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Chelsey

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Transitional Programs for Women
January 24, 2010

I walked into the Hearth thinking that I would pass my wisdom on to the women who used the facility. I had just graduated from Gonzaga and was eager to share my knowledge of the world with these low-income, often mentally ill women who were facing many obstacles during this period of their life. I never imagined that it was I who would be taught. I found women who smiled in the face of extreme hardship, women who sang despite the stares of onlookers and women who spoke out against the wrongs of this world regardless of the reactions of others. I witnessed heartbreaking stories and tears of sorrow but through such adversity I also saw great strength and kindness and the kind of hope that speaks to the incredible spirit of humanity and the resilience of the human soul. The Hearth offers many things to the women who walk through its doors. There are art classes, food and hygiene items, processing groups and hot meals. If you look closer, however, listen a little harder and observe a little longer, you will also find women who have learned to deal with some of Life's most difficult adversity. They don’t always do it with finesse and they often do not have a lot of tact, but they are surviving. Through these women, are many lessons to be learned!

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

inspirational! Every single one of them were compassionate, empathetic, passionate people who are each changing the world in their own way!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Former staff & I volunteered through Americorps and spent time talking to the women, teaching classes and helping with various projects.