“Love should not hurt,” is a quote we have seen around the halls of AHS during the month of February. Unfortunately, there are many women and children who live with this hurt each day. Domestic violence is a part of our community, but fortunately, there is help for these families.
I volunteered at the Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center, along with my mom and brother. It is a confidential women’s shelter in the Humble area. Because of the confidential nature of the location, we had to sign confidentiality agreements to promise to not disclose the location of the shelter. Once we signed the agreement, we were ready to work. Ms. Tristan, the shelter director, showed us to the back to begin our work. The room was a medium-sized room, filled with large storage containers of overflowing articles of clothing and shoes. My family and I spent two hours sorting the clothing by gender, then size and type of clothing.
At first I did not understand how I was helping anyone. Then Ms. Tristan explained the importance of the clothing donations to the women and children of the shelter. When they first arrive at the shelter, the first things they are given are food, a shower, and clean clothes. Most come with nothing but the clothes on their back, which are usually dirty. Sorting the numerous donations make it much easier for the employees to give the families fresh clothing, quick and easy. The importance of volunteering is changing in today’s society. Volunteering use to be very common, but in today’s world, people are focusing more on themselves, rather than the need for extra help. Volunteering for the shelter gave me comfort in knowing that if an abused woman shows up on the shelter’s doorsteps, she will have nice, clean clothes to wear. It is important for more people to volunteer at places like this so the victims living there can get extra help.
The room we worked in was very crammed and clutter with a lot of different things. Some of the containers had lids to cover the clothing, but most lids were laying on the floor. The hardest part of the job was putting away the store bought clothes that were packaged, because we had to remove hangers, wrappers, and tags. The next thing we did was take everything out of the containers and lay it all on tables in a different room. Then we folded and put the donated clothes into their corresponding containers. The different clothes ranged from small socks and shoes to pajamas and career clothing. After two hours of folding, sorting, and organizing, the room was nice and neat, with clothing bins easy to access.
I chose to volunteer at Family Time because it is a place that my church makes donations to. Knowing the importance of helping others in need is another reason I chose to volunteer at this shelter. I felt it would be important to help them. I am glad I chose to volunteer at the shelter, because I learned many of the responsibilities that exist to care for victims of domestic violence.
Through this experience, I learned that volunteering does not have to be something huge to make an impact. I have volunteered before, but this time I really felt that my efforts were truly going to affect these families that have been in very dangerous situations. Some people say that it is too hard to volunteer or they don’t have the time, but it is really as simple as doing house chores, folding and putting away clothes. This simple act, and two hours of my time, could be part of a life-changing experience for many women and children who don’t even know I was there. My family and I are even making plans to continue volunteering there monthly.
Family Time Women’s Shelter Wish List
African American hair products
Large size Hair Combs
Disposable gloves for ladies for cooking in kitchen.(clear in color)
Tall sized plastic Hampers for Shelter office for resident wet linens
he Laundry detergent for ladies to do laundry
Fabulouso for floor cleaning
All types of Paper Products ..ETC, Paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper,
Janitorial Type Mops and Yellow Buckets along with extra Mop heads.