A key but often overlooked part of the Haymarket community is the number of volunteers who assist clinical and administrative staff in fulfilling the mission of our Center. Our volunteers came from many different backgrounds and walks of life, but all are united in their compassion for those needing support in their recovery journeys.
One such volunteer is Rebecca*, who is among Haymarket’s most dependable and admired volunteers. Rebecca sat down with us for a short interview for this newsletter.
What initially drew you to Haymarket Center as a volunteer? Why motivates you to continue volunteering?
I knew I wanted to volunteer to give back what was so freely given to me. A friend of mine was volunteering at Haymarket and she loved it. She invited me to come along one day. The clients were so real and open with me, that I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
I kept coming back because it was so personally rewarding. To witness and share in the clients’ journeys is a huge honor. To see their bravery in taking honest self-appraisals, their determination to improve their situations, and their willingness to learn, grow and try new things…. – this is hard, HARD work! To share in their experience literally benefits me because it reminds and fuels me to also work to be the best that I can be. When we share our personal investigations with each other, we notice the similarities, and we motivate and learn from each other.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time with Haymarket? If so, please describe it.
I got the very special gift of watching people change. By sticking around for a while, I got to witness clients gain clarity. I got to see them face their fears, lay down some defenses, find some inner strength and resources, reunite with inner selves, and take on some new beliefs and behaviors. I’ve also been lucky enough to watch clients share their strength and knowledge with other clients. The camaraderie and support among clients recovering, healing, and growing together – when they support and care for each other, inspires me.
Based on your experience, what is one resource that you wish Haymarket had in greater supply in order to better serves its patients?
More staff. The staff is incredible! It’s easy to volunteer and come in once/week to pitch in, but the staff is there all the time. The staff are the ones who the clients really attach to and learn from. There is so much need – I wish we could have so much more help.
Do you volunteer elsewhere in addition to Haymarket? If so, where?
Yes, I’ve volunteered at other mental health and recovery centers… various places when I can.
Passionate individuals like Rebecca are the reason Haymarket Center is able to help those struggling with substance use disorder. If you’re interested in volunteering, please reach out to Sarah English, VP of Development at Senglish@hcenter.org.
*Name changed at the request of our volunteer