The world’s problems can often seem overwhelming. Even on just one issue, such as domestic violence, the numbers can seem daunting. Here in Pennsylvania, in one day in 2014, nearly 2,500 victims were served by domestic violence organizations — and over 250 requests for services were unmet. Yet there is something that each of us can do to help and to make a difference.
One person can touch the lives of those around them with small actions, whether they are words or deeds. Standing up for what is right — for example, calling out a misogynistic joke — can have an impact on everyone in the room. Choosing to spend your free time volunteering can inspire those around you to do the same. The people whose lives you touch may then motivate others to get involved — creating a chain reaction of good deeds. In this way, you can make a difference, no matter how big the problem may seem or how little you may feel that you have to contribute.
Since 1976, Blackburn Center has provided services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. In recent years, we expanded to offer services to victims of all types of violence. We are the go-to agency for victims of violence in Westmoreland County — and an organization that can also guide those who want to give back in our community.
We offer a number of ways to help, such as by getting involved in one of our advocacy groups, Future Advocates of Blackburn (FAB) or Fearless Advocacy for Men’s Engagement (FAME). You can also donate directly to Blackburn Center, or purchase items for our emergency shelter through our Amazon wishlist. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer with Blackburn Center, which may include doing administrative work, answering calls on our hotline, staffing tables at health fairs, or even reading to children at our shelter. Volunteer applications are available here, with training sessions scheduled in the spring and fall.
Giving back can also mean learning and becoming more engaged in Blackburn Center’s mission. We offer a number of community services, including training and education programs that you can schedule for your school, workplace, or community group. Our website has a host of resources as well, such as our blog, guides for parents, and information on topics such as the root causes of gender-based violence. You can also “take the pledge” to work to end gender-based violence. By choosing to educate yourself about these topics, you can be part of the solution.
The problems facing us can seem enormous — but we can take them on by working together. When each of us makes a commitment to give back, we are choosing to make the world a better place….one person at a time.