I'd be happy to~ this is my favorite group!
ChemoAngels is a volunteer group that adopts cancer patients via snail mail. We are assigned a patient and we stay with them throughout the course of their treatment (chemo, radiation, etc). If someone successfully completes treatment, they "graduate" from the ChemoAngels program.
Patients often do not respond to their angels-- this is a one-way street, not a pen-pal program. Some new volunteers become upset when they don't get "thank you" notes-- that's not what the program is about. In the last three years, I have heard from various patients maybe four or five times directly. Two were notes at the end of their treatment thanking me for what I had done. My current patient has sent me two postcards, which was a big thrill for me, since I didn't expect to hear from her.
Angels can volunteer in two positions-- ChemoAngel or CardAngel. I've done both. ChemoAngels are expected to send one package per week, plus 1-2 additional notes/ cards. CardAngels only send cards/letters-- that's the option I choose when money is tight. (And we're strongly advised against just signing our name to cards- letters are much appreciated!) Right now I'm a ChemoAngel and I generally spend $5-10 per week on my patient, including postage. Once a month or so I send a bigger gift, in the $15-20 range.
We also have two sister programs, SeniorAngels and Mission Angels. SeniorAngels adopt patients in nursing homes or those who are homebound. MissionAngels adopt families who are overseas doing mission work.
I LOVE being a ChemoAngel-- I've done it for three years now. It is amazing the feeling you get from lifting someone else up like that. I have a lot of fun hunting for little suprises to send my patient when I'm out and about. (We receive a profile of our patients telling us their likes/dislikes to help with ideas.) I always have a basket with several gifts waiting to go to my patient.
I've also seen it from the patient side- last year when my grandma went through chemo, I signed her up to be "angeled". She loved it. My grandma rarely uses the phone, but, when a new package would arrive, she'd actually call my mom to tell her about it. It was great.
OK.... well, as you can see, I love this group. That's probably more information that you wanted, right? Lol. If you want to check it out, visit: www.chemoangels.com