Summer Camp 2022 – Part 1

What is ACS & ACS On Campus?

Welcome to ACS Summer Camp! Over the next several weeks all 4 parts of summer camp will be posted here on the ACS On Campus website. Summer Camp is a great way to refresh and get inspired by new ideas to prepare for the upcoming school year. These parts will remain on the website so you can always refer back to the amazing resources we have linked!


Summer Camp – Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


What is ACS?

American Cancer Society is dedicated to ending the battle against cancer. We do that in funding research grants, advocating for positive legislation for cancer patients, and supporting patients in many ways.

What is ACS CAN?

ACS CAN is a 501c(4) affiliate of ACS, focused on lobbying and empowering ambassadors across the country to influence policy and advocate for legislative solutions to cancer. We use our voice to expand access to care, increase governmental funding of cancer research, and make the fight against cancer a national priority.


At the American Cancer Society, we run on donations from generous people passionate about fighting cancer. All donations go towards cancer research at hundreds of institutions, cancer screenings programs in local communities, preventative programs, and our 24/7 hotline for cancer information and support for cancer patients.


Common ways we fundraise:

Relay for Life is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events in the world! The mission of Relay for Life is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. When you participate in Relay for Life, you become a vital part of the American Cancer Society: a volunteer. You are now part of an organization of 2.5 million survivors, patients, advocates, volunteers, caregivers, and researchers doing everything within our power to save lives.

  • At a Relay For Life event, you have join as a team or an individual and walk around a track to symbolize the fight against cancer never stops. Cheer on survivors during their First Lap around the track and honor those who have battled cancer with Luminaria bags – glowing in the dark.

  • Action items: There are now more ways than ever for anyone to join the Relay community from anywhere! Find a Relay For Life event near you by visiting and searching by your zip code. Once you’ve done that, start fundraising, spread the word, and attend on the event day! If there is not a Relay for Life event in your area, check out Relay USA or Relay for Life of Second Life! These are both virtual events where you can fundraise and attend from wherever you are.  Interested in learning more about what Relay does and how it came to be? Click here for more!

  • ACS began expanding Relay For Life outside of the US in 1995 and we now have 29 partner countries on 6 continents hosting RFL events!

    • If you’re studying abroad, reach out to your staff partner or click here to find out if ACS has a partnership with the country you’re visiting!!

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a campaign to unite communities, companies, and individuals to work together to put an end to breast cancer. In 2022, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Making Strides and continuing to fund groundbreaking research for breast cancer. As of August 2021, ACS funds $71 million in breast cancer research. We are also able to connect 3,900 women facing breast cancer with a trained breast cancer survivor to support them through their journey through the program, “Reach to Recovery”.

  • Making Strides has a similar set up to the structure of Relay For Life when it comes to teams and fundraising platforms. Making Strides participants can sign up with friends and family by forming a team to fundraise in the months leading up to, and including the month of October. Fundraising can be completed on both an individual and team basis. We always encourage participants fundraising through Facebook by linking their dashboard to their social media account. 

  • We estimate that more than 290,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year which is the reason that this fight is not over. We come together to celebrate the 3.8 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States today to uplift those who have recently been diagnosed and continue to fund the necessary research to Make Strides in the fight against breast cancer. 

  • Action items: Create a team for your local Making Strides Walk, invite friends and family to join you, and fundraise to support breast cancer research. Click here to find your local Making Strides Walk.

Young people at a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event

Gold Together is the American Cancer Society’s initiative dedicated to childhood cancer and aims to accomplish 3 main things:

  1. Increase awareness of childhood cancer

  2. Support families facing a diagnosis

  3. Raise funds to end childhood cancer

Money fundraised for Gold Together is specifically earmarked for research, education, advocacy, and services related to childhood cancer. You can join the Gold Together movement in many ways – through Relay For Life, Gold Together Ambassadors, Gold Nation, and more – find more information here.

  • Actionable items: To show your support for childhood cancer patients and survivors, make gold cancer support ribbons to display on your backpack! This can also be done for all different types of cancers. A list of colors that correspond to different cancers can be found i n the image to the right and directions to make a ribbon can be found here.


Lights of Hope is the primary fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Donors dedicate bags in honor of those they have lost or who are still fighting cancer. These bags are then displayed at local events across the country or in DC at the Hope Walk event in September. Each year, over 50,000 bags are dedicated and displayed. You can dedicate a bag at More resources and fundraising advice for Lights of Hope can be found here.

The American Cancer Society is partnering with Tiltify to bring together people of all ages to create fun dares and utilize social media to Livestream and fundraise through their new ACS Challenge Me program! From hair dying, lip-syncing, or other creative challenges, streamers are encouraged to Livestream with the purpose of fundraising. Once their donations milestones and goals are hit, then it is time to complete their challenge for everyone to watch! This is an interactive virtual opportunity to have fun while supporting the ACS’s mission. To learn more about ACS Challenge Me, click here! Ready to start your own challenge? Check out the Tiltify page here!



Patient Support

ACS supports cancer patients and many ways – before, during, and after cancer treatment.


