Our Mission: Sisterhood of Survivors assists newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their families, and offer on-going support to those affected by breast cancer, through peer support and educational resources.
Sisterhood of Survivors (SOS) began with two women meeting while being treated for breast cancer in the spring of 2002. They promised one another that when their treatment was over they would get together for lunch. By the time they were able to meet for lunch the group had grown to six and continues to grow and change monthly. Monthly luncheons continue to this day.
Towards the end of 2005 many in the group wanted to form an Outreach Program in addition to the monthly luncheon meetings. They wanted to do something to reach out to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and created the “Tote” Program. Janet Ames, one of original two women, researched and learned the Fresno Regional Foundation allowed organizations to operate under their nonprofit “umbrella”. An anonymous donation of $1,000 started the wheels rolling! Donations were received from the community and area professionals. The first 25 totes were assembled in May of 2006. The totes are now handmade by a breast cancer survivor, and we continue to seek donations as we prepare them quarterly. To date over 250 totes have been delivered to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
In October of 2006 the first official SOS Newsletter was printed. Prior to that, a note was mailed each month to members reminding them of the upcoming monthly luncheon. Diana Dhyvetter, a SOS member, offered her time and talents to publish a great newsletter filled with upcoming events, articles of interest, breast cancer resources, volunteer opportunities and more. Diana continues to serve and currently the newsletter is distributed to over 750 survivors, supporters and professionals and continues to grow monthly.
We offer encouragement, support, monthly luncheons, volunteer opportunities, friendship, a resource library, and a quarterly newsletter filled with inspiration, resources, event information and continue to deliver educational totes to recently diagnosed patients. Each tote is delivered by a survivor enabling survivors the opportunity to reach out to others just beginning their treatment allowing the new patient an opportunity to talk to another who has made the journey herself. Contents are donated by members of SOS, the community, and professionals. SOS totes are delivered at no cost.
Another highlight for SOS was the development of our website in September of 2007. As of March 31, 2010, we had a total of 6,523 visitors to our website! Our website was eventually updated by FSU student Kelvin Alfaro. Thank you Kelvin for donating your talents and time!
Opportunities began to arise for Sisterhood of Survivors to attend various conferences and forums to have educational booths manned by members. We soon realized the need for printed material and a local printer offered to design and print them for us. Soon knowledge of our organization began to spread throughout the community which has increased “Tote” requests. Sisterhood of Survivors continues to attend conferences and forums. Even private sector businesses have asked us to attend health and wellness events they hold for their employees and the public.
In 2008, Gail Green, a retired librarian and breast cancer survivor offered to start a resource library for SOS. Information is added as it becomes available.
In October of 2008 we were approached by a member of the health care community who wanted to help SOS by conducting our first fundraiser.. He guided us through the entire event and we raised $1,442. In October of 2009 a second annual fundraiser was held and $3,971 was raised. This year we will be holding the 3rd annual fundraiser. This year we raised over $6000! Thank you for your support!
In the past many of us worked from our spare rooms and trunks, today volunteers maintain our office Monday - Friday from 10AM to 3PM. Having an office presents challenges but is so very important to women needing immediate contact, volunteers needing totes and other supplies for community outreach activities, central storage and committees needing meeting facilities, etc. We also hope to one day have support groups meeting once a month in both English and Spanish. If you have time please stop by to say hello to one of our volunteers!
Strategic Planning Session
Saturday, June 23, 2012, Paul Pierce facilitated our Strategic Planning Session. All Board member and Committee chairs were asked to attend. This was our first formal planning session, Paul walked through the organization from our beginning, where we are now and what we hope to accomplish and our path became clearer. We also reviewed the mission statement and worked out a clearer interpretation, focusing on what we do and for whom. On July 11, 2012 Board members agreed upon the following: Sisterhood of Survivors assists newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their families, and offers on-going support to those affected by breast cancer, through peer support and educational resources.
Next we tackled structure, after struggling to ﬁt the many things we do into our existing structure, we listed all we do and looked for structure that would make sense. On the left is the approved structure.
Volunteers are needed daily, weekly, monthly or annually. If you would like to donate your time and/or talents please attend one of our volunteer orientations. We look forward to meeting you!