Every month, Sarah’s Inn nominates a volunteer to be our Volunteer of The Month. Jenny Kelly was nominated as July’s Volunteer of The Month. Jenny joined the Sarah’s Inn team in February 2020. Our Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator, Mariam, asked Jenny about her experiences as a volunteer.
- How long have you been volunteering with us, and how did you hear about Sarah’s Inn?
“I have been volunteering for a year and a half and learned about Sarah’s Inn after moving to the Oak Park/River Forest area in 2013. I heard Carol Gall speak at an event on the topic of consent and was impressed with what she had to say. Over time, I found out more about Sarah’s Inn and just knew I wanted to be a part of it. However, it took me a few years to find the time and figure out in what capacity I could help.”
- What have you enjoyed about volunteering with Sarah’s Inn?
“I have enjoyed it so much, especially the people I have met through this organization. The people here are so interesting and intelligent and give so much back to society. However, the most satisfying feeling I get is helping someone on the other end of the line while working the crisis line.”
- Every month, you take on multiple crisis line shifts. How do you find ways to fit volunteering into your schedule?
“It can honestly be tough with three busy teenagers, a husband, two dogs, working part time as a nurse, and launching an art business. So I do a lot of evening and overnight shifts. I find those shifts are typically open and found that I can fit volunteering in later in the day and at night. Plus, those are the shifts that are really needed. I think years of waking up with my kids when they were young and working overnight shifts as a nurse years ago prepped me to wake up easily and answer calls in the middle of the night.”
- What made you want to volunteer at a Domestic Violence Agency?
“I knew that domestic violence was prevalent but never realized just how prevalent it is in our society, and within every socio-economic background. But more than anything, I wanted to help victims take back control in their lives and remove the shame and stigma that often accompanies dv. Then victims will hopefully feel comfortable reaching out for help.”
- 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?
“Work-life balance is definitely a challenge, so it’s important to find something you are passionate about. Something that doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s gratifying knowing you can be part of making a difference in this crazy world. And stepping out of our own lives or problems for once a week or even once a month, can help give us a better perspective and show us how important it is to make even a small difference in another person’s life.”
- Why should people volunteer at Sarah’s Inn?
“It is an organization that is making an impact in our community on so many levels, and educating people of all ages. Plus, as a volunteer you learn so much. It’s simply a wonderful organization and there is so much that Sarah's Inn offers the community.”
Thank you Jenny 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.