Day 17: Service Day at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Nashville
Today’s service day was at the ACS Hope Lodge in Nashville. For those of you that are not familiar with the services of the Hope Lodge, I’ve taken an excerpt from the ACS website, describing what they have to offer: “The American Cancer Society understands that undergoing treatment for cancer can be both financially and emotionally overwhelming. Getting the right care sometimes means that cancer patients must travel far from home, often to a cancer treatment facility in another city, adding the additional burden of transportation, hotel, and meal expenses. Hope Lodge offers free, temporary housing for cancer patients and their families who are undergoing treatment. More than a place to stay, Hope Lodge is a home away from home, offering a comfortable and supportive environment for encouragement and healing.”
I’ve volunteered before at the Hope Lodge in Baltimore, MD, but the history behind how the cancer support started through the Hope Lodge was foreign to me till today. Margot Freudenberg, a Holocaust survivor that found refuge in the United States in the early 1940’s, founded the first American Cancer Hope Lodge in the US. Since it’s inception in Charleston, 31 Hope Lodges have been built across the US for cancer patients going through treatment.
We were given a tour of the facilities, where we learned about the history of the Hope Lodge and what they have to offer to cancer patients undergoing treatment. We also made care packages for the patients housed at the Hope Lodge, baked cookies and brownies, and talked to cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment.
After finishing up our service day at the Hope Lodge, we had time to explore around the city, which brought us to Vanderbilt University, Centennial Park, and downtown Nashville.