Envision Counselling and Support Centre Inc. reflects the International Women's Day theme of Inspiring Change by recognizing the Volunteer. A key component to Envision programming is the roster of anonymous volunteers who willingly donate time to answer calls on the 24-Hour Abuse/Sexual Assault Support line. Whether she is inspiring change within her own life, or bringing about change in her community, Envision volunteers deserve special recognition on International Women's Day, Saturday, March 8.
In 2014, organizers of the annual awareness campaign shine the spotlight on women who change our communities by inspiring the people around them.
"I enjoy volunteering for Envision because one small phone call could greatly impact someone else's life. The line provides a service that is non-judgmental, confidential, and free," said an Envision volunteer.
Before starting to answer calls volunteers undergo specialized training to help them provide support to callers on the province-wide phone line, which has been in operation for nearly 20 years. The volunteers attend monthly meetings to share stories and upgrade their training. They are not counsellors or therapists, but ordinary women from the Estevan area who are able to offer a supportive ear.
"Our volunteers are everyday women who might not even have a lot of time to give, but they feel so strongly about the issues surrounding violence and abuse that they still dedicate a couple of shifts to the 24-hour line," said Laura Lausen, Volunteer Coordinator at Envision. "International women's Day is a great chance to recognize our volunteers because they give without looking for recognition. It's a very special group of women that I'm very proud to work with."
Envision volunteers contribute more than 100,000 hours of volunteer time per year to the community by operating the 24-hour Abuse/Sexual Assault line and attending other community events in Estevan, Weyburn, and Carlyle.
"This spring, we're piloting something new," said Lausen. "Select volunteers will begin sharing their talents with us in the office, to assist staff with various projects. It's a new avenue for both the volunteers and our organization."
Envision will celebrate International Women's Day by honouring women in our communities. Staff members from Envision will present roses to the women at seniors' residences in Estevan, Weyburn and Carlyle to celebrate their lifetime of accomplishments, and to publicly honour our volunteers, who work anonymously in the community and request no public recognition.
Each year International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.