By HEAL Staff Writer Jessica Martinez
Lola McVey moved to Lincoln County last July from the Tucumcari area, where she started and ran the Home Visiting Program for Presbyterian Medical Services for four years.
“I loved being able to support the families in that county and encourage them to be the best parents they could be to and for their children.”
Knowing these parental struggles are pretty much universal, when McVey moved to Ruidoso she knew she wanted to continue to help others.
“I had been searching for a place to be a part of the community and to support the families like I had in Quay County,” she said. “I went to a meeting of the Health Council, hoping to find out what was happening in Lincoln County and how I might help.”
There she learned about The Nest, Lincoln County’s first and only domestic violence shelter located in Ruidoso Downs. She contacted them and met with Executive Director Gwyn Kaitis, who was excited to have McVey teach a parenting class once a week for shelter residents.
“It is a real treat to have Lola McVey offering her time, talents, and expertise to help improve the lives of the women and children at our shelter,” said Kaitis. “One of our main goals is to help provide the tools for our residents to use to live their best lives once they leave our shelter. The parenting knowledge and tips they will learn from Mrs. McVey will no doubt be invaluable.”
McVey provides information, thoughts, ideas, and research on topics ranging from nutrition, safety, doctor visits, and immunizations, to discipline and child development, and even supplying the needs of a family on a budget.
“It is fun to show how toys can be made from items around the house and decorating doesn’t need to cost a fortune,” she explained. “I emphasize that as parents there can be a brighter, better day ahead for them, and I work with to them to identify steps they take to get there.”
Volunteering is very rewarding to McVey, saying the rewards are even more than the monetary ones you receive from a paying job.
“To see work being accomplished and experience the gratitude of those you encourage and how they respond to you is very fulfilling,” she said. “If you are down or depressed – VOLUNTEER! It gets your mind off your struggles and disappointments and helps you focus on others. It is amazing how your issues soon fade and others become so much more important. Sometimes you realize that your problems are not so big.”
“To you, it gets you out of your own comfort zone and makes you aware of life around you. It gives you compassion for mankind, a humbleness that you could be in that situation, respect for others and their struggles and an understanding that you are making a difference in some way,” she explained. “To others, what you do extends them respect, acceptance, and empathy. It’s an opportunity to let them experience someone noticing they are struggling, offering a hand up when times are tough, and helping them see the possibilities of a brighter future.”
The Nest is always looking for volunteers who are willing to share their unique talents and wealth of knowledge. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact The Nest at (575) 378-6378.