Interview Questions - Jan G. (3/2/22)
Every month, Sarah’s Inn nominates a volunteer to be our Volunteer of the Month. Jan Goldberg was nominated as February’s Volunteer of the Month. Jan joined the Sarah’s Inn team in January 2013. Our Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator, Mariam, asked Jan about her experiences as a volunteer.
- How long have you been volunteering with us, and how did you hear about Sarah’s Inn?
“In the 80’s I was in a national organization, National Organization for Women (NOW), and was involved in the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). We were looking for other ways to get involved. I volunteered at a local domestic violence shelter. I had to put a hold on volunteering, but wanted to volunteer at a domestic violence organization after I retired. When I retired, I called the shelter that I had previously volunteered at along with Sarah’s Inn and Sarah’s Inn reached back out first so I have volunteered with the organization since January 2013.”
- What have you enjoyed about volunteering with Sarah’s Inn?
“The Staff are wonderful; everyone is friendly and so helpful. If you can't do something, someone else is able to step in. From what I see, people (staff) get along with each other. They make me feel good and welcomed.”
- Every month, you take on a few regular shifts. How do you find ways to fit volunteering into your schedule?
“I am able to work around it. I make sure to clear my schedule that day by telling everybody that I have a commitment on Wednesday and that works out.”
- What made you want to volunteer at a Domestic Violence Agency?
“Every decade in my life, since I was a teenager, I ran into someone who was abused. When I was a teenager, my aunt had a breakdown and told the family she was abused by her husband. No one talked about these things; no one got divorced at that time so this intrigued me. When I first started teaching, I took high school students to Cook County Jail on field trips and learned that 80% of detainees had grown up with child abuse or domestic violence in their lives. Shortly after that, I saw on the news that my friend’s kids were murdered by her partner and I vowed that when retired, I would volunteer again at a domestic violence agency.”
- 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?
“It is always nice to give back. I think every profession could use help and a fresh pair of eyes. Every agency and every profession could use the help and have someone volunteer in a field that is outside of theirs. Volunteering gives you a perspective, but you must have the time for it. I can't imagine not volunteering because I have the time now and I am not the type to fill my day with outings or social activities.”
- Why should people volunteer at Sarah’s Inn?
“The training is excellent, it is really good. I remember after I trained, I also received training with the Volunteer Coordinator. Sarah’s Inn is a great place to volunteer, the staff are so nice, grateful, and helpful. If you don’t know something, the staff are able to help. I know if I don’t know something, I can reach out to them. Plus at Sarah’s Inn, there is a lot you can do. There are so many opportunities that don’t just involve working with clients. There are events, poster distribution, etc. There is something for everyone.”
Thank you Jan for volunteering with Sarah’s Inn. If you are interested in volunteering, the best way to get involved is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, where you will be able to learn more about volunteering opportunities that are available to you.