Volunteerism, Work and Mixing the Two: A Distributor Shares Her Story
PM: What kind of services does the abused adult resource center provide?
JNH: You may want to refer to their website, but AARC provides many services to Bismarck and the surrounding area. There is a wonderful shelter in Bismarck, "Pam's House," named after a deceased victim. This is a secure, temporary shelter for women and children. The "Diane Zainhofsky Hope House" is a transitional center for women able to leave the temporary shelter, but not quite able to move out on their own. Diane Zainhofsky is the director of the Abused Adult Resource Center and started the program back in 1976. Housed within the AARC office building is the Family Safety Center, which provides supervised visitation and exchange services for families where there has been documented or suspected risk of abuse of the child. The Seeds of Hope thrift store features new and used items and clothing. As well as raising money to help pay for existing programs, the store serves as an employment and job training site for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. AARC also started the PULSE community program, People United for Living in Safe Environments. This includes task force groups of police officers, medical professionals, social workers, legal professionals and business owners who, together, work to prevent and put in place protocols for domestic and sexual violence situations.
PM: What kind of volunteer work do you do for them?
JNH: I have done a little bit of everything: straightening up and relocating misplaced items at the Seeds of Hope store; marking the way and manning a water station for fundraising walks; refereeing volleyball matches for a fundraising tournament; manning the refreshment and T-shirt station for the volleyball tournament (even when it was freezing cold out a couple of years ago, when the sand volleyball was relocated because of the Missouri River flooding!); answering the crisis call line after-hours, which sometimes meant driving to the emergency room to be with a client or the police station or meeting her at the shelter (Pam's House). THAT is a whole 'nother story! But, in 2006, I logged 2006 hours, mostly being on-call on the phones and received the AARC's Volunteer of the Year award. (The hours and the year were totally coincidental!)