“It’s important to give whether it’s your time or money. It’s human to give and the more you give the more you get.”
This sentiment of giving freely to others is something Pennie Kroush-Klucina promotes through her words and through giving gifts to those dealing with cancer. Her gifts to women across the Region who are struggling with cancer come in the form of her cancer care poufs that she has donated to the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center to give out to cancer patients starting next year.
“It’s a little pouf or pouch that is great for keeping loose things together in your purse so they’re not free-falling,” Kroush-Klucina said. “Normally, I put in a pair of socks, a pack of Kleenex, some hard candy, lip balm, hand lotion, pens, a pad of paper, and tea. It’s just a nice little care package to let them know someone is thinking about them.”
Kroush-Klucina works as a project manager for a general contractor and also does two side businesses: Monat and Stella & Dot. It was through Stella & Dot that she was struck with the idea of how she could encourage women facing cancer with cancer care poufs.
“At Stella & Dot, we’ve always had these little poufs that sell for about $24 dollars,” she said. “What I would do is have everybody donate $25 to cover the pouf. My entire commission from those, I used to fill the poufs. It can’t erase someone having cancer, but they know somebody else is thinking about them, and it can put a smile on their faces at least for a little time.”
Kroush-Klucina tries to imagine herself or a loved one dealing with cancer so she can better envision what someone would need or want while they are battling cancer. In addition to the gift of a cancer care pouf to feel recognized and loved, she thinks that helping with daily needs is what she would want for herself or a loved one. Fighting cancer is exhausting, so filling in the cracks of everyday tasks gives people more time to rest and recover their strength.
“If you see someone who’s battling cancer, ask them what they need,” Kroush-Klucina said. “Ask them if they need you to make a pot of soup and drop it off. Ask if they need ride. A lot of times during chemo, they’re tired. Not only can they not eat, but they still have a family to feed. They have kids that rely on them and dropping off a dinner or anything like that helps.”
“I truly believe in gratitude and giving back,” she continued. “I feel that you’re more successful in life as a human being when you help others. A friend of mine is a missionary, and he does a huge food drive every year. I have gotten myself and all my customers involved in donating bags of food to him, and I would give away jewelry through a drawing. If you can donate your time to those who need it, you lead a blessed life.”
To learn more about the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center at Methodist Hospitals, please visit https://www.methodisthospitals.org/clinical_services/breast-care-center/.