TWH Partnership’s Volunteer of the Year, Barbara Staley, Spearheads “Adopt-a-Dorm” Project

Barbara Staley Dorm decor
Barbara Staley is a Realtor. She understands the importance of home and on a daily basis she helps people realize their dreams of owning one. So it makes perfect sense that her years of generous volunteerism at The Women’s Home would center around finding ways to create the true comforts of home in our residential dorm and at Jane Cizik Garden Place (JCGP).

Barbara has been a member of the Partnership since 2004 and became an active member of the Partnership Board in November of 2011. Just one month later, she took on the “Adopt-a-Unit” initiative out at JCGP. For this project, Barbara led a number of wonderful volunteer teams in transforming our ten brand new chronically homeless units from empty apartments with possibility, to newly furnished, warm and comfortable sanctuaries. Just imagine what it must have felt like for those first residents to open the door to their new apartment. Beautiful furniture, artwork, linens, even a coffee pot…the things most of us don’t think about on a daily basis, but that mean so much to those who have lived without for so many years.

dorm decor 7-12-13For her leadership and hard work in the “Adopt-a-Unit” project, Barbara was deservedly named TWH Partnership’s Volunteer of the Year. When asked why she chose to work on this project and the more recent, “Adopt-a-Dorm” initiative, she replied:

“I have been told that these two projects really made the women feel special and loved,” said Barbara. “To have a beautiful space that is filled with donations from others…a special place to live – it gives them a sense of self-worth and the knowledge that a group of volunteers wanted them to feel special and cared for.

“The other side of this,” Barbara continues, “is how these moments impact us as volunteers. Being on a project that makes you feel that you are the one who is blessed is a pretty fabulous reward and side benefit to this mission. It really is true that giving is something special for all involved.”

The more recently unveiled “Adopt-a-Dorm” project was initiated in April of 2013 and completed at the end of June. Areas remodeled in the treatment and transitional dorm included the foyer and front entry, the dining area, the computer lab, TV room and medication suite. The transformation is wonderful and so appreciated by all of us at The Women’s Home.

Shelley Bridges, Manager of Community Involvement at The Women’s Home, works with our network of volunteers on a daily basis and was incredibly impressed with the hard work and collaboration displayed during the “Adopt-a-Dorm” project.

“As the volunteer liaison, I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to have such dedicated and creative volunteers,” said Shelley. “They really worked together well – from the acquisition of furniture and other items to the collaborative design of all areas. It was inspiring to watch and the final product brought so much joy to not only the residents, but the staff and volunteers as well.”

Volunteerism is very personal and each person interested in giving back can find their way to the people and place that fit them best.

“If you can find a cause that speaks to your heart, volunteering comes pretty easy,” Barbara stated. “The Women’s Home really works to find the best ways to utilize their volunteers in the ways we can help most effectively. Time is not wasted and your contribution is truly valued. I am so happy and grateful to be a part of such a committed and caring organization.”

Many thanks to all of our “Adopt-a-Dorm” volunteers, including: Carol Gradziel, Marsha Baumann, Sally Alford, Karen Marti, Barbara Vaughn, Barbara Quackenbush, Sheryl Johnson Todd, Christy Brown, Linda Willard, and TWH Manager of Community Involvement, Shelley Bridges.

And we are so grateful to all of The Women’s Home volunteers – past and present. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities, please contact us at volunteer@thewomenshome.org. We’d love to tell you more about our mission and all of the opportunities to help out women in need.