Volunteer Spotlight: Elaine Foley
For nonprofit organizations like Cancer Support Community, statistics are a vital part of success. Who are we serving? Are we meeting their needs? Where do our members live? Do we have enough programs for caregivers, children, teens, speakers of other languages? Without tracking who we serve and how we serve them, CSC would be in the dark when it comes to making our program as helpful as possible to as many as possible.
That’s where Elaine Foley comes in. She has come to CSC twice a week for two years to do data entry for our program statistics, all on a volunteer basis. Anyone who has ever done data entry knows it is not the most exciting task in the world, but Elaine dutifully and diligently does the work, freeing up the staff to focus on serving CSC members.
“I literally could not do my job without her,” says Program Assistant Kaley Moore. “Her dedication and incredible work ethic are the reasons our stats run so smoothly. She is one of my VIP volunteers and I am so grateful for her.”
After seeing the CSC building in Westlake Village many times near her house, Elaine decided to walk in and ask how she could help. The staff had plenty of work for her, tracking attendance of the organization’s many workshops and classes. Two years later, Elaine says she looks forward to seeing everyone at the office each week and loves giving back.
“The first word that comes to mind when I think of CSC is ‘cheerful,’” says Elaine. “It’s a lovely group of people who work in the office and they do so much good in the community. Cancer is such a scourge in this country so I like being able to do my part to help fight against it.”
If ever a person had an excuse to stay home instead of giving back, it would be Elaine. Eight years ago she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and it inhibits her from being able to work. In addition, her mother is in hospice care suffering from liver cancer. But Elaine sees volunteering as a great way to stay active and not let her challenges get the best of her.
“I like having something to do and it helps keep me occupied during the day. As a volunteer you not only give back to the community but you stave off depression by staying active,” says Elaine.
This is true service: someone who is dealing with her own serious challenges, yet still showing up consistently and doing the work to help others through their challenges. Thank you so much for your contribution, Elaine!