CHARG will be moving into a new location next month at Eagle Nest, Inc., located at 112 E. Ninth Ave. in downtown Winfield.
CHARG, which stands for Cowley Health Assistance Resource Group, helps people and families coping with cancer.
“Since Eagle Nest has a beautiful cancer boutique, the Cancer Suite, with free items designated for women battling cancer right next to my (new) office, it just seems like a perfect match for all of us,” said Arkansas City resident JoAnn Bierle, founder and president of CHARG.
“We are so (grateful) to Gayle McPherson for offering our group an office space and being a part of this amazing nonprofit organization.”
Bierle, who is a cancer survivor herself, has a passion to help others who are going through the same ordeals she has endured.
CHARG was started several years ago. Six weeks after she formed the group, Bierle was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time, after being in remission for 15 years.
“I was so blessed that I had amazing board members to help make my vision, passion and dream a reality,” she said.
“We were also so fortunate to have Tammy Lanman-Henderson, a board member, who kept the group going while I was in treatment.”
Bierle and Lanman-Henderson also serve together on the Equal Opportunity and Accessibility Advisory Board in Ark City.
Among the programs offered by CHARG is a checklist for people and their families who are visiting an oncologist for the first time.
“We know hearing the word ‘cancer’ can be so overwhelming. With this list, you can leave confident that questions and issues will be addressed,” Bierle said.
CHARG also offers a KidsCan program to help kids whose parents are facing cancer to pay for their sports activities or equipment.
“We believe every kid need some normalcy in their lives during this time,” Bierle said.
The group’s main focus is to help the community and local people who are facing cancer.
“Our objective is to find resources to assist them with their situation and needs,” Bierle said.
Her passion to help people is one that is deeply seated in her upbringing.
Bierle is the daughter of a preacher and has spent much of her life around sickness and death.
“While taking my own ‘red devil,’ which was one of the worst chemo(therapy treatments), I was still asked by the staff to talk to people who were scared,” she said.
“I even went with them to treatments and radiation.”
But it wasn’t until she lost her hair that she realized there might be a way she could impact even more people.
“When they shaved my hair off, I looked in the mirror and saw my big nose and big mouth,” Bierle said.
“I knew then that God wanted me to see my big mouth and He was gonna use it, regardless of how shy I was.”
CHARG is a nonprofit organization that depends upon fundraising to function so it can continue providing support.
“We are also excited about our fundraiser in April (2019). Our amazing board (members) are already hard at work making plans,” Bierle said.
“We are looking for painters to paint pictures … and need vendors.”
CHARG also is in the process of creating a Facebook page.
In the meantime, the organization is looking for volunteers to help to move its headquarters.
Anyone interested in visiting the Cancer Suite can call (620) 229-8282 for an appointment.