Melanie Jeanne

Passion & Community

Holding Hands @ Blundeston, Suffolk

I have been searching for my passion for as long as I can remember. That one thing that makes me feel like I am contributing to society. That one thing that has the potential to change the life of another… I have personal passions like this blog and sports and being active, but I have never found a passion that makes a difference in others lives… To start this year I created goals that included me pursuing something I have thought to be a passion. In order for it to become a passion, it must be pursued. And in January I took initiative. I researched and scheduled a tour and determined that I would become a volunteer at a women’s shelter.

I’ve been through enough to know that we all hit a low and we all need a fresh start and we all have an incredible journey in front of us given the opportunity. I also have been through enough to know, I haven’t been through very much at all. As a result I have been drawn to volunteering at a women’s shelter. I want to learn and grow from incredibly courageous women.

A couple Saturday’s ago I took my initial volunteer tour of theĀ Sojourner Center, a valley women’s shelter. I went on a one and a half hour tour of what I know, to my core, to be my passion within society.

First, the tour began with the most important aspect, teaching us about the staggering facts of women in shelters. The staggering facts about abuse, about percentages regarding police calls and emergency room visits. The staggering details of fear and lethality. And stories of courageous women who started their lives over with one incredibly difficult choice. That alone had me hooked. That alone changed my heart immediately. I knew I was right where I needed to be, right then, right there.

Then we took a tour of the facilities and saw all the areas where support and help could be of use. We learned about the day in the life of, the stages of reemergence into society, the need to transform a life and process the center has established to do so. We learned about the government cuts in funding and the impact that has had on the center. We learned about the cost per day it takes to keep an individual housed and fed ($55 – that is all). And we learned about the goals for the future of the center. Again, I was sold. I was convinced I was in the right place at the right time and I was exactly where I needed to be.

Throughout the tour points were made regarding how each of us as individuals could help, could make an impact, could support the center and I knew I could make a difference. I could make a darn good difference in the life women who inspire me with their courage and in children who just need a chance.

I am now awaiting my follow-up call and my placement conversation. I am waiting for the center to reach out and plan my future of help and support. It is my goal to volunteer at the facility at least once every other week and to start building awareness through fundraising and education. I cannot wait to be contacted and I cannot wait to start on my journey of making a difference in someone else’s life.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King

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