"A house, where a woman is not safe, is not a home." -Woman, Liberia
Small towns. A place where everyone knows your name and your business. The good and bad of small town living is embracing a close-knit community that supports one another but can end up being a bit nosey. Which, in the case of domestic violence, can provide a valuable safety net.
For me, service is a way of life. That's why I ended up as a volunteer for Mountain Peace Shelter (MPS). I'd been itching for a way to give back to the community for the last 6 months, and after talking with Donna, a friend who works at Mountain Peace Shelter, she provided a great option. It not only provided a much needed service, but provided nourishment and peace to my busy life, as well. Using the flexibility of their crisis line volunteer schedule, I could do it in the comfort of my own home, or wherever I happened to be. A few weeks later found myself at my first volunteer training course.
Over the span of two days I learned a lot about domestic violence that I hadn't known before, and I left the training determined to do two things:
- Use my platform as a writer to get the word out about the good work Mountain Peace Shelter (MPS) is doing.
- Learn as much as I can about Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence.
I planned my interviews with Lori Cuno, the Executive Director of MPS, Donna Thornton, the Crisis Line Coordinator and Crisis Advocate, and Curt Robinson, the President of MPS Board. Kathy Mastroianni, former Executive Director of MPS, was available as well, to share more about what MPS was all about.
After meeting with the staff at MPS, I knew that sharing their stories would tell you all you needed to know about why I fulfilled my desire to give back to the community. It also tells you why it matters to you.
The passion and warmth in their voices communicated the importance of what was happening at the shelter, as well as the love they are already receiving from the mountain town communities. Each person's commitment told a story before saying a word.