As we continue celebrating National Volunteer Month, we did a Q&A with the Restored Couple. Read and watch what they said.
The fact it is a LIFE CHANGING program is important to us! These individuals are seeking just that! Just like we were 15 plus years ago. We are very proud to support an organization that helps with the transition of exoffenders reentering society.
What is the impact you can make as a volunteer?
The impact we pray our story provides to these individuals, is that they TRULY CAN have second chances and new beginnings! And we encourage hope!
What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Alvis?
I love when we get to talk ‘one to one” these individuals. They share their own personal story with us. And they get personal and intimate. This is a moment we value and take seriously! They chose US to share their pain, concerns, and triumphs!!!
Any favorite quote you would like to share?
Quote I heard from someone years ago that resonated with me…
“Life will only change when you become more committed
to your DREAMS….than you are to your comfort zone.”
Anything else you would like to add?
Message to Corporate America, housing units, the “everyday” person that haven’t been in our situation.
We are employable! We are rentable! We are walk among you as changed individuals! We are more than our institution numbers! We are warriors!!! And we will succeed!!
You can see and learn more about The Restored Couple on social media. Stay tuned!
Q&A Session Celebrating National Volunteer Month #NVM
I was drawn to Alvis after my company sponsored the organization as our quarterly non-profit group. I met with Molly shortly after to discuss volunteer opportunities and knew from the get go that Alvis’ mission was one that resonated with me. I love that Alvis is an organization that gives their clients the resources they need to live up the their God given potential. I firmly believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their socioeconomic status or the mistakes they have made in their past. Alvis gives their clients the resources and tools they need to succeed and thrive after they have served their time.
What is the impact you can make?
Tutoring Math allows Alvis clients to get one on one or small group attention. The impact of this individual attention can mean the difference between a pass and fail on their GED tests. I leave tutoring every Thursday knowing if I helped them understand just one problem on the exam that it could make the difference between a pass and a fail. A pass opens a whole new set of opportunities for them that will inevitably better their lives. For me, the chance to impact clients by helping them open new doors in their life is the single most rewarding experience I’ve had as a volunteer at any organization.
Importance of volunteer work for the community?
Volunteer work is especially important because it helps us build up the communities in which we live. The old saying goes, a rising tide raises all boats. It’s our duty as members of the Columbus community to do what we can to make sure the rising tide is raising all boats. Our Columbus community is what we make it, and by giving back we can make a huge difference in the lives of our fellow Ohioans.
Any memorable moment you experienced while working as a volunteer at Alvis that you can share?
To be honest every tutoring session is memorable for me. It reminds me that despite a national climate that seems to try to divide us by gender or race or socioeconomic status, we have so much more in common than we do different. We might be doing math problems, but in between we talk about what’s going on in our lives, joke, smile, and laugh. Those small moments are what make my volunteer time special.
Any message you want to send to donors? clients? staff? community?
I’ve probably never appropriately praised the staff for all the hard work they do. It’s those folks that do the thankless work day in and day out, so thank you!
Thank you for all you do Kevin!! We all appreciate you!!
In a time where enslaving another
person for one’s benefit or profit seems like an outdated practice, it is
important for us to be aware that this convention is still alive and prevalent
in today’s society. Human trafficking is very much a thing of the present as
billions of dollars are being made from the trapping of millions of innocent
people around the globe. These traffickers use a variety of fear inducing
tactics in order to force those in their possession to provide services against
their will; these services can include anything from sex acts to involuntary
servitude. The International Labor Organization
estimates that there are over 40 million victims of human trafficking
worldwide, 75% of which are women and girls. Of this 40 million, 81% of them
are trapped in forced labor, with 25% of them being children. In a 2017
analysis, it was found that around 1 out of 7 of runaways who were reported to
the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children were likely victims of human
Human trafficking isn’t something
that takes place oversees or in big cities like New York or Las Vegas. Here in
Ohio, we are ranked fourth in the nation for human trafficking cases. This
startling statistic means that human trafficking in Ohio is more prevalent than
in some of our biggest population centers. Ohio is home to some of the most
visible and dramatic human trafficking cases in this century, such as the three
women who were held captive for more than a decade in Cleveland. It is
estimated that 1078 children are trafficked in Ohio every year. The most common age of children who are
reported as victims of trafficking is just 13.
Children who were sexually or mentally abused in their homes are at a
higher risk of becoming trapped in the nightmare of human trafficking, and 91%
of female victims experience this type of abuse prior to their abductions. Though
we may be familiar with cases like those which occurred in Cleveland or Ashland
County over the past decade, for the most part, human trafficking is a hidden
crime. Fortunately, in both Ohio and around the globe, there are some amazing
resources to help victims of human trafficking reclaim their lives. .
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a
great way for victims and survivors to receive around the clock support, and
acts as a resource for advocates to continue doing work in the anti-trafficking
community. Their website offers a variety of services, and even allows victims
or those aware of any type of abuse to report crimes online or by phone. Their
website has multiple support options for those all over the United States, and provides
specific information on what services are available right here in Ohio.
Here at Alvis, we are so thankful for
the opportunity to be able to help some of these victims through our CHAT (Changing
Habits, Attitudes and Thoughts) program. CHAT has been giving women the chance
to recover with ample support since 2013.
The program combines safe and secure housing with comprehensive
treatment for trauma and individual and group counseling. Program participants can also take part in job
skills and certification training programs that build skills, independence and
confidence. Dana Jackson, CHAT Clinical Program Manager, told us of many great
therapeutic activities that contribute to the positive growth of these women. They include classes such as jiu-jitsu
provided by the Relson
Gracie Academy and equine therapy through Reins of Freedom. CHAT
also has a variety of partners like Ohio
A La Cart, Mount Carmel CTAP, and Camp Mary Orton that
provide other trauma services and professional mentorship opportunities.
The CHAT program is funded by the
Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Franklin County. Individuals in the CHAT program are referred
exclusively by Franklin County Municipal Judge Paul M. Herbert, who holds
almost legendary status among individuals and organizations who are working to
extinguish human trafficking. Judge Herbert has worked tirelessly to change the
stigma surrounding human trafficking in Ohio. He created the state’s only specialty
court designed to address the needs of human trafficking victims and help them
to begin new, transformed lives. His CATCH
Court, formally known as the Changing Actions to Change Habits Court,
aims to shift the paradigm between human trafficking and prostitution. This
means that rather than seeing women who were convicted of solicitation as a
result of sex trafficking as criminals, they should be seen as victims who need
the proper support to successfully transition to a life free of substance
abuse, mental and physical abuse, and crime.
CATCH Court takes place every Friday from 9
a.m. to 12 p.m. During that time, women are in a safe space and can celebrate
their wins and work within a supportive community that is dedicated to their
success and prosperity. Alvis celebrates this advocacy so close to
our home base and we know that with the effort these women put in comes great
rewards and success.
Alvis is a nonprofit human services agency with over 51 years of experience providing highly effective treatment programs in Ohio. For more information on how Alvis can help you or to learn more about how you can get involved, contact us here.