A Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving means a lot of "what are you thankful for" prompts in your newsfeeds. I've been thinking about my list and realizing that I don't remind myself of all I have to be thankful for nearly enough. Maybe this sounds familiar to you as well.

One big reason for me to be thankful is the opportunity to work in the domestic violence field once again. After college, my first job was as a victim advocate in a women's shelter in Chicago in the mid-90s. The area wasn't great. The pay was worse, but I felt that I made a difference for one of the first times in my life. I feel like I have come full circle. I hope this time around I can bring a bit more wisdom with me.

Back then, the work was challenging, just as it is today. I see our advocates in the shelter and wonder where they will end up in their careers. I often meet people that want to start or even change jobs to begin working in domestic violence. Honestly, it's not for everyone. But the good news is that it doesn't need to be! Years later, I understand that I could have made a difference no matter how I earned my living. I told you there was a bit more wisdom this time around!

We don't necessarily need more people choosing to make supporting survivors their profession. But what we do need is more people choosing to support survivors. An ally is a beautiful thing to have, and it's an essential lifeline to survivors and advocates (paid and unpaid). South Valley Services needs people from all walks of life, with various ties to resources and different capacities to help. That is the network that survivors need.

So, that is where every one of you comes into the picture. No matter who you are, what you do, or who you know, you can help. Not only can you help, but we would be thankful for that help! No amount of effort is too small. Each gesture of support signals to our clients that they matter, they are believed, and they are supported.

So, I am going to start my holiday with my family. I hope you are about to do the same (good for you if you read this post AFTER Thanksgiving). Have a wonderful holiday, and THANK YOU for all you have done and will do for survivors.

Kimmi Wolf, Development Director