FVPC provides numerous invaluable services to residents of Orange County, NC. Services include but are not limited to a 24 hour crisis hotline, support groups, childcare, safety planning and legal advocacy. With only three full time staff members we rely heavily on the energy and dedication of our volunteers. This month we are focusing on Charlotte Crone !
I have been volunteering with FVPC for 3 years
How did you learn about FVPC:
I actually read about FVPC in the volunteer section of The Independent Weekly 4 years ago. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that my schedule permitted me to participate in the training. I was excited to finally be able to jump-in and start volunteering!
Why do you volunteer:
I volunteer because it’s the right thing to do. I have a big place in my heart for women who are in impossible situations, and who are often misjudged and condemned by society. Many clients have never had their experiences validated as abuse. Others have sought help from friends and family, only to be blamed and ridiculed for being abused. I’m so glad I have time to speak with victims of domestic violence: to listen to their stories, understand their feelings, and do I everything I can to connect them with the support they need.
What have you learned about yourself (or others) by volunteering here:
I’ve learned that even I “hit the wall” at times. Earlier this year, a series of bizarre circumstances prevented me from taking shifts for about 3 months. The break was completely unintended, but it turned out to be truly important. I didn’t realize how cynical and burned-out I’d become. After my brief hiatus, I came back much happier and more relaxed about taking shifts and working with clients. It was my first break in 3 years. I must have really needed it.
What happens next for you (after graduation):
This will be an exciting year for us. Our family will welcome our third baby this fall. In the spring, I’ll graduate with a BS in biology. I’m now slogging through applications for MD/PhD programs at Duke and Chapel Hill. In addition to my medical degree, I want to earn a PhD in public health.
What would you tell prospective volunteers:
I would tell prospective volunteers that the work is hard, but rewarding. Be sincere, because clients can tell if you’re not! Don’t worry about making mistakes, and call for back-up when you need it. Most importantly, take care of yourself! Working with clients in difficult situations can quickly become overwhelming. Rest lots, take breaks when you need them, and reward yourself after each shift for a job well done.
Thanks so much for all you do Charlotte!