October is a month full of advocacy, seasonal favorites, and the festivities of Halloween. Known as the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month (among other things), October is a time for advocating, educating, and prevention. As a woman-owned company, ReEmployAbility aims to raise awareness of the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, breast cancer. Many know this month is more than just a time to raise money on behalf of breast cancer research, but a time to shed light on the strength of those who have been affected by the disease.

In this month’s Not-for-Profit Spotlight and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ReEmployAbility features our nonprofit partner American Cancer Society’s Bakersfield Discovery Shop. This location has become one of our most successful partners, hosting many of the injured workers who participate in our Transition2Work Return-to-Work program. As one of the world’s leading nonprofits of cancer research and prevention, the American Cancer Society has become a large contributor in the fight to end breast cancer around the world. Their mission is to free the world from cancer. Until their mission is fulfilled, the organization will continue “funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention.”

Fortunately from years of advanced research in the disease, scientists have been able to identify risk-factors involved with anything that could potentially increase your chances of the disease. There is no known cause for what may cause each case of breast cancer, some may develop it based on lifestyle-related factors or hormone levels. Others could develop the disease from inherited gene changes which are passed down from family members, or acquired gene mutation which would develop over time. Even though there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are still many things people can do that might lower their risk of the disease. But with the efforts of organizations like Bakersfield Discovery Shop of American Cancer Society, we become one step closer to the cure. Click the link to learn more about the scientific research and information behind Breast Cancer >>

Getting to Know Bakersfield Discovery Shop

To get a better understanding of The Bakersfield Discovery Shop and how they provide a service to their community, we interviewed Bakersfield Discovery Shop’s High Volume Manager Traci VanBurkleo.

Through retail merchandising of “high-quality, gently used, donated merchandise”, the Discovery Shops are one resource the American Cancer Society utilizes to help support their fight against cancer. These facilities have been operating for more than 50 years, spread across multiple states, providing clothing, jewelry, and household items at an affordable rate. There are many benefits to becoming a Discovery Shop volunteer, such as staying connected with your community, building relationships, and assisting in raising funds for cancer research and patient services. The Bakersfield Discovery Shop is one local destination for a community to seek help when they need support throughout their cancer journey.

Traci describes the Discovery Shop as “the only organization that integrates discovery, advocacy, and direct patient support to measurably improve lives.” Cancer has an effect on everyone involved, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. For 57 years staff members and volunteers at Discovery Shop locations have worked hard to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Their entire net profits have funded research, education, and programs supporting those impacted by cancer. From 1991 to 2019, there has been a 32% decline in cancer mortality. Traci explains, “We can directly attribute declines in the overall cancer death rate to investment of funds and resources” in the Discovery Shop’s local areas. She goes on to explain that, “to date Discovery Shops have raised over $372 million dollars – all while helping to save the planet through our commitment to global sustainability by reselling donated goods.” An admirable accomplishment to say the least!

Fighting the Fight with Transition2Work

ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program has helped thousands of nonprofits within our network, and Bakersfield Discovery Shop is no exception. October is a very busy season for advocates fighting against breast cancer, and organizations like the American Cancer Society can use all the help it can get. The ReEmployAbility team uses experienced placement strategies to ensure injured workers who participate in the Transition2Work program are assigned to nonprofits that can accommodate their light-duty needs in order to make a positive impact on the community during their recovery. Traci proves this by stating, “The individuals joining us from the Transition2Work Program not only provide our Bakersfield Discovery Shop with the needed support to operate our business, they become part of our community family.”

Traci shares her perspective on the benefits of the Transition2Work program by stating, “My favorite is during someone’s time at the Discovery Shop, I have seen them get touched by the mission by those impacted by cancer. After having the opportunity to understand the value of a Discovery Shop – workers give us the biggest value when they help us spread the word and become advocates of our mission by sharing the many ways the community can support the Discovery Shop – donate, volunteer, and shop!”

Many participants may have never heard about the organization prior to their assignment, but we continue to hear positive stories of team work and comradery. Bakersfield Discovery Shop finds great value in hosting Transition2Work participants, and have much success providing a flexible work environment during an injured worker’s recovery. Workers are able to feel productive and provide value until they can return to their full-time work duties at their place of employment. The Discovery Shop gives workers, “the opportunity to be part of a team where they are valued”, and through first-hand experiences, are able to make positive impacts on the communities they live in.

Discover Your Shop

Discovery Shop is a community run boutique of curated donated treasures that fund the means to improve and save lives. You can support the American Cancer Society’s mission by joining their volunteer team or making a donation. The volunteers that help run the Discovery Shops allow the nonprofit to keep their overhead costs low so more money can go towards their mission. Someone’s unwanted item can be another’s treasure, and volunteers work hard to ensure donations have a chance at a “second life”.

ReEmployAbility joins the Bakersfield Discovery Shop in spreading the word about the many Discovery Shops that provide a great service to those affected by cancer. We urge readers to locate your nearest Discover Shop, and to show your support by shopping, donating, and volunteering at a location near you.

The best way to stay up to date on Bakersfield Discovery Shop is to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Visit their location at 5420 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA, where you can enjoy the location’s special themed merchandise events every Wednesday, with new merchandise added to their inventory every day.

The Bakersfield Discovery Shop encourages anyone in the Sacramento and Central Valley area of California who would like to contribute to this cause through service or donation to visit their location or the closest Discovery Shop near you.

If you need resources, or want to get involved with the Bakersfield Discovery Shop visit this direct link>>

For more information on the American Cancer Society and their resources on breast cancer visit

www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer

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