Everything you need to know about volunteering with CHN

Our volunteers – survivor and caregiver Support Volunteers, trained Ambassadors of Hope, the interns who join us each semester – make the world a more hope-filled place for cancer patients and the people who love them. Find answers to frequently asked questions about volunteering below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cancer Hope Network is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide free, confidential, one-on-one support to people undergoing treatment for cancer and their families. We provide this support by training individuals who have recovered from cancer, or cared for someone facing cancer, and matching them with cancer patients and their caregivers that are currently undergoing a similar experience.

To become a Cancer Hope Network Peer Mentor Volunteer you must be a cancer survivor or have cared for a loved one through their cancer experience. We ask that all cancer survivors who are looking to volunteer are at least one year post-active treatment or successfully undergoing maintenance therapy. Volunteers must also be at least 18 years of age. A positive attitude, good listening skills, and willingness to share your cancer experience is crucial.

Interested in serving as a different type of volunteer? Contact our Programs Team – 877-HOPENET.

Patients and caregivers seeking support are matched with a Peer Mentor based on shared diagnosis, treatments, or side effects. Factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, personal experience and a variety of other psychosocial considerations may also be included in match criteria. Our commitment to meeting the needs of each client helps build trust and understanding.

There is no average. You determine your availability based upon your life situation and commitments. The Cancer Hope Network team is always available to provide strategies on how to manage your time as a mentor.

As a CHN survivor or caregiver Peer Mentor, your physical, mental and emotional health are very important to us. Depending on your life circumstances or challenges you may be facing, you may decide that you no longer have the capacity to serve as an active volunteer. We can always mark you as inactive in our volunteer database until you are able to reengage with us.

Peer Mentor Volunteer training provides skills that enable you to:

  • Prepare for and conduct a support visit
  • Encourage people to talk about their experiences surrounding cancer
  • Create an atmosphere of safety and total acceptance
  • Listen actively and empathetically
  • Help the patient look beyond the diagnosis and treatment
  • Document and report visits back to the CHN team

Hope Check: Listening & Learning in the Cancer Hope Network Community is a series of online learning opportunities featuring distinguished guest speakers and topics that matter to cancer survivors, patients, and caregivers. Participation in additional training and learning opportunities through Hope Check is optional, but highly recommended. All peer mentors are encouraged to join our VolunteerConnect monthly meetup that is offered virtually to connect, engage, and to discuss issues surrounding survivorship and caregiving.   

Cancer Hope Network’s services are always free and confidential.

Cancer Hope Network serves adult cancer patients and co-survivors who are actively undergoing or about to undergo conventional treatment, or who may be suffering with long-term side effects from previous cancer treatment. Patients with other needs (financial, transportation, legal, etc.), being treated solely with alternative medicine or in hospice care are provided referrals to other organizations designed to meet their specific requirements.