Karen Gregory

Karen (2).JPG

Karen Gregory is an extremely loyal volunteer. For more than nine years, Karen has shown up every Thursday and willingly fills in wherever she is needed—no task is too big or too small. She has shredded seemingly endless boxes of documents, organized files, helped with mailings, and collated informational packets. Along the way Karen has become a part of our organization. She has become someone on whom we can depend and a friend, sharing stories of her children and grandchildren and their achievements. Thank you, Karen!

 

Pamela Lucas

Pamela Lucas is an all-round volunteer extraordinaire. Whenever there is a need for volunteer help, Pamela is ready and willing. She promotes STAND! at various community events from Bay Point to Napa; she provides childcare while parents attend STAND!’s Proud Parenting classes; she assists with décor and logistics for events; and she helps provide arts and crafts projects for children at our emergency shelter. Thank you, Pamela!

 

Becky O'Keefe

Becky (2).jpg

Becky O’Keefe is a committed and reliable volunteer who has helped in various administrative capacities in departments throughout the agency. She works with our database administrator so we can have reliable and organized data; helps at events and at our shelter; and every morning, she answers phones and monitors the front door as our office receptionist. Becky takes initiative, is always enthusiastic, and is ready to help wherever we need assistance. Thank you, Becky!

Gwen Lebrane

Gwen Lebrane is an enthusiastic, passionate, and committed volunteer who is involved at STAND! in many different ways: from serving on the volunteer liaison committee to help STAND! better recruit recognize, and support our volunteers; to educating others at community events about STAND!’s services; to consistently volunteering each week on the Crisis Line. Additionally, she provides a fun and nurturing childcare environment for two- to five-year-old children who are staying at the Rollie Mullen Center, allowing their moms to attend educational and supportive groups on various topics such as the dynamics of domestic violence, parenting, and vocational/life skills. Gwen’s initiative and incredible assistance has been invaluable to both staff and clients. We are deeply appreciative of Gwen and the many other volunteers like her who help end family violence.

Serve With Liberty

Liberty Mutual employees made life brighter for families staying in our emergency shelter. As part of Liberty Mutual’s Serve With Liberty program, a group of five volunteers made Mother’s Day especially memorable for moms staying in our shelter. They assembled baskets overflowing with luxurious pampering products that they thoughtfully purchased for this special occasion. The baskets—filled with soaps, lotions, stationary, chocolates, and much more—were distributed to overjoyed moms during a Mother’s Day weekend brunch. Later that week, another group of 16 Liberty Mutual volunteers tackled our shelter’s storage spaces, shared communal kitchen, and room units. They organized items, moved furniture, and even made minor repairs so that our shelter is welcoming and ready for women and children escaping violent situations at home. We are so grateful for groups like Liberty Mutual who go above and beyond to help families in our programs!

Pat Costello

Pat Costello has volunteered at STAND!’s Rollie Mullen Center for more than three years. For a few hours each week, Pat cares for children staying in the shelter while their moms participate in STAND!’s programs. Staff say she is diligent and dependable:

Pat has a gift for making the children feel welcome and easing their fears in a new situation. Pat’s genuine care for and interest in the children is evident in everything that she does from reading a book, to playing with them on the playground.
— STAND! staff

Pat goes above and beyond her volunteer duties, rocking a fussy baby for an entire morning to soothe him or checking in on each child’s status at the beginning of her shift. STAND! is deeply grateful for volunteers like Pat who help families heal from the trauma of family violence in such a caring and nurturing way. Thank you, Pat, for making an incredible difference and for doing so with excellence and passion.

 

Annie Hassel

Annie Hassel is an amazingly dedicated and dependable volunteer. Each Thursday morning for the past four years, Annie has visited the local food bank where she picks up enough food for 12-15 families in STAND’s Kinship program, which provides assistance to relatives who are caring for children who cannot stay with their parents.

After the pick-up, she returns to our site in Antioch where she thoughtfully sorts the items so that each family has a plentiful box to take home. When she can, Annie will throw in an extra pair of socks or special snacks for the children.

My parents always taught me to give, not just receive.
— Annie Hassel, STAND! volunteer

As a caregiver in STAND!’s Kinship program, she felt that she has received so much support when she took in her two grandchildren and felt it was time to give back. We are very thankful for loyal volunteers like Annie who help us provide essential resources for our families!

Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. partnered with STAND!’s Kinship program, which provides respite and services to relative caregivers so that children can remain with their family and avoid foster care placement. Linda Bertrand, Chair of the chapter’s Economic Development Committee, said that the group believes in increasing financial awareness:

When people understand their finances and the resources available to them, they can live a better life.
— Linda Betrand, STAND! volunteer

The Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter collaborated with Wells Fargo to organize a series of financial wellness workshops for Kinship caregivers. The first session on credit educated the group on how credit works and what they can do to fix their credit. Caregivers found the workshop extremely helpful and are looking forward to the next workshop on how to purchase a home. Thanks to the Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta for building a strong foundation for our families!

Scharlene Murray and Sallie Sanchez

Scharlene Murray and Sallie Sanchez are two of our many spectacular volunteers! Both ladies are involved with the Ellen’s Guild, STAND!’s auxiliary group of 10 women that raises awareness of family violence and organizes fundraising events such as the Elegant White Elephant Sale in May.

Sallie is co-president of the Guild who brings enthusiasm, professionalism, and organization to the team. By keeping the monthly meetings on track and details organized, Sallie makes sure that the group is very productive. At last month’s successful Academy Awards Benefit Party, Scharlene arranged more than 20 buffet sponsors to create a wonderful spread of delectable dishes for our guests.

It makes me really happy to be part of the valuable services that STAND! provides to families.
— Sallie Sanchez, STAND! volunteers

Both women also volunteer with STAND!’s 24-hour Crisis Line, which helps callers across Contra Costa get connected to resources and helps them find safety. STAND! Crisis Line volunteers must be committed. Before they begin, volunteers undergo 40 hours of domestic violence training so that they are equipped to handle calls.

It can be difficult work, but it is very rewarding. Each call I answer gives me the opportunity to help someone in need. This work has taught me what it means to make a difference.
— Scharlene Murray, STAND! volunteer

We are grateful for dedicated volunteers like Scharlene and Sallie who are so supportive of our work!

Linda Best

When Linda Best joined STAND!’s Board of Directors in 2008, she brought with her extensive experience with the nonprofit sector and skills in management, board development, and strategic planning. Not only does she strongly believe in STAND!’s mission to break the multi-generational cycle of violence, promote safe and strong relationships, and rebuild lives, but the issue of family violence is one that is close to her heart.

I joined the Board because my family has been affected by domestic violence. I believe it is our obligation to improve our communities for our children and grandchildren
— Lind Best, STAND! Board Member

It is through skilled and passionate volunteers like Linda that STAND! is able to make progress towards ending the cycle of violence. Thank you to Linda and the many other volunteers whose passion drives their partnership with STAND!

Zumba Instructors and PG&E Employees

A group of Zumba® Instructors who also work for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recognize how fortunate they are and wanted to pay it forward. Encouraged by PG&E to be active volunteers in their community and by Zumba® to hold awareness-raising events for nonprofits, they organized a Zumbathon® and selected STAND! as their beneficiary.

Issues of domestic violence have impacted some of the members and one of the instructors, Valerie Conwright, volunteered with STAND!’s crisis line, so the partnership seemed like the perfect fit.

We understand the sense of helplessness the victims may feel, and we recognize the importance of having somewhere to turn.
— Zumbathon Participants

Thank you to this great group for breaking the silence around the important issue of family violence and for raising nearly $2,000 to support our services!

Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church

An army of 28 volunteers from Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) spent an entire Sunday in February refreshing STAND!’s emergency shelter. As part of their One Sunday community service project, LOPC members did a thorough deep cleaning of the shelter’s kitchen, dining room, living room, and childcare room. Volunteers also restocked the kitchen with cooking supplies, changed light bulbs, and even made some minor repairs. The group went above and beyond, getting down on their hands and knees to scrub every nook and cranny.

When women and children come to our emergency shelter after leaving violent homes, STAND! makes every effort to provide them with a welcoming space. Thanks to our fabulous volunteers, a well-stocked kitchen and dining room, clean and comfortable living room, and safe and fun childcare room are areas in which women and children staying in our shelter can relax and enjoy each other’s company while they heal from recent trauma. Clients expressed their deep appreciation and said they are motivated to keep the shelter in tip-top shape.

STAND! welcomes volunteer groups year-round to help tidy and maintain our shelter and other sites across Contra Costa County.