Interview Questions - Maura Z. (10/11/21)

Every month, Sarah’s Inn nominates a volunteer to be our Volunteer of The Month. Maura Zinni was nominated as September’s Volunteer of The Month. Maura joined the Sarah’s Inn team in February 2020. Our Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator, Mariam, asked Maura about her experiences as a volunteer.

  1. How long have you been volunteering with us, and how did you hear about Sarah’s Inn?

“I took the training in February and started on the Crisis Line the first week in March 2020. I read about the new agency in the Forest Park Review. The architect is a mutual friend and when I saw the new, beautiful building right in Forest Park, I contacted Sarah's Inn and was told about the upcoming training and signed up.”

  1. What have you enjoyed about volunteering with Sarah’s Inn?

“I mostly enjoy the fact that I am able to do this volunteer position and it is completely accommodating. At the time when I started, I was working and it was accessible. I was able to help meet this need (crisis line) and do this with my schedule.”

  1. Every month, you take on multiple crisis line shifts. How do you find ways to fit volunteering into your schedule?

“When I first started, it took some time to find a groove, trying different shifts and I fell into a routine that Saturday and Sunday shifts were very doable for me. At our last team meeting, we discussed what shifts we (volunteers) are working and how others are working around their schedules. It is very manageable to do this and give back.”

  1. What made you want to volunteer at a Domestic Violence Agency?

“My daughter is a practicing architect, she was involved in a women empowerment project to help international women develop independence. She teaches at UC Berkeley and worked with her students to design domestic violence shelters.

It was so interesting and I happened to attend a panel at UC Berkeley about the process of designing a domestic violence shelter; hearing the different groups of people passionate to have this in their community. The gentle work that went on with the shelter and getting the neighbors to understand the need for the families who needed the shelter. After that experience and reading in the Forest Park Review that Sarah’s Inn was coming into my neighborhood, I wanted to volunteer since this is important work.”

  1. 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 makes you feel good, it really does. I feel good to devote this time to the crisis line and know the need for it. Even one call can be a game changer for the person on the other side just to hear words of comfort. I am very glad I can do it.”

  1. Why should people volunteer at Sarah’s Inn?

“Number one, there is a need for volunteers especially from the crisis line perspective. It is very accommodating, it's quite unique compared to other volunteering opportunities. We became virtual before it became a thing. Secondly, the training and support that the Sarah’s Inn staff provide is top notch. After the training I felt very confident on the crisis line and I always know that a staff person is available to assist at any time. Finally, the Sarah’s Inn staff shows tremendous appreciation for their volunteers. It’s wonderful to feel valued while doing valuable work.”

Thank you Maura for volunteering with Sarah’s Inn. If you are interested in volunteering, the best way to get involved is by emailing, where you will be able to learn more about volunteering opportunities that are available to you.