Every year at this time, we turn to our communities for the support we need to keep this unique program thriving. Our Fall Appeal season is a major part of our annual fundraising, and we need that to be true this year more than ever.
Frankly, we recently reached a point when we had to decide what we wanted our future to look like. In our last full fiscal year, we provided far more in-home massage and compassionate touch to people with cancer than we had in any previous year. Even more significant was that in the last several months of that year (which ended on June 30), demand for our services was even further above what we had planned for. We finished the year without turning anyone away, but the decision before us was whether to embrace that growth or pull back from it.
We chose Option A. And of course, we hope you will help us make it work.
In this new fiscal year, we plan to provide more than 1,700 sessions to cancer patients and their caregivers, in their own homes and at no charge. Last year, we were at a little more than 1,200 sessions, and it wasn’t many years ago that we were providing 500-600 sessions in a year.
We have fifteen massage therapists working in more than 100 towns in New Hampshire and Vermont. While the service is free to our clients, our massage therapists are paid professionals, and that expense makes up the largest share of our budget. In the span of just a couple days recently, we provided the comfort of touch to someone who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer, would have surgery and radiation and had a good prognosis; to someone who has had cancer for years and managed to continue working, but who had just learned that the disease had worsened and was now in hospice; and to someone who was no longer awake, just hours from dying. It was not an unusual few days for Hand to Heart.
We would love to have your help in continuing with our mission to ease the suffering of people experiencing cancer and cancer treatment. Whether you are a long-term supporter, an occasional one, or would be a first-time donor this year, we would be grateful for your generous support. You can make a meaningful difference in the lives of your family members, friends, and community members facing the challenges of cancer. If you would like to provide the gift of compassionate touch and support to people dealing with cancer, you can donate here on our website, through our Facebook page, or mail a donation to PO Box 248, Cornish Flat, NH 03746. Our team, along with the clients and caregivers receiving service are so grateful for your support and generosity.
-Steve and Kristen