As a almost 2 year breast cancer survivor and recipient of one of these boxes. I made it my mission to reach out to others who are touched with cancer, by sending boxes to friends, family, and strangers. Plus I also am very vocal with sharing how Phil's Friends is a great organization to support!
I received a diagnosis of stage 2a Hodgkins lymphoma. I had always been healthy and this was an absolute shock! Posting on FB, one of my friends responded with a care box from Phil's Friends. It was the most comforting and encouraging thing at a time when I was at my lowest. The weekly cards from strangers were so uplifting...3 years later I still have them all. Phil's Friends is such a blessing!!!
My friend Geoffrey was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a form of cancer. I went through the various stages with him, from having his cells harvested to having them transplanted into his body. Someone had sent him a care package from Phil's Friends. At the time, I only knew that it came from somewhere where people volunteered and cared about those having cancer. Last summer, Geoffrey and I decided to find out more about Phil's Friends and came to one of the volunteer meetings. That was in August of 2018, and we come once a week on Thursday afternoons to help out with whatever we can. Mostly, it's in putting cards together to send out to cancer patients. They get colored and have verses inside to make the cancer patients smile and feel hopeful. I love going to Phil's Friends and plan on doing it for as long as I possibly can. I believe, in my heart, that it's a very worthwhile organization. God bless.
My granddaughter was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. It was a shock for everyone. It couldn't be, she was to young, she didn't fit the profile for someone having cervical cancer according to the doctors! Her mother was having an extremely difficult time accepting that her child had cancer; she felt hopeless. As she was searching the internet about cancer, she happened on the Phil's Friends website. Here was a man who had beaten cancer twice and he was a survivor!! Maybe it wasn't hopeless after all. As she looked at the website she saw that she could send a Hope package to her daughter from someone who had traveled the same journey they were on. My granddaughter was surprised when she received her Hope package and then every week after she received a card. She said that it meant so much to her that people she didn't even know cared about her! For people who are on this long and scary cancer journey, it means the world to know that there are others who have traveled that same journey and understand, that there are others who may not have walked in those shoes, but who care enough to volunteer their time and to donate items for the Hope packages. By the grace of God, my granddaughter is now cancer free and just graduated from college. Phil's Friends will always have a special place in our hearts for their caring and thoughtfulness!!
After my neighbor told me he had been battling bladder cancer I remembered Phils Friends. They do an excellent job of offering support and encouragement to cancer patients of all ages. Knowing that there is a group of caring volunteers assembling care packages and sending out cards of encouragement to people just like my neighbor touches my heart and reminds me that compassion is priceless. Thank you Phils Friends!
I came home from work one day and found this box waiting for me. It was filled with things to encourage me since I had just found out that I had esophageal cancer. The t-shirt in the box had a scripture verse on it which I wore for years proudly. I can't tell you how much that gift meant to me. I don't know who shared with Phil's friends but I am so grateful that they did. I have just celebrated my 10 year anniversary cancer free! This organization is such a blessing.
I have been volunteering with PF for over 10 years because of the message that they bring to cancer patients through their care packages, cards and prayers. They give people hope in a dark time. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. Seeing patients receive a package in the hospital and watching their demeanor change after prayer solidifies the need for PF in every cancer floor. Kudos to Phil and the organization for an amazing organization!
I started volunteering with Phil’s Friends more than 7 years ago starting with packing care packages to now residing on the Board of Directors. This nonprofit touches cancer patients directly in a deep profound way. Phil is a Spirit led leader and the organization is run with values, integrity and Christ centered. PF is worthy of your time, donations and your prayers. An incredible support for cancer patients and their families!!
I am a professional consultant and a native of Illinois. I attended Walther Lutheran High School (Melrose Park -- class of 1989) and frequently attended opportunities to come back to speak with students at alumni and career-based events.
I met Phil Zielke, Executive Director for Phil's Friends during a career day -- Phil was a keynote speaker for the event, to which he shared his testimony for how he was delivered from stage 4 cancer and given the vision of the ministry for Phil's Friends for Christian-based support for other individuals living with cancer. His story moved me to tears and afterwards, I spend time with Phil talking about his ministry and how I might help.
If I could summarize what Phil's Friends is it would be a ministry that serves the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people living with a serious disease by simply giving them physical and virtual 'HUGS', through useful gifts, compiled in a decorated care package (crafted and designed by volunteers), by regularly mailed cards with words of encouragement (also orchestrated by volunteers), and also by prayers both virtually and physically, through visits and engagements with cancer patients at several illinois-based hospitals (oncology department) who have embraced and partnered with Phil's Friends as a mission of bringing a message of hope.
After a few years of volunteering at PF headquarters (me & my family), Phil & I became good friends and ultimately prayer partners. He asked me to join his advisory board of directors and it was for the next 5 years, I was happy to serve the ministry in a number of capacities. Phil's heart is genuine with a focus and love for those struggling with cancer. His story (testimony) is powerful but the ministry is God's (per Phil) and its by those things that the organization continues to grow. It's a pleasure to be a part of bringing hope to people who need it in their greatest season of need.
