The Rape Recovery Center (RRC) could not do the work we do without our incredible volunteers. In 2017 the 117 individuals who comprise the volunteer force of the center provided 11,938 hours of service, a value of $143,246! One of the fabulous individuals on our volunteer team is Ann Wright, who is an advocate on our 24 hour crisis line. We reached out to Ann to find out more about her experience with the center, and to spotlight her advocacy work with survivors.
When asked about how she got involved with the RRC, Ann shared "The RRC office is near my dentist's office. Twice a year I would pass the RRC and finally one day I walked in and asked how I could help. I've done a variety of volunteer work over the years out of a desire to "pay it forward" in a general sense; women's issues in particular set my hair on fire, so I decided it was time to become an advocate." Since the time that Ann walked into our agency nearly three years ago, she has given over 1550 hours of her time on our agency crisis line and impacted countless survivors and community members through her advocacy work.
We asked Ann to share the lessons she has learned over the past 3 years as a volunteer advocate. Ann shared "I have learned funny things, like how hard it can be to guide a breathing exercise over the phone; I had one young woman hyperventilating. I have learned good things, like how to be a better listener, and how to help a survivor remember who he/she is, and how to find my way through that binder full of resources when under stress or half asleep. I have learned terrible things that I already knew, like how insidious shame is, how willful ignorance is, how terribly vulnerable children are, how afraid people are... I have learned specific things from specific callers. For example, I have learned that hope begins to feel dangerous to someone who keeps getting shot down. I have learned that I must offer validation that is meaningful to the caller. I have to enter the caller's world."
Finally, we asked Ann to share some words to those considering volunteer work with the center. Her advice? "Volunteer, do it."
On behalf of all of us at the Rape Recovery Center, we thank Ann for her years of service and dedication to survivors!
If you are interested in joining the Rape Recovery Center's volunteer team, visit our volunteer page here to learn more.