Science, sociology, religion, humanities and many other philosophies and areas of study understand the power of serving others. Deep in the soul of every human being is a need for belonging, connection, community and the give-and-take of helping others and being helped. Volunteering and serving others directly exerts pressure on the tendency we all have to be self-focused and to care only for our own. While there is a sacrifice of time, resources, and energy in serving others there is also a reward. The reward is something difficult to convey to those who have yet to experience it. The connection place deep within the soul of every person that cares about the well-being of another soul opens up and compassion flows out. Both the giver and the receiver are blessed in the process of serving. Both experience vulnerability and humility in the context of human need being met for no other reason than love and the value of human life are more important than anything else.
Have we ever given up a picnic, sleep, a favorite TV show, or our own financial resources to serve the women at Peace Promise? You bet we have!! And you know what? We received the reward for it. The reward that is built into the process of loving and giving to other human beings.
If we want to truly live in this world, we need to find ways to serve. It’s a foundational human experience that changes us and develops us into mature, connected people capable of governing our culture in a way that benefits the common good. It’s the direct opposite of using people. Sex-trafficking and prostitution are about using people. Volunteering is about loving people.
Volunteering Through the Years
Peace Promise was an all-volunteer organization from its inception in 2008 until January 2019 when we hired our first employee, Executive Director Patty Seaman. We remain a heavily volunteer organization. A group of normal, caring, gifted, sacrificial people working together for the sake of others. There is a deep joy in this work. And we’re glad for that because some of what we see and know is painful. Annually, Peace Promise connects with roughly seventy-five volunteers. We would be surprised if any of those volunteers were spared from shedding tears from time-to-time as they give of themselves for people in need of kinship care.
Volunteer Roles at Peace Promise
Peace Promise was formed by a group of Christian women willing to begin in prayer. Prayer remains our foundation and our strength. We meet together every first Friday of the month to pray over every need and woman we serve. Any given month we have as many as ten different churches represented and 15-20 people praying over every aspect of the ministry.
Meals & Treats
Every time we step foot in a strip club, recovery house, or other places where we might find women being sexually exploited, we bring home-made treats and meals. The home-made part of this is so vital. Somehow love is deposited into the food we bring. Several years ago we didn’t have a home-made meal and treat so we ordered pizza and stopped for store-bought cupcakes. The women working in the strip club that evening noticed immediately and said, “Don’t the church ladies love us anymore?” We knew in that moment we would not walk into the strip clubs again without home-made food. The love in that food matters and has work to do. We have many faithful servants making meals and treats each week. Some have been doing it monthly since 2013.
A few times a year Peace Promise engages in awareness and fund-raising events. We have an annual banquet each early spring and a few other opportunities each year. These events often require dozens of volunteers. We always leave the events, which are often an enormous undertaking, so joy-filled and appreciative of the volunteers who faithfully serve Peace Promise. It’s such an honor to co-labor with such amazing, humble, gifted people. Everyone of leaves physically tired but so totally blessed by being able to work with the team.
Special Outreach Events
Several times a year we take special gifts into the strip clubs for our weekly visit. Christmas, Back-to-School, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day make special times of giving. Many of the women we care for are mothers. Many struggle financially. Sometimes we are the only people to give them a Christmas gift. When we celebrate each woman on Valentine’s Day we are celebrating her intrinsic worth and value.
Some of the volunteers support our media initiatives. This is a role that can be done from home!
We have regular note-writers to craft special, encouraging, personal notes that accompany the meals and treats. This is another role that can happen from home.
Soaps By Survivors
Peace Promise has a beautiful, survivor-led ministry called Soaps By Survivors. We produce the most amazing bath and beauty products and sell them. There are event opportunities and production volunteer opportunities.
Change Purse is an ingenious industry! We collect new and gently used designer purses and re-sell them at events throughout the year. All the proceeds help women leave the sex industry. There are event opportunities, pick-up and delivery opportunities, and warehouse (purse sorting and organizing).
We invite you to consider volunteering at Peace Promise, but if nothing resonates with you at Peace Promise we want to encourage you to find your niche. Everyone benefits from serving others, especially the ones serving. The world needs you and you would benefit greatly from volunteering for the sake of humanity.
Please visit our volunteer page to contact us about how you can get involved or contact us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article was written by Susan Vigliano, President of the Board of Directors