The Village Project: A Mission to Serve


Life is never the same when you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Although people are affected differently by a cancer diagnoses it is fair to say that the common theme is feeling enormous stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety permeates all aspects of one’s life: such as work, home life, career and community participation.  Stress and anxiety are often caused by feeling fearful about the future or too ill  (or have a family member that is ill) to go to work or school, cook dinner,  read your child a good night story, mow the lawn, or go to church or synagogue. Sometimes, stress and anxiety can manifest itself as a  feeling of being emotionally immobilized which results in being too angry or sad to tell family or friends how you really feel.

Executive Director of The Village Project, Barb Harrell understands how people are impacted by cancer. She has had several family members diagnosed with this horrendous disease and knows first hand that people often need help with meeting basic needs like having a meal cooked for them or their family.

Barb believes she has been called to serve her community.  The Village Project is the outcome of that calling to meet the needs of cancer patients living in Bay Village, Avon Lake and Rocky River, Ohio.  The Village Project’s mission is “to come together as a community of all ages to provide nourishing meals and extended care and service to our neighbors experiencing cancer.”

What a gift!

Some of us are fortunate to have family and friends near who can assist us as we deal with the trials of cancer. We are comfortable asking  a sibling or neighbor to mow the lawn, throw a load of laundry in the wash,  or help prepare a meal.

But what about those persons not so fortunate to have family living close by? Barb says that many cancer patients are ALONE!

Barb and her wonderful team want to help people who feel isolated by their disease. Her team consists of staff members and volunteers (from Brownies to Senior Citizens) who desire to help make a difference in their community. As I walked through The Village Project on West Oviatt Drive in Bay Village it was pretty obvious that much love and dedication went into the floor plan and design of the facility. There  are aprons  hanging on a wall with high school students’ names indicating that they have earned the reward of being a regular volunteer. In another room one can see a Wall Mural of a Tree with Hand Prints courtesy of the local Brownies Troop. Photographs of volunteers abound indicating that this organization wants to serve people of all ages.

I recommend that you visit their website at to learn more about The Village Project: you will  see photographs of the activities conducted by dedicated individuals, learn how to volunteer and support The Village Project and of course, find out  how to GET HELP!

Barb Harrell, Executive Director
Volunteers for The Village Project

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