The Fall of 2015 group of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. folks who graduated the domestic violence training is one that sticks out for me. Since I began supervising volunteers, each person dedicating their time and energy into the organization has greatly impacted it. Everyone has a strength they can bring whether it’s being really good at peer counseling, speak another language, reliable, communicative, having an awareness of power and privilege and bringing that to the table, etc. But this group in particular has really shown how impactful community can be.
This was also the largest group we’ve brought into the Support Line program. Facilitating a Support Line program training for 14, when it’s normally 7-8 people, in a tiny training space was cozy to say the least, but it was there I noticed how supportive they were of one another. A few of the volunteers work in the office and I’ll hear about how they will still spend time together outside of W.O.M.A.N., Inc., or just hearing how they speak of one another gives me another sense of the respect they have for one another. One of the biggest things that caught my eye was the support line volunteer listserv we have set up for all volunteers working on the support line. Normally, the way it’s set up, if a volunteer needs time off from their weekly shift they are responsible for trying to find coverage for their shift. There have been times in the past when volunteers have had a difficult time finding coverage since volunteers generally have a lot going on in their life which makes sense. Since this new group began working on the line, there have been the normal amount of time-off requests but it’s different now. There’s definitely a higher rate of response from other volunteers available to cover for someone. I joke with them and with Joy, our Program Assistant, that they actually make our jobs a little easier since they are taking it upon themselves to fill those holes in the schedule. I also loved hearing about how one of our newer volunteers reached out to her pal who went through the Fall training with her and got some needed resources when staff was unavailable during her overnight Saturday shift.
It’s examples like these that made me want to highlight the Fall 2015 training group. I really love of how they go to one another for support which is something we try to demonstrate at the organization; we try to show how impactful community can be. They are an excellent example of community!
~ Mary Martinez, Peer Services Manager