Honoring Extraordinary Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

In honor of National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, we are sharing stories of this year’s Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award recipients – those who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to the Look Good Feel Better program. We begin this blog series with a post from Louanne Roark, executive director of the Look Good Feel Better Foundation.

By Louanne Roark

National Volunteer Week gives us an opportunity to pause, honor and celebrate volunteerism, and the value it brings to so many individuals and organizations across our country.  According to the Corporation for National Community Service, 25.3 percent of Americans volunteer, which is 62.8 million volunteers. They average 32.1 volunteer hours per person, per year, which comes to 7.9 billion hours of servicethe equivalent of $184 billion! *

We are especially proud of Look Good Feel Better volunteers and their significant contributions to the success and impact of the Look Good Feel Better program. Each year, our 6,000-strong network of volunteers donate an estimated 150,000 hours to Look Good Feel Better. The value of those volunteer hours is estimated at $3.6 million — a truly remarkable contribution!

With our volunteers’ support, Look Good Feel Better annually provides 13,000 group workshops across the U.S., reaching an estimated 45,000 women. They are delivered free to participants, with care, compassion, and kindness by dedicated volunteers who are committed to making Look Good Feel Better a positive, powerful turning point in a woman’s cancer journey.  With their compassionate encouragement and skilled instruction, women develop the skills and knowledge to recapture self-esteem, confidence and a sense of normalcy in an experience often dominated by disruption and uncertainty.

Many of our volunteers have gone through cancer treatment themselves, or have cared for a loved one – a spouse, mother, sister or best friend – with this devastating disease. They know each participant is facing her own unique journey, and they strive to create a safe, inviting environment where she can find her strength and hope.

To honor our volunteers and their extraordinary dedication to giving back and improving others’ lives, Look Good Feel Better presents the National Sunrise Awards each year to three volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the program. The award-winning volunteers are nominated by their peers and chosen from a field of candidates from across the country.

We are delighted to kick-off National Volunteer Week by announcing the winners of the 2017 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Awards: Daniela Hernandez-Salas of Lubbock, Texas; Katherine Martin of Champlin, Minnesota; and Penny Worth of New York, New York. You will hear more this week from each of these passionate, dedicated women, so for now, on behalf of all of us at Look Good Feel Better, and the many thousands of cancer patients helped each year, we thank Daniela, Katherine and Penny for their extraordinary dedication. They are an inspiration and a shining example of the giving, kind spirit of Look Good Feel Better volunteers everywhere!

*U.S. volunteerism statistics based on 2016 data from the Corporation for National Community Service.  For the latest information, please see volunteeringinamerica.gov.