Breast cancer survivors are encouraged to apply and train to become volunteers with the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program. Training is scheduled for three consecutive Tuesdays—September 11, 18 and 25—at Adelphi University, in Garden City. The training on all three days is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We have nearly 100 trained volunteers,” says Hillary Rutter, the director of the program. Rutter says that volunteers help the organization in many different ways. “Some speak in the community about their personal experiences, others help by doing fundraising, community outreach, office work, educational presentations, or respond to callers throughout New York State on our hotline.”
Because the hotline volunteers have had breast cancer, it helps them to understand what it is like to receive a breast cancer diagnosis and the needed treatment that will follow. “When our volunteers answer a hotline call, the caller knows that the person they are speaking to has walked in their shoes and understands what they are going through,” says social worker Alida Rubenstein, the coordinator of volunteers. Rubenstein says it is also reassuring for the caller to know that not only has the volunteer survived her diagnosis and treatment, she is now doing so well that she is volunteering to help others.
Volunteers are required to take in-depth training, which includes breast education; and development of important skills, such as active listening, community outreach and knowledge of community resources. The volunteers also have continuing education throughout the year.
The Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program is the oldest breast cancer hotline in the country, established by breast cancer survivors at the Adelphi School of Social Work in 1980.
To find out about all volunteering, which includes opportunities for those that have not had breast cancer, contact Alida Rubenstein, the coordinator of volunteers, at 516-877-4315 or [email protected]. To reach the hotline, call 800-877-8077.