Volunteers: Doing their utmost to make a positive impact
Alexandra House could not provide free and confidential services to domestic and sexual violence victims/survivors without volunteers.
You have probably heard this statement before, but it’s repeated so often because of the powerful truth it holds. Alexandra House would not exist without dedicated and passionate volunteers. Our 50-hour Volunteer Advocate Training, held twice a year (Spring and Fall), is the ultimate testament to how amazing our volunteers are. The training happens over 4-5 weeks, making it a substantial time commitment. The training is required for volunteers working with program participants in shelter, answering helpline calls, responding to hospital calls, and directly advocating for victims/survivors.
Joyce is an Alexandra House volunteer who participated in the Spring 2021 training, and now continues to support Alexandra House in helping participants every day! In 2021, Joyce spent over 340 hours volunteering at Alexandra House, both as a hospital advocate and as an Ambassador with our Speaker’s Bureau. Below, Joyce shares her reflections on the importance of volunteering:
I first became involved with Alexandra House several years ago as I wanted to be involved in work that I felt passionate about. I firmly believe in and support the rights of others and have always been concerned with the inequities that surround us. To have a dedicated place where women, children, and men can get the help they need when in such crisis is so needed.
Working with Alexandra House has taught me that everyone has experienced difficult situations and stories in their lives. Alexandra House surprised me with the many ways they serve the community and support program participants. It is truly remarkable: the shelter, food, clothing, financial and legal assistance, housing, support groups, and more. Knowing that there is a safe place for people to be protected and help them rebuild their lives inspires me to support the organization as best I can.
In the past year, Alexandra House has seen record low volunteer numbers while experiencing an increase in need of services. In 2020, there was a 6% increase in the number of calls that came through our helpline, and within three months at the end of 2021, hospital calls increased by 20%.
Being a hospital advocate means that in some small way, I can hopefully help someone towards the healing process. Hospital volunteers can provide support and help people find the services they need. All of this is currently being done virtually (due to COVID-19 hospital protocols) in a confidential video connection. Volunteers do this from our shelter, therefore not requiring any personal technology. I have seen firsthand the difference hospital advocates make in impacting a victim/survivor’s journey with Alexandra House and with healing.
At Alexandra House, you will see the dedication and support advocates and volunteers readily offer to those who need it. One of my first impressions of Alexandra House was meeting the most caring and selfless people I had ever had in my life. I am amazed at my supervisors and their capacity to stay optimistic. They remind us to keep diligently moving forward to help others in this extreme time of need. I always find myself wanting to “make it all better” in every situation, which is not always possible. Still, by supporting someone during one of the most challenging times in their life, I realize I am doing the most I can to make a positive impact.
Check out how you can become an Alexandra House volunteer.