Bath Community Fund's Impact: Stewart's Caring Place
Bath Community Fund has proudly supported Stewart's Caring Place for many years. In 2023, the fund awarded Stewart's Caring Place a $4,000 grant to help the organization provide support services to Bath residents impacted by cancer. Since 2018, the organization has been awarded a total of $18,500.
While the impact of an organization like Stewart's Caring Place is immeasurable, the organization provided statistics on the individuals and families they serve. In the first eight months of 2023, Stewart's served 186 Bath residents, including 88 patients and 98 family members or caregivers. During that time, 80% of the patients seen at Stewart's have been women.
Stewart's offers a variety of non-clinical programming, and Bath residents took full advantage of various programs. Each person receives individualized support based on their diagnosis, family dynamic, support system, financial situation and other factors. The organization operates under the belief that the negative effects of cancer on the patient, family and caregivers are mitigated by helping everyone involved understand what's happening and what to expect, and by providing emotional and tangible support. The desired outcome is for all who visit Stewart's Caring Place to not feel alone or worried that they can't afford the services they may need. Visitors learn coping skills that improve their quality of life. Sarah Vojtek, the new president and CEO of Stewart's Caring Place, shared that one woman has been attending yoga and other movement classes at Stewart's since her initial diagnosis in 2007. Even now, the 80-year-old breast cancer survivor finds community and support through Stewart's Caring Place.
A breakdown of services utilized by Bath residents follows:
- 21 individuals attended support group meetings
- 14 individuals met with counselors individually or with family members
- 6 individuals received financial or legal counsel
- 13 individuals attended nutrition classes
- 10 families received food or gift cards for groceries or gas
- A total of 26 wigs were provided to 21 individuals
- 14 individuals attended movement, strength training or yoga classes
- 14 individuals received supplies for mastectomy care
- 14 individuals participated in social events, including family fun nights, book club meetings and fly fishing
Based on registration rates, the organization estimates that it will serve about 225 Bath-area residents by the end of 2023. Sarah Vojtek shared her vision of the organization's future, saying, "The work continues as our constituency expands. As Stewart's charges no fees, we depend on the generosity of the communities we serve. Support comes from individual donors, sponsorships and ticket sales for signature events, grants from foundations, and in-kind contributions of goods and services. We are committed to maintaining a diversity of funding sources and value every grant and donation, large or small, as well as the time of our volunteers who keep our event and administration expenses to a minimum."