It’s “Snow” Joke Winter is Still Here!

As I sit here at my desk looking out the window contemplating the grey that is this winter day I begin to notice little details that pop out when I shift my perspective. The glow coming from a thin space in clouds illuminated by the sun, a sneaky patch of blue sky, the way the bare branches look like lace against the sky when I soften my gaze. We may get wonky this time of year, but my orchids find something invigorating and are bursting with lifeforce. Just now a fluffy cardinal landed in a tree and is now lending his beauty to the landscape. How much do we write off because the ‘time isn’t right’ or because we need to achieve some other far off goal first? Yesterday is done and we have no control over tomorrow. What we can do is slow down and ask ourselves what is beautiful and soul satisfying right this moment. When you do, you may just feel the universe smile back at you.

Member Highlight!

Milana Pettingell

Milana’s picture should be in the dictionary next to the words – generous, resourceful & community connection.  She is the epitomy of a “Can DO” attitude.   She sees an unmet need or an opportunity to gather resources and she puts a plan together and makes it happen.  She has been a connector, a party planner, a HopeClub team spirit lifter, and so much more.  She is a listening ear, an engaging personality that has certainly kept HOPE alive for our members, volunteers and staff.  She also has been an organizer of countless fundraisers for Hopelub, helping the community to feel connected to the American Cancer Society and our mission.  SO glad to Celebrate our friend and inspiration – Cheers to you – Milana ❤

Some Words From Milana!

My family has always been active in the community and I personally have been volunteering since I was in elementary school. It has been by privilege to assist food pantries, soup kitchens, mental health groups, fire department auxiliaries and religious organizations. Two years ago, I began volunteering at HopeClub. My three children were grown, I had been a primary caregiver for a family member and close friend two times in five years, and I had shared the road of life with many of my students as they waged their own wars against cancer. I wanted to volunteer where I could possibly help others experiencing the challenges cancer presents.

Although I have acquired many memories of my volunteer experiences, there is one common thread, that serves both as warp and weft in my volunteer tapestry. This “thread” is the memory of how the simplest action can produce a profound, positive impact on the life of another. Whether it’s reading to a child suffering with Glioblastoma, preparing food for someone in need, or holding the hand of a caregiver preparing for the death of a loved one, you have the ability to make a difference. The experience in turn will forever impact your heart.

During the pandemic I have found joy spending additional time with my three children, cuddling with our three dogs and two cats, sharing conversations with friends and organizing small, socially distant events and fundraisers. I look forward to seeing all of our HopeClub members and friends, and assisting with activities in the near future

   “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

The pandemic has caused us to get creative with ways to exercise, but sometimes running and walking can get tedious or lonely. The HopeClub now has a walk/run club, Miles of Hope, which is meant to provide a community where members can motivate others, find new areas in the capital region to explore, and connect with others.
To join, send Clare an email at, message us here on Facebook, or request an invitation at ! You don’t need to be a runner, walking is welcomed!
Next, download the FREE app called “Strava” and make a profile. This app will serve as the mile counter where you can track your walks and runs. Clare is available for one on one tutorials on how to install and use the app.
This club is virtual, and how you want to participate is completely up to you! We will cheer one another on via the Strava app, share photos of the areas we are exploring, and set up occasional zoom meetings for “face to face” connection (or you can even meet up with a group member for some safe, socially distanced, and masked up miles, if it is safe to do so).
*Join before March begins, as a goal for Colorectal Cancer Month will be to walk or run 40 miles!*
Cook Dinner Together With Us Tonight! Contact Lily at for the Zoom Link! See you at the Stove
For more information contact Christine at

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