lot of great volunteers. But the greatest reward has been working with the kids and seeing them smile. This last Christmas my family and I adopted a family and when we delivered the presents to this family's home and saw the smiles on the children's faces there were no words to describe the feelings of joy that my whole family felt. That definitely made our Christmas. I'm always inviting all my friends and family to volunteer and everyone has always had a great experience. I have volunteered with other organizations and often wonder whether the needy truly feel the effects but since I've been with Padres I've had a chance to see how much the families benefit. Thank you Padres for the great experiences.
My first volunteer event with PADRES was in December 2005 where I and the members of Mujeres Unidas from UC Riverside adopted a family for the holidays. I was so excited that I was able to be part of something so special like making that Christmas brighter for this family, a mother and her daughter. From than on I kept on volunteering with PADRES because of the kids. I wanted to be part of such a great organization that helps families that have kids with cancer. The best part of being a volunteer is spending time with the kids and getting to see them smile and having a great time. Just one smile from a kid’s face makes one worries or bad day turn into a lifetime of happiness.
I have been volunteering for Padres Contra El Cancer for about a 1 1/2 years. The reason I started volunteering was because of a little girl named Liz. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor a couple of years ago. She is now doing great and once again full of life. Padres is one of the most caring, supportive and informative organizations that I volunteer for. I have brought a couple friends and family members to volunteer and they all Love being a part of Padres. To me, seeing all those beautiful kids with a smile on their face is the the best part and very rewarding.