Every month, Sarah’s Inn nominates a volunteer to be our Volunteer of The Month. Sophie Railing was nominated as April’s Volunteer of The Month. Sophie joined the Sarah’s Inn team in March 2023. Our Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator, Mariam, asked Sophie about her experiences as a volunteer.
- How long have you been volunteering with us, and how did you hear about Sarah’s Inn?
“It’s actually kind of serendipity! I was listening to a podcast one day that was talking about the normalization of domestic violence in the media and in society. The more I talked to people about the subject and read about it, the more I felt that I needed to take some kind of action myself, even if that just meant volunteering a few times a month. So my first shift was in early March and I’ve learned a ton since!”
- What have you enjoyed about volunteering with Sarah’s Inn?
“Well, not every shift is easy, but I will say that even just connecting folks to the right resources is really rewarding, or telling them about something they didn’t know was available, like the shelters in the state that can take pets, for example. It feels good to be able to connect a survivor to the resources that can fill a need or even just take some weight off their shoulders.”
- Every month, you take on multiple crisis line shifts. How do you find ways to fit volunteering into your schedule?
“For me, the only way I can keep on top of everything is to be as organized as possible about my commitments. I keep everything in my Outlook calendar, so that makes it easy to sign up for the shifts I know I can commit to, then follow through.”
- What made you want to volunteer at a Domestic Violence Agency?
“I know that domestic violence can impact anyone, but personally, volunteering for an organization that makes a positive impact on the lives of women was a huge motivator for me. We face different challenges socially and economically, and the justice system can perpetuate sexist biases when it comes to victim blaming and even child custody, so wanting to contribute to a fairer, more equitable community (even in a small way) was the driving force there.”
- Some people may find it difficult to balance working, volunteering, and their personal lives. Why do you think it is important for folks to find the time to volunteer?
“To get a fresh perspective about what is truly important. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in life, work, the same social circles and organizations, to me stepping out of my everyday and making a conscious decision to get involved in the community gives me a much deeper insight into the world around me and even brings clarity to just my own personal values in a way that I don’t think would happen outside of an involvement/advocacy context.”
- Why should people volunteer at Sarah’s Inn?
“I heard another volunteer once share that she volunteers because it makes her a more well-rounded individual, and I 100% agree. It’s rewarding, it’s challenging, there’s a lot of growth involved, so I think if you’re someone who is open to that, I would definitely recommend getting involved!”
Thank you Sophie for volunteering with Sarah’s Inn. If you are interested in volunteering, the best way to get involved is by emailing email@example.com, where you will be able to learn more about volunteering opportunities that are available to you.