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Meaningful Ways to Help People Affected by Cancer

 * Host a fundraising event or collect donations for a family affected by cancer, allowing them to decide how to spend the money

* Cook a nutritious meal or provide a gift certificate to their favorite grocery store

* Offer to provide transportation or run errands

* Reach out to older siblings; their needs are often overlooked

* Purchase a gift certificate for movie rentals

* Accompany them to doctor appointments

* Wash their laundry

* Create a place on the Internet to keep family and friends up to date

* Take their kids someplace special or babysit for a few hours

* Donate your long hair to Locks of Love

* Purchase a gift certificate to their hospital's gift shop or cafeteria

* Buy them a camera/video recorder

* Care for their pet or purchase pet food

* Accompany them on a walk or bike ride

* Attend school and/or sports functions when a parent can't be there

* Offer to make phone calls, write letters or do research

* Stop using products that pollute our bodies and our planet (and cause cancer); start by cleaning your home

* Pay their utility bill

* Donate your time, money or expertise to The Make A Wish Foundation

* Buy them a gift card from their cell phone provider or a  pre-paid cell phone (with lots of minutes) if they don't already have one

* Mow their lawn or do other yard work

* Make holiday preparations for busy parents; wrap presents or decorate a Christmas tree, make Halloween costumes, Easter baskets, birthday parties, holiday baking

* Give them a gift card for gas or an oil change

* Purchase an air and/or water purifier

* Watch for signs of depression and provide support

* Bring them healthy food when they are hospitalized (when a child is hospitalized, so too, is the parent)

* Organize their mail or the reams of paperwork they are inundated with; purchase a durable folder or case for storage/travel

* Purchase a laptop computer so they can do research and communicate with loved ones when they are hospitalized

* Provide pictures of friends, family or special places to have at the hospital

* Listen when they need to talk; talk when they need a distraction

* Plant flowers or a tree outside their window

* Work a shift at their job, even if you aren't a fellow employee this is often possible, explain your desire to help out to their employer or supervisor

* Provide games, puzzles or crafts that can be done in bed

* Provide a portable music player and/or favorite songs or meditation CDs

* Buy a book or 2; about their specific cancer or something off-topic that interests them for a distraction

* Send a hand-written letter or card to say "I'm thinking about you and would love to help you through this difficult time."

* Give the gift of life - donate blood or bone marrow

* Provide child care to give the family a break

Please don't visit the hospital or send fresh flowers without asking first; many cancer patients are in isolation because chemo drugs destroy the immune system.  Even the slightest infection can be deadly. (fresh flowers can carry mold spores and other nasties that could do more harm than good)  Some people prefer to limit visitors once they return home, others appreciate some company.

Random acts of kindness are important and as easy as sharing a SMILE.  There are millions of ways to make a difference that don't cost a dime!

Sharing LOVE and HOPE is not about money!

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