As we transition into the new year, I find myself reflecting on connections with friends and family. Our natural support systems are so important and can be a great comfort in both happy and challenging times. Since SOUL RYEDERS' beginnings, connections have been our hallmark - helping to alleviate the isolation of being diagnosed with cancer or being a caregiver - and a guiding value throughout our programs. This goal has never been stronger than during the past two years.
Limited social connections have been a challenge to many throughout the pandemic, but especially for those impacted by cancer. However, we quickly learned that strong bonds could be both formed and maintained online. Clients have logged in from their living rooms, bedrooms and even hospital rooms, all giving us a glimpse of each other in situations and venues we wouldn’t have before.
One of our clients, Sue, was able to take part in programs during a hospital stay. Her SOUL RYEDERS support system helped carry her through this challenging time. Her story is profiled in our recent Annual Report.
“I look forward to and depend upon the programs that I take part in. Everyone
feels like a special friend, even if we’re meeting for the first time.
For me, immediate connection comes from an unspoken understanding of
common awareness and experience and SOUL RYEDERS
provides me with access to this.”
- Sue P.
Utilizing our live online yoga and meditation classes, our community - with more time alone - learned the value of connecting with their body and mind. Yoga and meditation practices became comforting rituals for many during difficult times. For others, our various support groups provided peer connection, while individual sessions with me, a clinical social worker, allowed carved out time to focus on just themself and their experience.
As we have remained online, we found many surprising benefits of being able to connect with others through virtual groups, wellness activities, workshops and our newest addition - a book club - all from the comfort of our own home. While sitting physically alone at my desk, I am frequently struck by how connected to our clients and caregivers I feel!
"We have conversations about everything, not just our cancers.
We are all different people from different walks of life, but we have one
commonality and that is what brings us together."
- Becky, SOUL RYEDERS client
And, at the same time, we created a private, outdoor COVID safe venue for The Wig Exchange program on our front porch, allowing our clients to once again meet with our volunteer Wig Advisors - providing both access to wigs and advice from someone who has been there themself. The Wig Exchange, our first formal program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! Throughout the year we look forward to sharing the history and impact of this very unique and meaningful program.
As always, if you or someone you know could use our programs and services, please share this link with them so they can contact us and we can offer our support.
We wish you the best as we begin the new year and thank you for being part of our community.
Stacy Weissberg, LCSW
Director of Client Services
Our actions today - even small ones - can set off a domino effect of change. When we think about how we prioritize our lives, we think about how people in our lives can lift us during our own down days. YOU are one of those people for those we serve going through a cancer diagnosis.
Yoga nidra, or sleep yoga, is a wonderful "habit" to get into right before bed. Join us for this workshop to learn how to create a feeling of restoration with gentle poses and breath work. Open to all.
Strategic Plan Survey 2022. We need your feedback to help guide our planning for the next 5 years! Look out for a survey this month to share your insights into the work we do.
Workshops and classes provide valuable tools for your body and mind along with the supportive environment that comes from a group setting (even virtually!). A dedicated team of compassionate facilitators, who are experts in their fields, provide strategies and daily practices to revitalize the mind and body.
Volunteers are an invaluable resource to SOUL RYEDERS. Opportunities exist for making care package deliveries and many other projects. Volunteer Week in February. Open to all ages.
SOUL RYEDERS is here to provide resources and emotional support to those affected by cancer and those who support them every day. We are able to do this because we have dedicated donors like you. Make a donation today.
Get in Touch: firstname.lastname@example.org | 914-412-4884