Twenty some years ago, I moved away from this community and returned home almost two years ago. Upon my return, I quickly learned about the statistics in our community and I knew I had to get involved.
I called a friend who had been posting "Hope House" event details on Facebook and learned that she was a long time employee. She hooked me up with Dana, the Volunteer Coordinator and before I knew it I was being trained! No sooner than I completed my training, I got an email from Dana asking if someone would be willing to help out in the donations room. I did and I met another great volunteer, Claire. We moved things, organized things and helped victims find things they could use. Then a couple of weeks later, I got an email and learned that help was needed "around the office".
On my first day volunteering "around the office", I was a tiny bit nervous and a whole lot anxious. My job for the day was reception which included answering the phones and the door. Ok - I've "been there- done that"; it should be a breeze-- right? Then my mind started working overtime….and all the questions that a "receptionist" should ask started raining down on me like, well like a southern storm that pops up out of no where.
Could I possibly help out in a way that mattered? I've enjoyed almost 20 years in an industry where I am considered an expert and now ---Now, I think I can play receptionist at a non-profit agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Everyone was busy and the phones were ringing off the hook. I was left to my own good judgment and had to just settle to the fact that until 5pm, I was the conduit. I was possibly the only link between life and death for the three Hotline calls I took.
3 Hotline calls; 2 victims; 1 offender and 1 determined volunteer
-ALL in search of HOPE-
I firmly believe that we MAKE time for what is important! AND when you make time to serve---well, the good Lord takes over and you become exactly who you need to be with the perfect skills to give comfort, direct traffic and do some heavy lifting-literally.
I've only been hit once by someone who said he loved me.
I've only been sexually assaulted by two cowards.
My name is Melanie Goldsmith and I've only begun to take a stand - will you join me?