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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: HoosiersCare

Hoosier hospitality helping those in need.

Treating cancer is more than just a medical issue- the support that one needs to endure treatments comes from their network of family, friends and community. The Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI), located here in Bloomington, is one of the 5 areas in the country that provide this highly precise means of treating cancer. With the limited availability of this treatment, the majority of MPRI's patients travel from around the world to seek this therapy. Leaving one's hometown can cause myriad issues, the foremost being to secure housing in Bloomington during the six to nine weeks of treatment.

HoosiersCare volunteer

That's where HoosiersCare volunteers step in.

The director of HoosiersCare, Phil Thomson, a former patient and Bloomington resident, was able to live in the comforts of his own home and be around family during his time of need. He met multiple patients during his treatment and discovered the challenges they faced while in Bloomington without the care of their family and friends. Along with the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church and dedicated volunteers, HoosiersCare was created to offer out-of-town patients affordable housing, encouragement and personal connections to Bloomington residents during their stay for treatment.

Over 80 families have used HoosiersCare's services since 2002, and during a life-changing time, have thrived under the community created though their nurturing environment. A part of HoosiersCare is to pair a host family to each patient's home, and the family ensures that the visitors have what the need throughout their stay. This can include offering their time to present various social activities around town, introducing them to the community HoosiersCare group and even hosting patients in their homes.

Instead of being complete strangers to Bloomington, these now are introduced to a welcoming and caring group of people who are focused on their comfort. HoosiersCare proves that everyday human kindness can make a major impact- that the small things in life are what make the difference to a person in need of friendship and compassion.

6/24/2009