This past week, April 6-12, was National Volunteer Week!
While it is always important to recognize all that volunteers give to our organization, it’s wonderful to have a whole week dedicated to volunteer appreciation!
In 2013, 639 SafePlace volunteers gave their time, energy and support to domestic and sexual violence survivors. In honor of National Volunteer Week, two of our volunteers, Donald and Lacey, generously shared the story of how they came to SafePlace, and why volunteering here is something that anyone can do.
Lacey found SafePlace when she was researching volunteer opportunities, and Donald decided to tag along so they could spend the time together. They went through the 40 hour volunteer training more than a year ago, and although they began the training together, they have chosen to volunteer in different programs. Donald is a hospital advocate, on call for two to four shifts a month, and Lacey gives eight hours a month to grants research.
Becoming a hospital advocate sounded like an opportunity to bring positivity to someone’s life during a difficult time, and fit well with his professional goals—Donald, who wanted to work toward a helping career, is pursuing of a Master of Science in Nursing to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
But direct client care is not for everyone, and didn’t feel right for Lacey.
After meeting with Langa, our volunteer manager to talk through her options, and the different needs of the agency, Lacey realized researching grant opportunities would be a great use of her skills. She had found the way that she could help while also taking care of herself.
“If anyone is unsure, or just feeling on the fence about volunteering, there are a lot of different ways you can help,” Lacey says, and “There is a lot of support for volunteers here.”
The couple continue to find ways to give! Donald and Lacey got married in March. Because their volunteer work at SafePlace has become such a big part of their lives, they wanted to find a way to include SafePlace in their wedding, and asked family and friends to donate to SafePlace in lieu of giving gifts.
Congratulations, Donald and Lacey! And thank you for all you have done and continue to do for SafePlace!
[If you’d like to share you experience as a SafePlace volunteer with us, please contact Communications Assistant Katey Gorski at KGorski@SafePlace.org.]