The Village Project provides meals to families dealing with cancer

Over 400 volunteers have serverd 6,500 meals

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio - When cancer strikes someone in the family life turns upside down. A special charity helps those hurting in Bay Village, Avon Lake and Rocky River cope with life's basic needs.

The sizzle heard inside this newly renovated facility comes from the kitchen where teen volunteers cook to make life a little easier for families dealing with cancer. Under adult supervision teens do all the cooking. Each week they provide three full meals, side dishes and a desert for each member of the family.

"We cook really nutritious healthy food every week and send it out with love," said Bay High School student Kelsey Reiloy.

"It's important for the families of the people affected," said Grant Pardo, a Bay High junior.

"I think this is a really worthy cause and it's close to my heart," said Katie Koomar who is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Barb Harrell quit her job starting this charity in 2010. She has known the devastating effects of cancer in her own family. The Village Project has grown to over 400 volunteers that served over 6,500 meals to over 60 families.

"We have a lot of fun in the kitchen but they all know this is serious business, this is an opportunity to take a very tragic disease and do something positive."

There is something for everyone. Four year olds paint jars for vases, middle school students water the garden where vegetables and flowers are grown, adults are called delivery angels, driving the meals each week. 

Barb involves schools, Girl and Boy Scouts, Key Clubs and diverse community members to make this all work.

"What a gift to work with such awesome people and do something to offer hope, kindness and care to those that need it," said Harrell.

"It's a nice pick me up for them and brightens their day a little bit," said Reiloy.

All cancer client families are kept confidential. The Village Project receives funding in many different ways. If you would like to help volunteer or donate visit their web site at www.ourvillageproject.com .

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