Ed Wolfe knows firsthand what cancer patients go through. He’s been there himself.
Nine years ago, Wolfe underwent surgery for cancer at City of Hope. He’s so thankful for his care that he and his wife, Bea, now volunteer their time every week to make a difference in the lives of other patients.
|Bea and Ed Wolfe (Photo by p.cunningham)|
At a desk inside City of Hope’s Main Medical Building, the Wolfes help patients get where they need to go. More often than not, they crack a joke or offer reassurance. Ed Wolfe deeply understands their worries: He knows they might be scared about test results or the uncertainty of the days ahead, so he does his part to make them feel better.
“If I can get them to leave my desk with a laugh or a smile, to just forget where they are for maybe a few seconds, then I feel like I’ve given them a real gift,” he said.
City of Hope depends on the generosity of committed volunteers like the Wolfes. Ed Wolfe began volunteering at the front desk about eight years ago, and he staffs the position every Tuesday and Thursday. Now his wife joins him, splitting time between the front desk and her primary assignment with the Department of Food and Nutrition Services.
“You can’t measure the time and service that Ed and Bea have given to City of Hope,” said volunteer coordinator Jason Cresswell. “Volunteers like the Wolfes treat patients and their family members with a whole different level of compassion and courtesy. That everyday touch is important to our patients.”
The Wolfes, of San Gabriel, Calif., say they get back as much as they give. “We get paid in satisfaction,” Ed Wolfe said. “We find that the greatest satisfaction we get, apart from each other, is the ability to help other people.”
Noted his wife: “We’ve been very fortunate, and I’ve always thought that when you’re as lucky as we are, it’s important to help others.”
Bea Wolfe has been a member of a City of Hope chapter for more than 50 years, and she also has served as chapter president. The Wolfes have been so touched by City of Hope’s care and cancer studies that they’ve invested their funds into the fight against cancer, too. The couple already has donated $1 million to support important research projects, including a planned gift of real estate made in consultation with City of Hope’s development staff.
“City of Hope’s been real good to us,” Bea Wolfe said. “When Eddie was a patient, I saw how well they treated him. It’s just a very special place.”
How to volunteer
Nearly every effort at City of Hope benefits in some way from the 500 volunteers who give their time to the institution. It’s easy to find out if City of Hope might offer a way for you to volunteer:
- Call the Volunteer Services Department at 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 64049.
- Submit the department’s application.
- Review volunteering opportunities available for the role that’s right for you.
- Attend a three-hour orientation (and for kids 18 and under, parents also must attend a meeting).
- Undergo a routine safety and background check.
For more information, just visit City of Hope’s Volunteering page.