K-Love and Air-One Radio asked me recently if I would share my story to their 18 million person audience.
I didn’t jump at the opportunity. Why? Fear set in. In seeking God about the opportunity, I realized one of my greatest fears is success and all the responsibility that comes with it. After prayer, the Holy Spirit directed me to take a step, move forward and say yes. So I did. On another note, the Spirit has been working through our staff team. These promptings led us to step out in faith and remove the $7 shipping donation. This will make our care packages accessible to anyone who is interested and/or in need.
As I drove to the studio I didn’t know what to expect. Upon arrival, I found out I was going to record a 18 minute interview of my story, share the Phil’s Friends vision, and be able to challenge listeners to get involved with our mission. As I sat in the studio chair, I prayed God would direct every word that came out of my mouth.
This interview is set to play multiple times during the year to their national audience. The first airing is set for this Sunday evening (March 3) at 9pm CST. Click hereto find a K-Love station near you. You can also listen online at klove.comor by downloading the app.
As you might expect, this elevates the growing need at Phil’s Friends as well as our opportunity for outreach. I’m emailing today asking you to help in three ways:
- God uses the interview to shine a light on His power and what He does when someone surrenders their life to Him.
- the Holy Spirit prepares hearts of listeners in advance, and that they would feel inspired and empowered to take the next step in their personal walk with Him.
- listeners take up the challenge get involved inside the ministry of Phil’s Friends or elsewhere in the body of Christ.
- God fully equips Phil’s Friends internally with staff, volunteers, and resources so that lives are changed locally and around the world.
- Share the interview with anyone affected by cancer as well as people you feel would have a heart for the mission.
- Give a monthly or one-time gift of any amount at philsfriends.org.
- Eliminating the shipping donation for care packages, along with the expected increased volume due to the interview, will require greater amounts of funding.
- It takes an average of $900 a month in recurring donations to support a new hospital partnership. We have 10+ hospital opportunities ready for us once we secure funding.
Thanks for hearing my plea to God for help! I’m thankful for you!
In His service,
Barrington, IL, Friday, February 22, 2019 — Cancer touches every person’s life, whether through their own diagnosis or that of a loved one. Phil’s Friends and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital are now partnering to offer hope and support to people affected by cancer where they receive treatment. “Lying flat on my back in my hospital room is when I learned how powerful hope is on the cancer journey,” said Phil Zielke, two-time stage 4 cancer survivor and founder of Phil’s Friends. “I am thrilled Phil’s Friends is expanding its programs to Good Shepherd so that patients know they too are not alone.”
Trained by Phil’s Friends, Hope to Hospitals volunteers will visit patients and their loved ones in the infusion center and radiation oncology at Advocate Good Shepherd to share care packages, encouraging cards, and emotional and spiritual support. Phil’s Friends board member, Abigail Gage, explains how this partnership began. “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my hope came from the team at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, who came alongside me during my treatment and continues to monitor my health three years later,” Gage said. “I am delighted that Good Shepherd is partnering with Phil’s Friends. The doctors, nurses and staff are committed to bringing good health and hope to every cancer patient that they treat and now Phil’s Friends will be there to help.”
We just wanted to thank you and Phil’s Friends for sending Chuck the Care Package. He really has taken a liking to that blanket! He is cold a lot from the chemo but thankfully he has not lost any hair.
A patient had called recently to let us know how much she had loved her blanket from Phil’s Friends. She has lung cancer and mentioned that, in order to breathe better, she often has to have the air conditioning on. The blanket helped keep her warm while the a/c was on and also for travel to and from the hospital. Unfortunately, during one of those trips to the hospital, the blanket was forgotten on the wheelchair and lost.
She called because she wanted to buy another blanket and our Care Package Coordinator was gracious enough to get some fabric and make one for her instead. So that weekend, Jackie and her daughter went out to buy some pink fleece fabric and they made another blanket for her.
Blankets are very important items that go into every Care Package that Phil’s Friends ships out. These are intended as much for comfort as they are for practical reasons. Every blanket is made from two pieces of fleece fabric that is then cut and tied by volunteers.
Hand-tied fleece blankets like this are so important both because of the impact that they have on the patients who receive them, and also because they can cost.
Last week we celebrated with a Phil’s Friends volunteer, Maddy, who celebrated her 11th birthday! Maddy wanted to celebrate her birthday blessings by sharing them with others. In lieu of collecting gifts for herself, she asked her guests at her birthday party to bring a donation that would go to Phil’s Friends! When asked why she decided to do this, Maddy shared, “My grandma passed away from cancer and I wanted other people to not feel that way.”
One Monday evening back in March, a boy scout troop came into the Hope Center to pack Care Packages and color Cards of Hope for cancer patients.
One of the scouts, Nicholas, was moved by the mission of the organization. He was also in need of a project to get his Eagle Scout Badge. So he approached the group leaders with a unique idea to collect Care Package items and spread awareness for Phil’s Friends.
Nicholas put together a plan to stand outside of five different Jewel-Osco grocery stores for five days — a different Jewel each day. He handed out the Phil’s Friends Care Package Needs List & brochures and then encouraged shoppers to grab a few items off of that list while they shopped the store and come back to drop them off as a donation.
Nicholas and his family were all smiles when they came back to the Hope Center with six large boxes of Care Package items, many gift cards, and over $3,300!
All of us at Phil’s Friends are moved by the generosity of others, excited about the creative ways to get others engaged, and encouraged by how much of an impact a young individual can make! Thanks Nicholas!
Here is an awesome story that we at Phil’s Friends are both extremely proud of and so very grateful for!
Meet Lindsey Bickelhaupt.
She just had her golden birthday and rather than asking for gifts for herself, she invited 15 of her fifth-grade friends to a Phil’s Friends themed birthday party and asked them to bring donations. Wow! How awesome is that!
Lindsey and her dad stopped by on Thursday to drop off the donations. They collected:
- 13 blankets
- 12 lip balms
When they were planning the birthday party, Lindsey’s mom suggested that she could ask for donations to go to a charity. Now, let’s just be honest for a moment. Suggesting to anyone that they should ask their friends to donate to a charity instead of getting them birthday gifts is presenting a considerable challenge of selflessness. But Lindsey rose to that challenge!
When asked about what she thought of it afterward, she said, “It kind of felt good because I’ve never done that before and I also didn’t want to feel selfish on my golden birthday.” Well all of us at Phil’s Friends think that this 11 year old rocks! So thank you Lindsey for your selflessness and for helping to bring hope to those affected by cancer!
Since being diagnosed with cancer for the second time and going for outpatient chemotherapy at that Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, I have had time to reflect on one of the possibilities of why God has allowed this to take place (although I certainly can’t know the mind of the Creator!).
I was convinced that I was serving Him in the right place on the inpatient blood cancer floor at Prentice Women’s Hospital, where Phil’s Friends’ Hope to Hospitals program delivers care packages to the patients. However, God had a different plan in mind! For the last two years we have been discussing how to bring the Hope to Hospitals program to the outpatient department at Northwestern. But we did not clearly see a way to do that.
When I began going for outpatient chemotherapy, God provided the opportunity for me to speak to the manager in charge of supportive oncology about the Phil’s Friends programs, something that would never have happened if I weren’t physically there receiving chemotherapy.
This must have been God’s timing because through that conversation, God has opened the door! We now have the opportunity to bring hope to thousands more patients there, providing them with Care Packages and Cards of Hope, and showing them Christ-like love and encouragement. It’s incredible to be a part of God’s work for the cancer patients at Northwestern, and to see Him get the glory!