Child Haven Relies on Volunteers to Help Keep the Program Alive

Child Haven Relies on Volunteers to Help Keep the Program Alive

Alma Vega

Volunteer Profile:  Alma Vega

In 2010, Alma Vega and her sister Karina knocked on our door and asked if there was anything they could do to help at Child Haven.  Prior to this time, Child Haven had rarely relied on help from volunteers due to the sensitive nature of the work performed.  At first the staff expressed concern, primarily regarding confidentiality and the appropriateness of having young adults in the facility during operating hours.  However, something in their request made us say “yes”.  We agreed to limit their interaction with clients and implemented several security protocols to prohibit access to records.  We began by having them clean toys, sort donations and assist clinicians with organizing therapeutic materials.  It did not take long before Alma and Karina gained the trust and respect of every clinician at Child Haven.

The girls began volunteering twice a week after school.  They quickly learned and picked up on the special needs and requirements of the therapists.  Rather than assisting the therapists, they began tackling projects such as organizing Child Haven’s Art Therapy Room.  They set up the children’s materials, labeling baskets and sorting supplies consistent with Art Therapy protocols.  They organized the therapist cupboards ensuring that their tools and equipment were easily accessible to therapists but out of reach of the children.  They continueed to follow up with the Art Therapy Room on a regular basis to ensure that items are replaced correctly and to initiate orders for additional supplies.

Alma walks to Child Haven after school and quickly jumps in to her routine.   She checks with the clinicians to see if they need any special help and if so adeptly attends to their requests, (i.e. organizing the Infant room, re-stocking Sand Therapy trays, sorting and cleaning make-believe and dress-up toys, preparing materials for the divorcing families program, etc.)  When those special tasks are complete, Alma attends to her regular duties including preparing blank charts for new clients, copying assessment and other forms, restocking informational brochures, and sorting, organizing and cleaning therapeutic toys and equipment.

Alma also maintains Child Haven’s donation closet.  Donations of children’s clothing and toys are continuously dropped at our doors. Alma sorts the donations to determine whether they are appropriate to be used by Child Haven clinicians for therapy, to be passes through as donations to our clinicians or if the item(s) should be given to other local charities where it would be more appropriate.  Maintaining the donation closet has always been a challenge for Child Haven staff.  Alma has taken away that challenge and allows staff to focus on the children.

Both Alma and Karina have proven themselves time and again as wonderful young ladies with quiet passion, strong ethics, sincerity, reliance and aspiration.  Karina is now working full time and going to school at Solano Community College.  Alma was just accepted to Chico State.  Both girls are majoring in Psychology.

If you would like to help in any of the following areas, please contact us!

  • Clerical support
  • Property maintenance
  • Fundraising events
  • Other

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