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The theme for this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week is “Volunteers Make a World of Difference”. We are here to honor you, the people who make a difference.
You are Court Support Advocates, walking up and down the halls of Family and Justice Court, introducing yourself to frightened strangers, and then standing side-by-side with those strangers as they bravely work through the legal system.
You are positive role models for shelter children, freely dispensing hugs and high fives, all while navigating a 15 passenger van down the interstate.
You are Shelter Advocates, providing compassion and assistance to residents during times of crisis, sharing a laugh and a cup of tea or working an hour after your shift ends to make sure that ETPO gets worded just right. And you rarely come to the shelter empty-handed. If there are clothes, toys or household goods out there, you will make sure our residents get everything they need to start fresh and hopeful in their new homes.
You work as Protection Order Assistants, patiently explaining and unraveling complex legal knots that make even seasoned advocates cringe.
You give up full weekends to create time and space to empower and educate young women about Teen Dating Violence.
You stand on your feet for hours at numerous health fairs, sometimes in relentless (but dry!) desert heat, and represent Safe Nest with professionalism and class.
You are survivors and family members of survivors who have made a commitment that no other woman will stand alone again. You have raised your voices to give voice to those who have not yet found theirs.
Author J.K. Rowling said, “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”
Thank you all for imagining better. Thank you for believing in your power. Thank youfor transforming our world with your commitment to this work and the people we serve. You remind us that there is still light in a seemingly dark world. You humble us by showing up, every week, asking for nothing yet giving so very much. You challenge us to be better advocates and citizens—you won’t give up or give in, so we won’t either.
Magic may not transform this world, but our volunteers have, and so we honor each and every one of you.