Restorative Justice Volunteering IS community.

St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice is, because of a few people volunteering time, energy and a combined $300.  Back in 2001 a bank account was opened as the first official transaction of SCVRJP.  A volunteer board of directors still governs SCVRJP today.  In 2001 I was on the board, I volunteered to get the program going. 

Tonight I presented to the UWRF Business Association.  I talked about the business of a non-profit.  Tips for successful non-profit work.   It was a small group of future leaders, I was upbeat and optimistic.  Very little talk about what Restorative Justice, more about being a leader, networking, collaborating.  A question at the end “why this, why not something that changes or saves the world?”.  My answer was quick and very swift.  “Oh this changes the world, this improves and heals people!”.  I went on to say it’s changed me for the better and that’s changed my world.

SCVRJP has a student intern, he is preparing to address our board and reflect on his nearly 300 hours with SCVRJP.  He’s been volunteering, and recently facilitated a victim-offender conference.  He talked about understanding why I am the way I am.  He shared that feeling of really helping someone.  You don’t go unchanged when you volunteer for SCVRJP.

You might just help get people registered for a class.  Then you listen to our speakers, our storytellers.  You BECOME community for and with others hearing the same story.

Today I got a call, “I’d like to volunteer”.  It was by word of mouth, Mike was calling to volunteer because what Dave told him about it.  I’m always happy to bring someone else in the Circle.  What could someone tell you that would prompt you to call and volunteer.  I need to check back on what Dave had to say.  Dave was part of an underage consumption panel.  That means he was part of a Circle process for young people ticketed for underage drinking.

As a non-profit we utilize a number of volunteers.  We try to find a great match between interests, skills and programs.  If you want to feel more connected your community, give some time to SCVRJP.  I personally volunteer just to keep in touch with how it feels.  I want to make all of our volunteers feel connected.  It’s those connections that keep community strong.  Volunteering is community.

–Peace – – Kris