When our multi-talented, busy friend Kimberley Locke started volunteering at Ann’s Place, we were curious. Kimberley speaks so highly of the time she spends there and how meaningful it is to her. We decided to get informed and learn first hand just what Ann’s Place does for our community.
Shannon Cobb, President and CEO, was kind enough to meet us one Saturday afternoon to give us a tour of the impressive facility located at 80 Saw Mill Road, Danbury.
Here are our Cliffs Notes!
Ann’s Place serves thousands of clients in our community with all types of cancer. All of the services are provided at no cost to clients, as well as their loved ones.
Counseling and Support Groups
Ann’s Place offers short-term counseling for individuals, couples, and families. Counseling can be accessed through one on one appointments, or by joining one of their 16 different peer groups.
With 5 clinicians on staff, 23 volunteer clinicians and numerous guest speakers, Ann’s Place can provide support and information on topics such as: how to control stress and anxiety, updates on research and treatments, family coping and communications, peer support, caregiving, workplace issues, best practices for friends, finances, and living well during and after treatment.
Ann’s Place support groups provide a safe, confidential place for those affected by cancer to learn from others about the impact of different treatments, share their personal experiences and concerns, and be a support to each other.
Professional wellness practitioners offer classes in all types of Yoga, Reiki, Tai Chi’, movement, mindfulness, art classes, and horticulture therapy, to name a few!
Volunteer horticultural therapist, Erik Keller grows indigenous, low-maintenance plantings, which are good for the environment and don’t require pesticides. Tactile gardens provide sensory therapy in the form of smell and touch. Any minute now the 6500 daffodil bulbs planted at Ann’s Place will be blooming. Clients and friends can enjoy walking the peaceful winding path which leads to a meditative labyrinth.
The art room, although not technically a core service, affords visitors the important benefits of art therapy. As we know, art supplies are expensive, so when Shannon had the idea to make an Amazon wishlist for Ann’s Place, and packages started arriving daily, all were thrilled, especially pro-bono art director, Nancy Chapman.
In addition to speaking with clinicians at Ann’s Place, clients can visit the library to obtain important resources and materials.
Ann’s Place is run largely by volunteers. There are many ways in which people can help. Facilitators, wellness practitioners, peer mentors, event volunteers, gardening, and landscaping staff are all areas where service is welcomed. More information can be found here.
Kimberley Locke (left) is one of 40 or so reception volunteers and also helps with communications and special events. Lynn Stubbe (right), is the Volunteer Coordinator.
A home from home
The non-profit agency was founded just over 25 years ago. In 2006, Ann’s Place built a beautiful new 17,000 square foot facility, made possible entirely through donations and by volunteers. They raised $2 million and the remainder of the $5 million cost was donated in man and woman power.
The building emphasizes comfort and a home-like feel with a kitchen and fireplace sitting area, an art area and kids playroom downstairs and additional meeting and presentation rooms allowing for community gatherings.
One of the spirituality room’s four windows representing each season.
Inspired to help? Shannon tells us there are over 40 different groups that organize fundraisers on their behalf. And there’s always room for more! Why not organize a dinner, a concert, a walk?
Honor somebody special and dedicate a brick.
Buy a cookbook.
Follow on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and other ways to help!
Please visit the website to learn more at www.annsplace.org
80 Saw Mill Road, Danbury, CT 06810
Pics: Lora (photo of Kimberley Locke provided by her) / Words: Bev + information taken from the Ann’s Place website.