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    A Volunteer Visits PADV Safe House for the First Time

    The front of the house is beautiful: a large old home restored. It’s a grand house…perhaps more for what happens inside. Behind it’s doors are women and children who are in need of safety and shelter as well as a place to play, laugh and learn new skills . Also inside this grand house is a team of exception employees and volunteers working for Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV).

    So begins Adele’s week 4 community service project.

    I explained to Adele that we were going to visit women and children in a local shelter.  Our goal was to donate items to their pantry and meet with the residents.  As Adele and I set off to the grocery store, I explained that we want to donate healthy foods (fruits, veggies, etc).  It was her “job” to pick out the items we would donate.  She took her responsibility very seriously until we hit the gummy aisle – what can I say, I caved.

    When we entered the building, Meagan, my sister in law was one of our tour guides. Meagan works with the organization to raise funds that enable them to take in more families. What a worthy job….

    One sweet little girl offered to show us her room. When we walked in, there were 2 bunk beds. I asked her where she slept.  She told me she and her mom slept in this bed (pointing to the twin sized bottom bunk bed). A t first I thought it was the lack of bed availability, but then realized it was not out of necessity: rather comfort and safety for each other.

    Adele and I played with the kids on the playground for a bit.    They were cool kids with big personalities. The great thing about young kids is that they don’t ”judge” others. It’s always interesting to see how easy it is for kids to play with each other…even if they only met a few minutes prior.

    During my conversations with Adele before and after our visit she asked a lot of questions: can they come live with us;  do the kids go to school;  will they be there forever? My response:  unfortunately no, we don’t have enough room; yes they go to school; no – I’m confident these families are moving on to amazing things, including a home of their own.

    Melinda F.

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