One local organization has been around for nearly half a century and continues to provide assistance in Union County.
The Union County Cancer Service has been in existence in Union County since the 1960s, providing aid to residents of Union County who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Services provided include transportation for medical care, medical supplies such as ostomy and prosthetics, nutritional supplements and supplies, hospital beds, bedside commodes, shower chairs, wheelchairs, walkers, wigs and hats, bed linens, diaper, etc. The group often helps purchase meal replacements and supplements for patients who have been put on a liquid diet.
One of the most notable aspects of Union County Cancer Services is that it is run entirely by volunteers and, on an annual basis, less than 1 percent of funds raised are spent on overhead and administration fees. Remarkably this allows for 99 percent of all funds raised to be spent directly on improving the quality of life for those Union County residents suffering from cancer.
The mission of the Union County Cancer Service is to serve the people of Union County without regard to race, religion, creed, economic or social status. The organization’s aim is to treat each person with compassion and dignity and to offer moral support as well as tangible services.
Referrals are received from physicians, clinics, hospitals, social service agencies, pharmacies, churches and others.
The Union County Cancer Service is affiliated with the United Way of the Piedmont, and the majority of its funding comes from the United Way, with other sources being grants, matching gifts, memorials and general donations.
In 2011, there were 69 Union County residents who were provided with assistance — on 536 different occasions — by the Union County Cancer Services. Funds spent in 2011 totaled $8,822, which can be broken down as follows:
• Transportation assistance — $2,964
• Nutrition supplements — $2,964
• Medicine supplies — $1,811
• Postage — $89.88
• Printed checks — $50.80
• Salaries — $0
In 2010, there were 72 individuals served by the Union County Cancer Service on 560 different occasions.
The Union County Cancer Service is a local organization, differing from larger, worldwide organizations such as the American Cancer Society. The goal of the American Cancer Society is to fund research in order to help find a cure, while the goal of the Union County Cancer Service is to support cancer patients in Union County only.
Also in 2011, the Union County Cancer Service was nominated by Frank Hart for an Angel Award, which is presented through the office of South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond.
“I believe that this organization is an excellent model for our nonprofit charitable organizations — local people using local monies to make a difference in this community,” Hart said.
Although the group was not chosen to be one of ten charities in the state to be an “Angel,” those involved say they are still proud of the nomination.
Check next week’s editions of The Union Daily Times for a more in-depth look at the activities of the Union County Cancer Service and those who have benefited.