Volunteering

I stuck up an old post because I feel like I should put something up.  It’s a good post.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  It’s entertaining.

I’ve started training for my two volunteer positions.  Last week, I started at the Family Justice Center, a referral agency for domestic violence.  I’m going to be doing intakes, working on the support phone line, and doing clerical duties around the office as needed.  It’s a great place — the services it offers are just phenomenal.  We didn’t have anything like it back home.

The FJC offers survivors of domestic violence pretty much everything they could need in order to manage their situation, from continuing to stay in that situation but needing safety plans to help it be not so bad, to getting protective orders and leaving the situation for good.  It has a forensic medical unit where injuries can be documented and addressed (it can handle anything up to rape, where the nurse refers the patient to the ER for a SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) exam. Also, the FJC has an officer from the Buffalo PD in house, a legal services group that works with low-income and disabled persons, a teleconference room set up so survivors can talk to the Judge, and basically everything they need to get their protective orders without going to fifty different places. It is an awesome set up, and they need more volunteers, so if you’re in the WNY area, please don’t hesitate to check out the website and get more information.

On the wall at the FJC:

That being said, the training has been a real bitch.  There were two computer based modules that I had to do at home, and a ton of reading that I wasn’t prepared for.  It wasn’t that it was so bad, it’s more that there wasn’t proper communication to let me know what to expect. And I hate that.  I want to know what’s going to happen and when and where and how long. Having a butt-ton of stuff to do and organize at home in just a few days would have been nice to know. (And yes, part of it is that I am totally anal retentive and had to set things up MY WAY – which isn’t actually required but took a good chunk of time and energy.) I feel it could have been handled in a better way.

I’m supposed to start on the phone tomorrow.  I don’t feel prepared.  I’m a little concerned. But I’m still technically training, so there will be people to ask if I run into problems. Please keep your fingers crossed that it goes well.

Tonight, I started training for the Crisis Text Line, an online chat/text based crisis intervention line. I will be a “crisis counselor” and will take “calls” for any kind of crisis that may come up – from a fight with the parental units to suicide to sexual assault.  Users can text from their phones or use Facebook messenger to contact a counselor and get crisis intervention services.  It’s like a suicide hotline only in text.  I think the concept is pretty nifty, and so far the training has been good.  Thorough but easily digested.  I think I’m going to enjoy it.

I’m glad that I’m getting back into volunteering.  I think it will be good for me, not just to get me out of the house for a day or two a week, but to reach out to people beyond my limited circle.  Not in the least is it going to remind me that I have life pretty good in comparison to a lot of other people. And I admit, sometimes, I need that reminder.

I’ll let you know how they both go.

About VJP

Just a girl who enjoys writing to keep her mentally ready for whatever life throws her way
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