American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Central Pennsylvania—
Stories & Comments
Please enjoy our Hope Lodge newsletters. They include stories of past guest, volunteers, and donors. Thank you for your support!
For information about Hope Lodge events and on how you can support the Hope Lodge of Central Pennsylvania in Hershey, please call 717.533.5111.
American Cancer Society
Hope Lodge of Central Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Division, Inc.
125 Lucy Avenue
Hummelstown, PA 17036
"There wasn't stress; the interaction with other residents was positive and uplifting."
“We felt like a big family."
"The staff goes out of their way to make life easier for the residents."
"We experienced so much comfort and met so many nice people; you just do not get that in a lonely motel. The money saved is a tremendous help."
"There is not room to list all the conveniences that Hope Lodge offers."
"It is the closest thing to home."
"The atmosphere is no comparison to a hotel; all the guests were great."
"I wouldn't change a thing; it is beautiful, clean and very pleasant."
“Meeting and conversing with other cancer patients stimulates the mind. The staff here makes the stay worthwhile, they are helpful. It is indeed 'a home away from home.'"
"The home-like atmosphere made all the difference."
"Interacting with families going through similar treatments was beneficial as was working with a truly understanding staff."
"Everyone has been so kind and good to us. We really love staying here and appreciate it more than words can express."
– Rex and Judy, Jersey Shore, PA
"No one had much hope for my wife when we went to Hershey. But she is alive today thanks to special people like our friends at Hope Lodge who keep her in their thoughts and prayers. Thanks to the staff at Hope Lodge, what a warm-hearted bunch you are!"
– Dick and Margie, Chambersburg, PA
"Thank you for all you offered when we had to stay in Hershey.
Quiet, Peacefulness, Generosity, Security.
I'll never forget the haven your facility became for me."
– Mary, Ann Arbor MI
"Our blessings have been many, for which Hope Lodge is surely one of them. We send our sincere thanks to you, your staff of volunteers, and The American Cancer Society for being there and truly caring enough to make a difference."
– Sharon and Brian, Allentown, PA
"To quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder, 'I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.' This quote reminds me how deeply I appreciate all the help Hope Lodge has given to my husband and myself. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers".
– Elaine, Red Lion, PA
"It’s hard to explain the feeling that one gets when they first hear the words: “You have cancer.” There’s the dizziness in your head, the nausea in your stomach and the emptiness in your soul. All of a sudden you’ve got this incredible feeling of uncertainty and not knowing what’s wrong, or how it can be fixed. Then there are the questions: What’s going to happen to my life, and my family? Do I have things in order? How am I going to pay the bills? What’s going to happen to my work? Will I have a job?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring from a vast support system that I never knew that I had. I had many cards, messages and motivational notes sent to my attention, some from people who I never met, and those some I went to grade school with (40+ years ago). My employers and employees were fantastic in their responses to my needs. Although my lifestyle and finances were going to have to endure great changes, I was very fortunate that I was getting support from everywhere I turned. And being a longtime volunteer for the American Cancer Society, I knew how valuable a support system would be in the successful recovery of a cancer patient. What I wasn’t aware of was the function of the Society’s Hershey Hope Lodge and what services the facility offered. The Lodge not only relieved the stress of wondering how I was going to pay for lodging expenses for my family and I while I was being treated in Hershey, it eliminated said costs. Equally important is the added value of being able to discuss your circumstances with those going through similar situations or those who are survivors.
The staff and volunteers who work at Hope Lodge comprise some of the most caring and conscientious people that I have ever met. They maintain an incredibly positive attitude considering that they are placed in situations where people are at their most vulnerable. They make themselves available to each and every guest, without being overbearing and imposing. Life at Hope Lodge made our life through treatment and recovery extremely easy. You often hear of cancer patients talk of “normalcy”. Living at the Hope Lodge over those six months was about as normal as we could have bargained for, and I am very fortunate to have shared that experience with the staff, volunteers and fellow guests who helped me recover."
– Steve Greer and Patti Davidson
12 Days of Caring: Hope Lodge of Central Pennsylvania
The Hope Lodge of Central Pennsylvania was featured in the Patriot News as a charity that provides needed assistance in the community. Read more here.
Hershey Hope Lodge Manager Receives National Certification
Hershey Hope Lodge Manager Andrea Young was one of six Hope Lodge managers recently awarded certification as House Professionals by the National Association of Hospital and Hospitality Houses at their national conference in Rochester, MN. These awards were presented “in recognition of completing certification designed to enhance professional competence and quality of services provided to Hospitality House Guests.”
Andrea received the award from Dr. John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society. Other Hope Lodge managers receiving the award included Tampa Hope Lodge Director Sharon Walker-Whitehead, Charleston (SC) Hope Lodge Manager Sundi Herring, Marshfield Hope Lodge Manager Joleen Specht, Greenville (NC) Hope Lodge Manager Tom Craigens, and Atlanta Hope Lodge Manager Erica Price.
Support the Friends of Hope Lodge Council
HERSHEY, PA – April 26, 2010 – Although many advances have been made in the treatment of cancer, the cost of hotel stays and mileage to and from the facilities that offer the best options for care can be a serious financial burden. The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge provides patients and their caregivers a “home away from home” when they must travel 40 miles or more to receive treatment for their disease.
The Pennsylvania Division is currently piloting a new initiative called, Friends of Hope Lodge. The program aims to sustain the operations at both Hershey and Philadelphia Hope Lodge locations, while building important community relationships. The program includes two main components; Adopt a Lodge and the Friends of Hope Lodge Council.
Adopt a Lodge will focus on building corporate partnerships, while the Friends of Hope Lodge Council will focus on raising funds and engaging the community to support the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facilities in Pennsylvania.
Studies show that the environment Hope Lodge provides increases the likelihood that a patient will comply with their treatment protocols – giving them their best chance to fight their disease.
“When someone gets cancer they could be on their own to fight [it],” said Friends of Hope Lodge Council member, Dr. Witold Rybka, Professor, Medicine and Pathology; Director, Bone Marrow Transplantation Program; Chief Quality Officer, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. “But if they look around they will find others in the same situation. [Hope Lodge guests] are mutually supportive…and the experience is another step forward. You really feel the sense of community…”
Guests stay at the Hope Lodge free of charge. It has all the amenities of home – private guest bedrooms; a communal kitchen where guests can cook their dinner, saving them the expense of restaurants and take-out; a dining room where they can eat and share stories with others who are going through the same experience; and a living room where they can relax.
“I have met a huge outpouring of appreciation from those who have used [Hope Lodge]," said Dr. Rybka. “Home Away from Home is not…a slogan, it’s a reality. It provides not only a place to be, but a source of strength.”
Residency at a Hope Lodge facility is a courtesy extended at the sole discretion of American Cancer Society. All individuals who meet the Hope Lodge eligibility requirements will be welcomed regardless of race, creed, citizenship, physical disability, gender, color, ethnic heritage, veteran status, economic status, or sexual orientation. For admissions information, please select a Hope Lodge location.