I’m a community engagement leader and work with many non-profit organizations to find volunteer project opportunities. As a past care package recipient, board member and current volunteer for Phil’s Friends, I am thankful for this wonderful organization. From the caring staff members to the dedicated volunteers who serve here, the love that is put into each card and care package can have a meaningful impact on a person’s life during a challenging time. Phil’s Friends offers many ways for individuals and groups to get involved, off-site and at one of their Hope Centers.
I have been engaged with Phil's Friends for about one year. They are wonderful charity that is doing God's work by sharing the love of Jesus Christ with individuals who battling cancer. This love is not only shared by delivering care packages but by also visiting and praying with individuals while they are in the hospital.
I love the mission and work that Phil's Friends does. My dad passed away from cancer 20 years ago. 4 years ago, my 10 year old foster brother was diagnosed with cancer and received a care package from Phil's Friends. The smile on my brothers face as he opened the box was incredible. Cancer has touched my family and I love the hope and encouragement that they have been to my family. A little over a year ago, I began working in the Hope Center at Phil's Friends and I love being able to give back and help bring hope to other people who are on a cancer journey.
I am extremely thankful to be working for Phil's Friends as the Volunteer Coordinator and a group leader. When I was 13 years old, my dad died of multiple myeloma cancer. Before his passing, he was a friend of Phil's and a keynote speaker for one of his walk-a-thons. When I needed an internship for school, I knew Phil's Friends was the perfect choice. After a 4 month internship, I was hired on and I could not be more happy with the positive, uplifting environment.
My 4 year old son with kidney cancer received his surprise box from Phil’s friends just a couple of months ago. He was so excited and we felt so loved. Thank you for all that you do to bring hope to little ones fighting the toughest battle.
I became involved with Phil's Friends a few years ago when the charity foundation at my office volunteered on a Saturday. The people there are lovely and friendly. I put together a care package for my neighbor/friend and brought it home to her. She said the monthly cards encouraged her and made her smile through a difficult time. The next time I volunteered I brought my neighbor/friend with me. We made a care package which she gave to her Father. I have had care packages sent out to dear friends from grade school. I had heard that they were fighting cancer & I wanted to reach out in some way. Phil's Friends care package was a perfect way. They keep it anonymous. I found out recently that my husband asked Phil's Friends to come to his office last Christmas & the entire staff put together care packages instead of having a Christmas party. They donated the money they would have spent on a Christmas party to Phil's Friends. This past June my best friends & some of my family went to Phil's Friends one night and colored cards. We all put a care package together. Phil's Friends brings HOPE! And when you are fighting cancer, that is all you want. Thanks so much Phil's Friends!! Thanks for caring! Thanks for praying! Thanks for giving us hope! Mary T. Kanak
I am so thankful to work for Phil's Friends as the director of the Hope to Hospitals program! Everyone who works and volunteers with us has such a heart to bring love, support, and hope to people who are affected by cancer. I am amazed each day by the work God is doing in and through everyone connected to Phil's Friends. I have a family member with cancer and it has been such a blessing to use my experiences to provide support to others who are going through it or love someone who is as we do hospital visits. My job at Phil's Friends is an answer to my prayers and the way I feel God is helping me fulfill my calling to serve Him and others.
In 2016, my sister was admitted into the hospital for what appeared to be pneumonia. Two weeks later she passed away of Colon Cancer. Months prior she had been struggling with stomach aches but the doctors told her she was too young to have a colonoscopy and since there wasn't a history of colon cancer in our family she was left untreated. My faith is what got me through those very tough times and although I miss her everyday I am reminded of her each time I look into my 9 year old niece's face. My sister was a drug addict for most of her life. After the birth of my niece, she finally admitted to her addiction and went to Teen Challenge for a year. During her time at Teen Challenge she was saved which lead to my husband and I being saved which lead to my father, mother and daughter being saved. She may have not lived a great life for 42 years but it was her last 2 years here on earth that spoke volumes! After her death, I was lead to Phil's Friends through my church's women's ministry. I volunteered one Saturday afternoon and I have never turned back. Everyday I hear stories of those affected with cancer having hope and encouragement through a Care Package a loved one has sent them. I hear stories of many coming to Christ through a Care Package or Card of Hope. What started out as a way to honor my sister for a Saturday afternoon has turned into a passion. A passion to see more and more people lifted up in hope during a very difficult time. My sister was blessed. She never had one moment in that hospital room alone. Many do and I know through the work of Phil's Friends we can make sure no one has to go through cancer alone!
After sending my Dad a Care Package when he was diagnosed with Lung cancer, I saw the tremendous impact this organization has on those affected by cancer. I decided then, that I would do what I could to help them continue to spread hope to more and more cancer fighters. Currently, I am serving as the Vice President of Operations and I couldn't be more proud to be part of it all. Great place to work - Great place to volunteer - Great mission to those affected by cancer!