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Thanksgiving is a ‘Word of Action’

November 21, 2011

John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer, just returned from the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit.

Having spent the past week with global leaders in the cancer fight, I am both particularly excited going into this holiday week about the new opportunities we have to fight cancer worldwide – and so very thankful for the millions of people who are helping us do just that.

Attending the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Dublin, Ireland, this week I had the chance to hear about the lifesaving interventions that are doing much to combat the growing global cancer problem. And together with these leaders, I looked ahead to the future of the cancer fight – at how we will save even more lives going forward.

This week, I am thankful for the many people who are and will be an integral part of that work.

Across America and around the world, more than three million American Cancer Society volunteers every day make our lifesaving mission happen. Plain and simple. Without their dedication – whether they’re behind the scenes at a Relay For Life® event, working for smoke-free legislation in their community, or simply stuffing envelopes – the American Cancer Society wouldn’t be the organization it is today.

If you’re not already a Society volunteer, I encourage you get involved. There has never been a time of greater need – or opportunity – in this fight. With just a small amount of your time, you can make such a difference for people facing cancer – whether they live down the street or around the world.

If you have some flexibility in your schedule … Consider volunteering to drive a patient to and from treatment. For many patients, finding a ride is the most challenging barrier to getting well.

  • If you just have a few minutes here and there … Consider volunteering with your local Society office, or fight back with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM, the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate.
  • And if you’re looking to host a different sort of holiday party … Consider bringing guests together to volunteer at one of the 31 American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® locations across the country, where people who must travel for treatment find a free “home away from home.”

As W.J. Cameron said, “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” Cancer is a relentless enemy. Yet as the largest voluntary health organization in the world, the American Cancer Society marshals more grassroots volunteer forces than any other group to fight this disease – and together we are just as relentless. That is something to be thankful for indeed.

Visit or call 1-800-227-2345 to learn more about volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society.

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