The local families who have relied on the Falmouth Service Center for a helping hand whenever in crisis have been and are always grateful for their service. Now the person behind every success is needing their help.
Brenda Swain has served in the Falmouth Service Center as the executive director for 17 years. Since midsummer, she has been on leave to attend to her medical needs when she found out she has Stage 4 stomach cancer. The 60-year-old is undergoing chemotherapy, however, her healthcare plan will soon be palliative.
From Falmouth Jewish Congregation, Rabbi Elias Lieberman said that Swain’s family is planning and hoping to detain the disease’s progress for a while to make her comfortable.
The 600 Falmouth Service Center Volunteers have known of Swain’s diagnosis since summer, but the others just found out about it via the GoFundMe page Lieberman set up last Sunday. After only 24 hours the donations reached up to $18,000.
Brenda is known for giving so much of her time and service for the community and was able to rally many people to support the town. She is well respected and well-liked. A pastor of Waquoit Congregational Church expressed his lack of surprise by the reaction of the community with their emotional outpouring. He even considers her as a town icon.
With her leadership in the service center, what once seemed like only a food pantry has become a multiservice provider. The president of the board of directors for the Falmouth Service Center, Cathy Kligler calls Swain “a visionary.”
Brenda needed some persuasion before agreeing to put up the GoFundMe page. Lieberman ultimately convinced her that letting people donate will be a major gift to those who are willing to help.
The service center staff are doing great at keeping things moving smoothly with the programs in Swain’s absence.