Hope Lodges offer a free place to stay for cancer patients and their caregivers if they have to travel for treatment. Patients can stay at a Hope Lodge for as long as needed and enjoy personal rooms, kitchens, and activities with other patients undergoing treatment. There are currently 31 Hope Lodges in the United States and Puerto Rico, find the locations here.


The American Cancer Society’s 24-hour hotline, 1-800-227-2345, is a free resource available at any time for cancer information, referrals, donations or website assistance, and volunteer opportunities. No matter if you’re a nurse needed clarification on cancer prescriptions, a patient questioning their diagnosis, or a family member looking for support while caring for your loved one – call our Cancer Support Specialists 365 days a year.


Road to Recovery is a program that matches cancer patients in need of transportation to their cancer treatments with volunteer drivers. Lack of transportation access is a huge barrier to cancer patients across the country. We are bridging that gap by helping patients get to their much needed treatment. To find a ride through Road to Recovery, call our hotline at 1-800-227-2345. Currently, the Road to Recovery program is being re-implemented in select communities following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Reach to Recovery connects breast cancer patients with volunteers who have survived breast cancer so that they can receive one-on-one support throughout their journey to recovery. To find out more, click here.


Where the Money Goes:

75% of the American Cancer Society’s fundraising goes toward program services, including $151 million toward cancer research, $348 million for patient support, $123 million for prevention, information, and education, and $87 million for detection and treatment. 25% of funds go toward supporting services such as management & general expenses and fundraising expenses. 


  • You can find state-specific information by finding your state’s ACS research grants.


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports the mission of the Society by advocating for change at the legislative level and leading the grassroots movement for cancer care, access, and research. ACS CAN has volunteer activist communities in 400 places across the US and ambassadors to each congressperson. Each state holds lobby days, and all of the ambassadors come together for a National Lobby Day each September in DC, coinciding with the Hope Walk. 

  • Recent ACS CAN initiatives on the national level include securing hundreds of millions of dollars in increased research funds to the NCI, passing legislation aimed at advancing equity in clinical trials, and advancing legislation providing coverage for new screenings.

  • On the state level, ACS CAN has led the fight in tobacco control, closing the Medicare gap, and securing or protecting over a billion dollars in funding for cancer-related programs.

  • To learn more, explore our website at or follow ACS CAN on Instagram @ACSCAN.

Global Cancer Work

Fact: “Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, and 10 million deaths in 2020 were attributed to cancer. Low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) shoulder most of the cancer burden. In 2020, out of nearly 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide, 70% were in low-and-middle-income countries.”

  • “LMICs have limited access to resources to respond to the overwhelming challenges that cancer brings to the national health systems. As a result, citizens lack access to cancer-preventing vaccinations and screenings, are diagnosed late, do not have access to treatment and pain relief, and do not receive adequate support to meet their psycho-social and resource needs”

ACS has grown to be a decision-maker in the global fight against cancer. We want to see a world where no one has to hear the words “You have cancer” ever again. Some of our Global Programs/Initiatives include:

  • Global HPV Cancer Free program – Focusing on normalizing HPV vaccination as cancer prevention; Co-chairing Cervical Cancer Action for Elimination (CCAE) with the Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Access Partnership – Engaging pharmaceutical companies to provide world-class medications at affordable prices to treatment centers across sub-Saharan Africa; Current participating companies: Biocon, Biologics, Novartis, Pfizer, and Viatris

  • ChemoSafe – A comprehensive approach to promote the safe handling and administration of chemotherapy and quality service provision to patients in Sub-Saharan Africa; encompasses the life cycle of chemotherapy delivery, including logistics, compounding, administration (including diagnostics and side effect management), and disposal

  • African Cancer Coalition – growing consortium of oncology experts in Africa working with the American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the Clinton Health Access initiative to develop the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Treat the Pain program – Designed to improve access to essential pain medicines

  • Global Patient Navigation – Starting in 2016, ACS began collaborating and supporting partners in Kenya and Uganda to build comprehensive patient navigation programs to demonstrate that patient navigation can be an effective and viable patient-centered care delivery model for health institutions in LMIC

  • BEACON Initiative – Building Expertise, Advocacy, and Capacity for Oncology Navigation (BEACON)

    • Includes a global patient navigation toolkit and a peer learning collaborative online platform

    • Currently in pilot phase (Feb 2022-April 2023) in 10 countries (Armenia, Brazil, Guatemala, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa)

    • Patient and Caregiver education – Working for over 5 years to create culturally-appropriate and easy to understand resources

    • Resources created as part of the BEACON Initiative:

Global Cancer Facts and Figures (4th edition), most recent edition

Global Cancer Statistics 2018 → scientific paper published in the ACS journal

ACS Global Cancer Education Materials (ZIP File)

Actionable Items:

  • Click here to help fund ACS’s global programs focused on preventing cancer, diminishing suffering, catalyzing a local response in partner countries, and shaping global policy agenda

  • Connect students planning to study abroad with ACS partner countries (if applicable) and educate students on your HS/college campus about the global cancer burden and work ACS is doing to help

  • If you are interested in getting involved with the BEACON Initiative, reach out to the team at

  • For more information on Global RFL email or me (can also email me for general global ACS stuff too)

  • Apply for the Global Sub-Committee of the NCYET by filling out this form. Help us fight cancer around the world!

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