Sunday, June 29, 2014

Neighbor Brigade News

neighbor brigade
neighbor brigade
Newsletter - June 2014
Neighborhood News: Easton
Community Organizations Unite to Help a Family
Transportation a Top Concern for Cancer Patients
Recipe Box

"Our patients receiving treatment sometimes struggle to find transportation to appointments, and some need assistance with meals and other every-day needs. When I tell them about Neighbor Brigade I see the relief in their eyes. We're grateful to this community-supported organization and the help that it provides to patients going through a difficult time."
-- Rachelle Colson LaMaster, clinical oncology social worker
at the Vernon Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Neighborhood News: Easton
Congratulations to Chapter Leaders Diane Tremblay and Nancy Andrie and the entire Easton chapter on receiving the humanitarian award presented by the Easton Lions Club during its annual recognition night. The ceremony, held on April 10, honored Easton residents whose community service has surpassed expectations. The humanitarian award specifically recognizes "a person or persons whose actions and deeds have fostered attitudes of good will and fairness to all people in the community."

The Lions Club is an international organization with the mission of empowering volunteers to serve their communities. The Easton chapter of Neighbor Brigade is 234 members strong and has helped over 30 families since the chapter's inception in November 2010.

Chapter Leader Nancy Andrie and volunteer Robin Lamar accepting the Humanitarian Award from Kevin McIntyre from the Easton Lions Club

Community Organizations Unite to Help a Family
The Lexington Chapter recently collaborated with another organization in that town to help a local family. The chapter was tasked with providing meal assistance to a Chinese family while the father received cancer treatment. He and his wife have a middle school aged son, so the wife/mother had a lot on her plate taking care of both her husband and her son. The family requested Chinese cuisine, and the father's cancer required a somewhat restricted diet.

Kathy Pike, Lexington's chapter leader, reached out to the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) to make the organization aware of this family and its needs. Not only did CAAL provide assistance with the meals, but 10 members of the organization are now Neighbor Brigade volunteers! We're thrilled that Kathy's initiative helped us to best serve a family while also growing her chapter and recognition of Neighbor Brigade among a new demographic in her town.

"I'm always amazed at the outpouring of appreciation for something as simple, but important, as providing meals," said Kathy. "This family deeply appreciated all of our help because it saved them time and allowed the dad to rest while everyone was fed well. After sharing the family's sentiments with our volunteers, I'm reminded that we all have an appreciation for the feeling of connection or a circle of caring that is not easily found in our busy lives."

Transportation a Top Concern for Cancer Patients
"No matter how great the advanced care of medicine has become, you're not going to get better if you can't make it to your appointments. This is easily the most satisfying and rewarding volunteer work I've ever done."
-- Amanda Magill, an American Caner Society volunteer from
North Carolina who frequently drives patients to their appointments

Did you know that transportation to appointments is a top concern (second only to financial concerns) for cancer patients? Getting patients to their appointments is an integral part of treating cancer, but finding transportation can be challenging for some. Public transportation or a lift from family members or friends is not always available. Many cancer patients require regular appointments over a period of months and some forego treatment because they can't get where they need to go. Neighbor Brigade is seeking volunteers to help with this great need.

If you want to be a volunteer driver for Neighbor Brigade please contact your local chapter leaders to let them know and our staff will assist you in processing the required CORI form.

Recipe Box
Do you want to bring a meal to someone in your community but you don't know what to make? Below is a tried and true (and easy) healthy summer soup recipe that originally appeared in in November 1997 issue of Cooking Light:

Tortellini, White Bean and Spinach Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
2/3 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can navy beans, drained
2 cups fresh or canned vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 (9-ounce) package uncooked fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, seasoning, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and next 5 ingredients (spinach through artichokes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Add tortellini; cook until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.

Deliver the soup with a loaf of fresh bread (and maybe some seasonal fruit). Too hot for soup? Another easy idea for the summer is to marinate flank steak or chicken (or any meat), grill, place in tin foil and deliver warm!

neighbor brigade | p.o. box 248 | lexington, ma 02420 | 781.325.8580 |

Information on helping the Franklin Neighbor Brigade can be found here

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