By HEAL Staff Writer Jessica Martinez
Micah Woodul, a Lincoln County community leader and Help End Abuse for Life, Inc. (HEAL) Board Member, was recently given the opportunity to participate in her college sorority’s 2nd Global Service Initiative for Alums. Alpha Chi Omega, whose national philanthropy is Domestic Violence Awareness, has committed to providing the opportunity to their alums every two years as well as a separate opportunity to collegians.
The women’s fraternity emphasizes education of its members, giving them tools to build their own healthy relationships, as well as raising awareness of domestic violence with education. Through fundraising and volunteering, AXO members serve individuals and families impacted by domestic violence at shelters and other service-providing organizations.
“The Global Service Initiative for alumnae this year was in late April, to Woodstock, Virginia to assist with the needs of a local domestic violence shelter,” explained Woodul. “A call for participants and an application was sent out to all AXO Alums, those interested filled out the application, and then ten were chosen. I was fortunate enough to be one of those ten.”
The ten women came from all over the country, ranging in ages from 23 to 65. The service project involved volunteer work at a community organization dedicated to preventing and helping people overcome the problems of sexual and domestic violence and other forms of abuse through outreach, advocacy, education and support services.
“We had to buckle down and get work done. We cleaned, organized, raked, planted, scraped, bleached, and face-lifted different parts of the domestic violence shelter in both good and bad weather,” said Woodul. “This particular shelter was very positively supported by the community. It reminded me of the Nest and what a wonderful job our shelter does in taking care of its residents and how supportive our community is.”
Though the trip only lasted four days, it was an experience that Woodul will remember for a lifetime.
“It is amazing what you find within yourself and fellow volunteers on the path of service to others if you open your heart, and your mind. Because on that path, as you listen and share, as you problem solve and support, you find you have more of a connection with who you are with than you ever thought possible,” Woodul reflected. “No act of service, however small, is ever wasted.”
To learn more about HEAL and the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter, visit their website at www.helpendabuseforlife.org. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Sue at the Nest by phone at (575) 378-6378.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, HEAL and the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter offer a toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week at (866) 378-6378.