When someone in or near Summit County, Ohio, is facing the challenge of cancer — whether their own diagnosis or that of a loved one — they can turn to Stewart’s Caring Place for extra support for their emotional well-being.
Stewart's Caring Place offers supportive programs and services at no cost to those impacted by a cancer diagnosis, regardless of age, stage or phase of cancer. The organization serves anyone who feels impacted by a cancer diagnosis, including caregivers, family members or friends.
The nonprofit is funded by the generosity of the local community, including a recent Meijer Team Gives donation from the Meijer store in Brimfield, Ohio.
“The donation from Meijer goes a long way to help us be able to continue to support those in our region and beyond who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” said Sarah Vojtek, Stewart's Caring Place President & CEO, noting the donation is being used to support the nonprofit’s food pantry. “Oftentimes, during a cancer diagnosis or beyond, people find themselves, unfortunately, in a little bit of situational poverty or experiencing food insecurity.”
In its 20th year, Stewart’s Caring Place is on pace to serve 3,000 individuals and families this year from 36 counties in Ohio. A visit to the facility is both emotional and inspiring, says Marcie Mathis, Brimfield Meijer Store Director.
“It is an amazing place. You can just feel this sense of peace as soon as you walk into the facility. It’s one of those experiences I won’t forget. It was just so emotional to hear breast cancer survivors tell their stories. So many of the people who work there are survivors themselves,” Marcie said.
Team members at our Meijer stores play an important role in selecting the nonprofits that receive donations through the Meijer Team Gives program. Stewart’s Caring Place was recommended by Line Leader Brandon Jacobs, whose mom is a breast cancer survivor and now serves as vice president of the organization. His passion for the work of Stewart’s Caring Place resonated with the store’s leadership team, which voted on the nonprofit selected.
“Brandon was so passionate about the organization’s mission to support those impacted by cancer. Once someone is diagnosed, the nonprofit provides resources to the entire family. It is unbelievable the things that they do. It’s an amazing organization,” Marcie said.
Along with counseling, family programming and a food pantry, Stewart's Caring Place organizes “beauty nights” for those undergoing chemotherapy and dealing with the resulting hair loss. They are pampered with makeovers, which include gifts of a wig and jewelry.
“Anyone who feels an emotional and mental burden due to a cancer diagnosis is welcome through our doors,” Sarah said. “We have a wide array of programs that wrap around these families during and throughout their cancer journey.”
Susan Aylward, Jacob’s mother, was floored when she found out about her son’s role in the donation to the organization.
“My understanding is he put together a very nice presentation about all that we have to offer and presented it to the store,” Susan said. “I got a little emotional when I heard what he did. It was a very proud mom moment.”