24 April 2010 – A Volunteer’s Story

       I remember looking in my rearview mirror that day wondering what I had just done. Thinking, “What am I doing? Why would I ever leave San Francisco?” As I made the long drive down from San Francisco to San Diego I thought about all the pros and cons of my new decision. I had stepped out in faith but what if I was wrong. Who was I kidding? In this economy jobs were hard to come by and I chose to leave a secure one to volunteer with a new non-profit, GenerateHope. I planned on moving down and figuring out life as it came…this involved my living situation and full-time employment.
       Against the warnings and better judgment of my family, I left what was comfortable and secure to begin serving women who had been sexually trafficked. I had no idea then what it would mean for my life but I knew I couldn’t imagine another day of sitting behind a desk living an unfulfilled life.
       It’s been over five months since I left San Francisco that day and I can sincerely say that I made the right decision. During this time God took away every comfort from me, every sense of financial security, confidence and pride I had and shattered it. It was in this that He began to teach me what it was like to feel lost and broken. I don’t claim to understand what each victim feels as they come to the house but I genuinely believe God used my brokenness to give me a better understanding of their pain.
       There is a huge need in San Diego for a place for trafficked victims to feel safe, to learn, and be healed of their hurt. Working with each woman has been such a blessing. My life has been completely transformed by being able to volunteer with GenerateHope. I’ve shared laughs with the women over guacamole chips and tears over recent phone calls from a relative. I’ve seen them quiet and closed off and am now seeing them slowly open up to me.
       Since the doors have opened at GenerateHope, my part in their world has been a more creative outlet for them to express their thoughts through the creation of a magazine they put together. I am surprised weekly by the discussions the women bring to the table; they are such bright young women. They are daily reminders to me to be a gracious, caring, giving and strong woman. They show me that life is precious and should not be spent enhancing my own life but rather helping those in need.
       Volunteering with GenerateHope has given me a better perspective of the world around me and a dedication to combating sex-trafficking. One person can make a difference and I have seen that firsthand through the Directors and volunteers at GenerateHope.
       For me, it’s like a Yann Tiersen instrumental piano piece playing through my headphones while at my favorite coffee shop. That sense of peace, quietness, security; that is what I hope to be for these girls. This is what I hope they feel as they go through the program and begin to rebuild their identity. GenerateHope is doing amazing work and I am thankful to be a part of it.

Copyright ©2010 GenerateHope, Inc. All rights reserved.


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