The W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff team is honored to work with a dedicated, diverse, and hilarious community of volunteers. As the Volunteer Coordinator, I have the opportunity to train and work alongside an ever-growing pool of folks who are committed to giving their time and energy to reducing violence and barriers to support for our community members. Our organization is especially thankful to currently work with 60+ volunteers who dedicate around 1,000 hours of service each month. As someone who started down this path as a volunteer and found that experience to be rather life-changing, I have extra appreciation for other folks who are joining the anti-violence movement!
Many people apply to our volunteer program because, at some point in their lives, they or someone they care about has been a survivor of violence. When it comes to an issue as prevalent as domestic violence, most us of have been impacted in some way. Volunteering with an anti-domestic violence organization can feel empowering; it is an opportunity to show up for people who are navigating dangerous and overwhelming situations, to listen without judgment, and increase support for folks who are often almost completely isolated from their support systems. For those of us doing this tough work, we know that while helping others we are also benefiting from being part of a meaningful cause. Many of our volunteers have also come to this work to explore career interests in social work, counseling, nonprofits, and more. It’s a great chance to get your feet wet, and for many, is an affirming experience that leads to a lifelong commitment to social justice work.
In my position, I have had the pleasure of working with many amazing volunteers as they joined our community, go through our intense training process, and develop their skills as advocates and W.O.M.A.N., Inc. supporters. I am always excited to meet applicants during our interview process and learn about the diverse and fresh perspectives they will bring to this work. People who volunteer in anti-violence organizations are truly a special breed! They recognize the harm that is happening in our communities every day, and are hopeful and optimistic about their role in creating safer and more equitable relationships. During the training process, it’s inspiring to witness volunteers learning about the dynamics of domestic violence and the ways to support survivors, as well as trying on new skills. Not only are the volunteers learning and developing their analysis and self-awareness, but they also contribute to the training and our work with their amazing life experience, unique styles of supporting others, and fresh ideas for making even more of a positive impact in the community. In working with volunteers, I get excited about doing this work all over again!
For information about our volunteer program, please check out the blog posts listed below. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Lily Krutel, Volunteer Coordinator