Press Releases

American Cancer Society Celebrates More Birthdays Through People in Action
Apr 12, 2012
National Volunteer Week is April 15 -21

ATLANTA – April 12, 2012 – In celebration of the 39th annual National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), the American Cancer Society recognizes and celebrates the efforts of its more than three million volunteers nationwide who have helped make a difference for people facing cancer. The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network sponsor the annual National Volunteer Week, which began in 1974 with an executive order by President Richard Nixon.

“Without volunteers, the American Cancer Society could not accomplish its mission of saving lives and creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” said Terry Music, chief mission delivery officer for the American Cancer Society. “Every day, volunteers dedicated to our mission raise the money that enables us to fund groundbreaking research, provide the most up to date and objective cancer information to patients whenever they need it, and deliver the programs and support that make a difference in the lives of those in their communities experiencing cancer."

With the help of its volunteers, the American Cancer Society helps make a difference in the lives of people facing cancer. In 2011 in the U.S., more than 3.5 million team members participated, raised funds, and led the fight against cancer at more than 5,000 Relay For Life® events nationwide. The 134 Society Patient Navigator Program sites throughout the country help guide people through the every step of a cancer experience. In 2011, 90,000 people relied on the Patient Navigator Program to help them through their diagnosis and treatment, and our patient navigators fulfilled 157,000 requests for services.

To learn more about how you can saves lives while fulfilling your own through volunteering, visit our Web site,

Volunteer opportunities with the Society include:

  • Relay For Life®, the world’s largest movement to end cancer with more than 5,200 events in 20 countries, this overnight community event engages volunteers in organizing teams that celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease.
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer®, the organization’s premier event to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer, involves an inspiring, non-competitive walk held in more than 250 communities across the country.
  • The Society’s DetermiNation™ program offers athletes of all abilities the opportunity to save lives with every mile they conquer in endurance events across the country, all while maintaining their own health and fitness goals.
  • Road to Recovery, where volunteers drive patients to and from treatment;
  • Look Good…Feel Better®, where volunteers help women overcome treatment related-side effects by teaching them skills to help their appearance;
  • Reach to Recovery, where breast cancer survivors volunteer to provide one-on-one support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients;
  • Hope Lodge®, where volunteers can cook a meal for guests staying at a local  Lodge, which offers cancer patients and their families a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city; and
  • The American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM, the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, has a grassroots volunteer network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who work to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit