Ann Lewis, Outreach Volunteer
What brought you to the WCA and how have you seen it evolve?
About 10 years ago, I attended a presentation at the WCA and became a volunteer, participating in projects and helping as needed. I soon became a “regular” helping out with administrative work on Wednesday evenings as I still worked full time. Eventually I was the regular Wednesday evening welcome receptionist for the weekly RAP support group. When I was lucky enough to retire from full time work, I looked forward to more volunteer time at the WCA. That opportunity came soon enough. The Communications Manager asked me to help establish a specific outreach program using trained volunteers to promote community awareness of our organization and our mission. Thinking this was a further use of my administrative and organizing skills, I quickly accepted. Boy was I wrong!
It soon became apparent that this was going to be a very intriguing project. We began to recruit and train volunteers. During the first two years, we were lucky enough to have the cooperation of some Boise State University students who were partnered with the WCA as part of a learning project. More recently, we have recruited volunteers from the community and offered very specific training to them.
In my 4+ years with Communications and Outreach, I have seen tremendous growth and amazing changes in our mission to bring awareness to the community. We now have a group of dedicated volunteers specially trained to carry our message to community events, health fairs, fund raisers, and many other activities which acquaint people with our mission of bringing Safety, Healing and Freedom from domestic violence and sexual assault. With this group of volunteers we are now able to span a broader range of community activities, sometimes staffing simultaneous events during the same day. Our Outreach focus has become more clearly defined as we reach out to specific audiences. Through experience and training, our volunteers can tailor their presentation to uniquely reach out to varied community groups. We have refined and revised our brochures and printed materials to target a more narrow focus and bring specific information to the groups we serve.
Little did I know 4 years ago that I would be part of such an ever changing, constantly evolving, dynamic volunteer project. It is gratifying to be part of this team and a privilege to spread the work about the essential and valuable work the Women’s and Children’s Alliance does in our community.
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