Waypoint is continually amazed by the support it receives from local businesses, groups, and community members who are passionate about helping people move forward in their lives. This year, we were blown away by the dedication of two very special volunteers, Ann and Ethel.
Ann first got involved with Waypoint in 2012 after stumbling upon a Waypoint flyer at work. She began working at the Madge Phillips Center Shelter part time, but decided she wanted to do more. After learning how prevalent domestic violence is in our community, Ann trained to become a volunteer victim advocate with Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Victim Services Program. Over the years, she has facilitated support groups, responded to hospital calls, provided transportation for clients, and supported marketing and outreach efforts with Waypoint’s Gentleman Campaign™. When asked why she dedicates her time to Waypoint, Ann said it was all about the clients. “When the client talks, I listen, and I build a rapport and provide resources and support to enable her to move forward in her life . . . [and] it makes me feel good when a client is successful because of the support provided by Waypoint.” From July of 2016 to June of 2017, Ann volunteered 1,116 hours with Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Victim Services Program! Without her support, it would not have been possible to serve over 2,600 victims/survivors last year!
Ethel began volunteering at Waypoint because she enjoys working with people and helping others. For the past four years, she has been volunteering with Waypoint’s Homeless & Housing Services sorting donations and putting together hygiene kits for Waypoint clients. Without her efforts, staff would be pulled away from direct client support to ensure the hygiene kits were completed. While she mainly works with donations, Ethel loves interacting with clients. It is not an uncommon occurrence for a client to stop by just to check in on “Mom,” which is Ethel’s nickname at Waypoint. Her enthusiasm for the work she is doing comes from a very personal place. “I went through a time in my life when I had almost nothing and I know what it’s like to live that way. I wasn’t out on the street, but I didn’t have food at that time. I was pregnant and I didn’t have any food. I went out in the cornfield and picked off ears of corn that didn’t even have grains on them yet and boiled them in hot water and sucked the juice out of them to give me strength. So I know what it’s like and I don’t want to see people hurting.” Last fiscal year, Ethel volunteered 1,003 hours with Waypoint’s Housing & Shelter Services, providing hygiene kits to over 4,000 individuals!
It is volunteers like Ann and Ethel who truly keep an organization going. Their passion for helping others and total embodiment of Waypoint’s mission is truly indescribable, and we are so fortunate to have them as a part of the Waypoint family. Thank you, Ann and Ethel!