Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program could not operate without the support of the cohort of passionate law students and graduates who volunteer their time and skills each week to help people affected by cancer through the referral process.
In recognition of the incredible support they provide, they were awarded ‘Volunteer Team of the Year’ at Cancer Council NSW’s annual CEO Awards in 2020.
One of our volunteers, David Freedman, has volunteered with the program for the past two years and has continued to support the service even during periods of lockdown by assisting remotely.
We spoke with David about his time volunteering with the Pro Bono Program and why he continues to generously give up his time to assist the day-to-day operation of the program.
When did you start volunteering with Cancer Council and why?
I originally started volunteering with the program in June 2019 whilst obtaining my Juris Doctor degree. I became aware of the opportunity to volunteer with the Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program through my university.
After reviewing the numerous possibilities, I knew that Cancer Council was where I wanted to be. In fact, it was the only organisation I applied to because I felt so passionate about their aims and values.
I realised I would be able to draw on my own experiences as someone whose life has been impacted by cancer. Both my parents died of lung cancer and through their journeys, I met so many wonderful volunteers along the way.
I’m appreciative for being chosen by Cancer Council and have just had my two-year anniversary. I hope to have many more to come.
What does an average day look like for you of the Pro Bono Team?
As I volunteer from home, an average day starts with a video chat with fellow members of the Pro Bono Team. We talk about the day ahead and have a quick catch up.
Afterwards, I make calls to clients to gather information from them to see if they qualify for free assistance through CCNSW. This involves confirming personal details and gathering financial related information to determine if they qualify for pro bono assistance.
If they are approved, I have the opportunity to call clients and give them the good news. Hearing their joy and relief is always a highlight for me.
I then gather the specific information needed in order to draft referrals to volunteer service providers who will assist the client on a pro bono basis.
What is the most rewarding part of your volunteering work?
The most rewarding part of volunteering is knowing that what I do has a positive impact on those affected by cancer.
I get to know the clients in a limited, yet intimate way each and every day. I gain insight into their personal journeys, and it is very satisfying knowing they are grateful for all that we do for them.
I am also thankful that I work with an exceptional group of professionals who appreciate and support each other. I am inspired by each and every one of them and appreciate all the praise and recognition they provide at the end of everyday volunteering.