“Fear, uncertainty, and discomfort are your accomplices towards growth. You have to be willing to let go of the life you had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for you.” ~Joseph Campbell
Cancer happened, or is happening to you, but it does not define you. Through our innovative support model which includes volunteering, meaningful travel, and activities designed to help you reframe adversity and redefine what is possible, A Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation helps you expand your story beyond cancer and begin to believe in new dreams for your life.
We create opportunities for you to:
- Volunteer with meaningful community based projects and remember how good it feels to give back
- Participate in ongoing programming designed to help you reflect on what you’ve been through and reimagine your life
- Build connections outside of a medical setting with like-minded people who have faced all types of cancer
- Challenge yourself to step beyond your comfort zone and practice finding peace amidst uncertainty
- Experience a sense of awe at home or around the globe.
Cancer can strip you of your purpose and your place in the world. Yet, through meaningful volunteer experiences and our ongoing programming, you can reclaim your independence, your strength, and your story – all while seeing yourself and the world through fresh eyes. It’s time to expand the story. Join us!
An odyssey is defined as a long journey filled with adventures and a series of experiences that give understanding or knowledge to someone. ~Merriam-Webster
Our International Odyssey programs help you step out of the bubble of cancer and gain renewed confidence and inspiration. From the moment you are accepted into the program until long after you return home, you’ll be immersed in activities and experiences that infuse your life with fresh purpose and perspective. While volunteering with us internationally, you’ll make lifelong connections, visit places you may have only dreamed about, and start to build your plans for contributing to your local community. As a member of our tribe, you will receive ongoing support as you navigate the highs and lows of living with or beyond cancer.
Following treatment for breast cancer, A Fresh Chapter founder, Terri Wingham, found herself grappling with feelings of isolation, depression, survivor guilt, and anger. She didn’t want to stay in the dark place where cancer had deposited her, but she didn’t feel like a traditional support group would help. Searching for inspiration, she stepped far beyond her comfort zone and signed up for a volunteer trip to Africa.
Her six weeks volunteering at an underfunded daycare in the Townships of Cape Town followed by a dream-come-true trip to Victoria Falls helped her see that struggle is universal and that even if she couldn’t go back to who she was before cancer, reinvention was possible. She came home determined to help other people impacted by cancer find healing and renewed perspective through international adventures. Since then, FCAF has run three international programs in New Delhi, India and launched our first program in Cape Town, South Africa. Next up? A return to India, a pilot in Peru, and many more adventures still ahead. To learn more, click here: International Odyssey.
If you have dreams of becoming part of one of our International Odyssey Programs, make sure you join the AFC Odyssey Tribe. You’ll receive updates from the blog and be the first to receive details of our upcoming programs.
If you prefer to stay a little closer to home, our weeklong North American Odyssey gives you the chance to participate in our full range of A Fresh Chapter activities – including a meaningful volunteer travel experience – all without leaving the continent.
Through inspiring volunteer work and a chance to explore stunning natural landscapes, you’ll have the chance to see yourself and the world with fresh eyes. You’ll gain new friendships, amazing memories, and a community to provide you with ongoing support and opportunities to give back. To learn more, visit North American Elemental Odyssey.
If you have dreams of joining us for one of the planned programs below, make sure you’re signed up for details here: Join the AFC Odyssey Tribe.
Both our International and North American programs are now embedded into a larger framework of support. This curated collection of tools, support and additional resources expands upon the original Odyssey volunteer travel program and allows participants to more fully integrate the benefits of the program into their lives. The new Fresh Chapter Odyssey Program framework includes four phases – each designed to support participants before, during and after their transformational volunteer travel experience.
The four components of the Odyssey Framework include:
- Discover – a four week pre-travel series designed to open participants to new perspectives
- Experience – a one or two-week volunteer travel experience designed to connect participants to inspiring volunteer projects, people who can relate to what they have been through, and a unique opportunity to reframe adversity and reimagine the next chapter of their lives
- Integrate – a three-week reintegration series designed to bring knowledge and restore purpose and possibility into participants’ lives
- Ignite – a twelve-week (optional) post-trip series designed to help participants build a road map for their own fresh chapter experience
The Odyssey program framework is customizable and can be scaled up or down based on an individual participant’s unique needs and personal bandwidth.
In order to better support participants beyond our 2-week international adventures as well as serve the needs of our communities at home, we launched a North American program in Los Angeles in November 2013.
Together with AFC International Alumni and local participants, we volunteered in the community school garden created and managed by our partner, Garden School Foundation. While planting vegetables and picking flowers, our participants had the chance to make friends and share their stories.
Inspired by our ongoing partnership with Garden School Foundation and the need to create opportunities to build community through giving back, we’re planting the seeds to launch AFC Local chapters across the country. These chapters will be alumni and volunteer led and we can’t wait to see the volunteer opportunities that pop up in cities across North America.
- To learn more about our international programs: International Odyssey.
- To experience an Elemental Odyssey: Elemental Odyssey.
- To sign up for the Odyssey Email list and ensure you don’t miss out on an upcoming program: Join the AFC Odyssey Tribe
- To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to start a local chapter in your community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transform the lives of people impacted by cancer: DONATE TODAY.
Every dollar helps create a ripple of good in the world. Thank you for changing lives with us.