PO Box 441
Hood River, OR 97031
June 2015 Vol. 2
It’s important to stop and reflect at the amazing amount of work that the advocates at Helping Hands accomplish on a daily basis. In one year, Helping Hands provides over 4000 safe nights for women and their children, answers about 150 crisis calls, answers nearly 3000 follow-ups with survivors, assists dozens of women at the Emergency Room, and creates over 150 safety plans.
But the stats only begin to tell the story.
To advocate is to support. At Helping Hands, a non-profit organization which supports victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, support comes in many forms—from calming clients to writing safety plans and filing restraining orders, from stocking the pantry and cleaning a room to assisting survivors in the emergency room, from connecting clients with local service agencies to reaching out to the community when there’s a critical need, from tracking statistics for grant reports to answering the crisis line at 1am.
Working in a place of crisis can take a rather large toll on you--both mentally and physically, but for Serra Perino, being an advocate feels like the place she’s meant to be. “An advocate’s job consists of reformatting a client’s entire life from crisis—to a future that is bright and free from chaos and unsettling disarray. Along this ride though we have many ups and downs, we deal with happy, sad, scared and traumatic clients. We deal with rebels and challengers, rule breakers and rule followers. All while we patiently attempt to meet a survivors needs at most every given moment.”
Our bilingual advocate, Karen Shultz, is honored to play an imperative role in lives of survivors. “Some of the biggest challenges go hand-in-hand with the most beautiful rewards,” she reflects. “A wonderful success story with a survivor doesn’t come without first watching them go through such pain—both physically and emotionally. It can be so difficult to hear, and see and yet so rewarding to watch them grow, gain strength, find the voice and move forward in the world. And while most stories are successful in one way or another, not all of them are. But it is important to respect, honor and support the survivor’s right to choose their own path to freedom, while providing information and education of safety.”
The services of our advocates are always free of charge. If there is someone you know who might benefit in talking with us, please give them our number: 541.386.4808. Or our crisis line—541.386.6602—is answered 24/7. We are here for you.