By Teresa Dehning
Team: Domestic Abuse Resource Center
Goal: Help adult and child victims heal, move forward, and live free from abuse
Volunteer Roles: Answer the Crisis Line, transport a client and children to a safe place, house a client and children 1-2 nights, serve on a coalition
All volunteers are valued and treated as part of the team, especially the people who volunteer through the Domestic Abuse Resource Center. These dedicated individuals give their time to help others in a crisis situation.
After receiving a call through the 24-hour Crisis Line, volunteers respond to the concerns clients have for themselves and their children. After an in-depth training course, volunteers are ready to listen, share safety options, and connect clients to the right resource to help in their time of need. Volunteer advocates provide vital services that carry out our mission: helping people heal, move forward, and live free from abuse. We’d like to introduce to you a few of these passionate volunteers.
I choose to volunteer because I want to make a difference in the lives of other women. I found myself on the receiving end of services years ago, and now I want to give back. In the local paper I saw that a free training was going on—for me that helped a lot! Something about this opportunity clicked with me, and I decided to just do it. I am so glad I did. I have met many wonderful women and have made some lifelong friends. Too many people stay quiet on the sidelines about domestic violence. They don’t want to get involved. But one thing I think of is this, “What if my daughter needed help?” I wouldn’t want someone who knew what was going on to stay quiet. That could be the difference between life and death. We all need someone in our corner. I want to be that someone for others, so I volunteer. I love that as volunteer advocates, we not only counsel people, but we show our heart by acting. Collecting gas cards, groceries, funds for client rent, transporting someone to a safe house, listening—it all shows that we care about people. People are what matters in life, not things. I am proud to be a volunteer and to be able to help in some way. -L ______________________________________
One winter night, I helped a woman and her young child—transported them from one county to another and provided a safe home with a non-judgmental welcome, a meal, and a bed. For one night amidst a time of crisis and upheaval, this woman with her child had to give up her home, vehicle, and all she knew and was connected to; she walked away from it all. As a trained volunteer, I could answer this woman’s call and offer support. I am thankful to be a part of this caring, community network. -D ______________________________________