Cleaning for A Reason maid service. Women undergoing cancer treatment can request four free housecleaning visits. Since 2005, the nonprofit has helped more than 4,000 women; it's powered by 750 cleaning businesses across the country that lend out their services at no cost. "I just heard from a woman whose mother had received help when she was battling cancer," says founder Deborah Sardone. "She said it meant a lot for her—because instead of having to do the cleaning herself, she was able to lie in bed and read with her mom, who was so sick. It helps the entire family, not just the woman who has cancer."
Fill A Heart pillow. These heart-shaped pillows, hand-sewn by Fill A Heart volunteers, are designed to ease breast cancer patients' post-surgical pain. "Pillows are amazingly important when you're recovering from a mastectomy," Silberman says. "This little one would be wonderful in the car, because you really need a pillow on the way home from the hospital." Fill A Heart pillows are currently offered to patients in Florida, Kentucky, and New York.
Chemo Angels. Cancer patients are matched with volunteers who provide encouragement through cards and small gifts, like bath salts, tea, bookmarks, and scented soaps. Patients sign up online, and complete a questionnaire to clue the more than 4,000 "angels" in to what gifts would be most appreciated. You can also register a sick family member as a surprise. Patients typically "graduate" from the Chemo Angels program four to six weeks after they complete treatment. "One of the things I really appreciated was that you don't have to respond back," Silberman says. "They send you stuff at a time when you're so tired, you don't have a lot of energy to thank people and write cards, and you're not expected to."
Casting for Recovery. Women who have—or are recovering from—breast cancer can attend one of these weekend retreats, which blend counseling, education, and fly-fishing. Yes, fly-fishing, which connects women to nature and provides gentle exercise, says program director Kathryn Fox. Each retreat is limited to 14 women. "It's a chance to get away from the stresses of the disease and medical care," says Fox. Participants spend much of the weekend on the water, practicing catch-and-release fishing, and often bond with each other while they're at it. The program, offered in 30 states, is touted as a way to promote mental and physical healing. Women may stay in hotels, cabins, or at youth recreation camps, depending on location. Those interested can register online. All costs are covered.