Live the Love

Peace Church - Lombard

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Coloring to Share HOPE!

Living the Love at Phil's Friends

My husband, Ron, and I try to share our blessings and give back to the community for the blessings received in our lives.  Sometimes finding regular volunteer jobs that work with our crazy schedules can be a challenge.  Since we spend a good part of the year in Florida, it can be difficult to commit to a consistent volunteer position here in Illinois.  We try to help out at one-shot volunteer jobs because of the needed flexibility of our schedules. 

I heard about Phil’s Friends on Moody Radio several years ago, but recently K-LOVE radio hosted a Thankful Thursday event at Phil’s Friends headquarters in Roselle.  It did not require an RSVP or a regular commitment.  We jumped at the opportunity to serve and in the process, found out more about the ministry.  Phil’s Friends, a Christian Ministry headquartered in Roselle, provides Christ-centered support and HOPE to those affected by cancer via cards of HOPE or care packages sent directly to the patient’s home or hospital room.  The founder, Phil Zielke, a two-time cancer survivor himself, runs this organization with a passion born of experience.

This organization is well run and family-friendly because they allow children to volunteer.   We liked that we didn’t have to sign up weeks in advance.  There are two days a week when Phil’s Friends has walk-in hours that do not require an RSVP, so now we serve regularly on Monday evenings there.  Groups are welcome and can come at pre-arranged times, but we appreciate the flexibility of walk-in hours.

Some of the activities include stenciling or coloring the boxes that will contain care packages of HOPE sent to cancer patients all over the country.  A personal message needs to be written inside each card that will be included in each HOPE box.  Those cards are personalized with color in addition to the message.  There are no restrictions or requirements on how to color – we just let our creative juices flow!  Boxes are stenciled specifically for men or women, boys or girls, so we get to choose any fun box to decorate.  Each volunteer also gets to pack a box, ringing the bell when complete.  At the sound of the bell, everyone in the room stops, claps, and cheers.

Most of us have had someone in our family or friendship circle who has been touched by cancer.  Volunteering at Phil’s Friends makes us feel like we’re touching family members all over the US.  It warms my heart to watch my husband with markers in hand, busily coloring away...who would have ever expected that!  We plan to continue volunteering there until it’s time to go south, and we get to pick it back up next spring when we return. 

Currently Phil’s Friends serves those in the United States but is looking to expand internationally.  There are many volunteer opportunities including packing the HOPE boxes sent to patients which is done at their Roselle location (1350 Lake Street – look for the Thornton station), either by prearranged groups of 10 or more OR during individual walk-in volunteer times which are Mondays from 6:30 – 8 pm or Thursdays 9:30 – 11:301 – 3 pm, or 6:30 – 8 pm.  You do not need to RSVP for the walk-in sessions; just show up.  They are quite organized, and the atmosphere is fun and festive.

Contact them at 224 653-8315 or with questions or to schedule a group.  It is such a simple and enjoyable way to serve the Lord.

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