As promised, I have some exciting news…Check it out here! I’ve been chosen to volunteer with 11 other cancer survivors in India! I have to raise $5000 by December 31! I need your help in doing that! Lots of exclamation points!!!
Throughout my cancer journey, I’ve written about being in a fog, commenting that I “have to figure out who I am, what I am, where I find joy again…” But, how? How will my heart light up again? How can I step outside myself and shake it up?
Enter A Fresh Chapter. They reminded me that one of the ways out of this tunnel is finding a way to give back. To recognize that we’re all human and all experience challenges. And to do so in a place as rich, multi-layered, vibrant, and kaleidoscopic as India.
We’ll be volunteering for several local nonprofits around New Delhi—from teaching English to school children like these nuggets to washing floors at Mother Teresa’s Home For the Dying and Destitute. We’ll also be cancer ambassadors of sorts, providing informed and compassionate emotional care to cancer patients with the CanSupport organization, helping to navigate a culture where cancer is often veiled in stigma and shame. And, all of this volunteering is part of an established chain of volunteers such that the work continues long after we leave—an aspect of sustainability that I value.
India won’t provide me with all the answers. It will, however, provide an education, an inspiration, and an opportunity to help others. It will remind me of what is possible in my unfolding life story. This, I have to gain. And to lose are the expectations of how things “should be” and the fog that lingers around and within me.
How will I use the funds that you contribute here? I’ll use them for lodging, meals, transportation between sites, and in-country hosts and facilitators.
If you donate, I promise to send you a postcard from India! And, I’ll also challenge myself by doing 30 minutes of yoga a day in the push to the December 31 deadline (and hopefully keep that habit going afterwards! It might sound minimal, but me keeping that promise to you will be huge for me).
When you contribute, your funds are tax deductible. Foundation for a Fresh Chapter is a Canadian not for profit with 501(c)3 status in the US thanks to their US-based fiscal sponsor, Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) (Tax ID 95-4116679). As well, if your employer has a matching gifts program, please consider submitting a match in support of Foundation for a Fresh Chapter.
So there…raising $5000 in just over a month is no small feat. Living through cancer is no small feat. Breaking open my heart to volunteer in India will be no small feat.
To kick this off, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa—it captures where I want to be. Love and gratitude to you all for any donation you’re able to make, big and small, and any way you can pass along my request to your networks. xoxo
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.