Stepping Stones volunteers are always needed. The 40-hour training covers all information needed to become a trained volunteer advocate.
Contact YWCA Stepping Stones at (309) 662-0461 or learn more about the upcoming training below.
The volunteer training covers types of sexual violence, rape trauma syndrome, crisis intervention techniques, listening/communication skills, medical and legal advocacy, the psychology of sexual violence and information about community partners providing different levels of assistance to survivors.
Confidentiality is required.
After completing the 40-hour training, volunteers are qualified to help in many different Stepping Stones areas:
- Taking hotline calls
- Providing prevention education on anti-bullying, sexual violence, healthy relationships, privilege and oppression, and more in McLean County to schools, businesses, or groups
- Provide support at public events
- Data entry and other office work
- Translating materials from English to Spanish and interpreting during counseling and advocacy sessions
Training is held at YWCA McLean County, 1201 N. Hershey Rd. in Bloomington (lower level entrance).
If you are interested in becoming a Stepping Stones volunteer, apply online. After the application is submitted, you will be contacted to schedule an orientation/interview.
Be there for someone in need.
Apply to be a volunteer advocate.
Our August Volunteer Highlight is Charlotte Maynen. Charlotte has been a volunteer on our hotline providing counseling over the phone and medical advocacy at our local emergency rooms for almost three years. Charlotte moved from Palatine, IL to Normal in 2010 to attend Illinois State University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology. When she is not volunteering on the hotline, you can find Charlotte serving at Medici in Uptown Normal.
“I feel that the long-term emotional damage done to survivors of sexual assault is not well understood by many people,” explained Charlotte of why she volunteers. “I am passionate about all survivors deserving a stable, safe, and comforting place to turn to for help at any point during their healing—whether it is hours, months, years, or decades after the assault. I know the work YWCA Stepping Stones does is important and needed.”
Charlotte said the most rewarding part of volunteering is when someone says she helped them feel better. We hear from clients very often how Charlotte helped them feel better. Thank you, Charlotte for all the work you do for us, our clients, and this community. Join us in thanking Charlotte for helping to make McLean County a better place for survivors of sexual assault.
Samantha Herrell is the Stepping Stones featured October volunteer. She began volunteering on our hotline in October 2017 and currently works for PATH Crisis Center as their executive assistant. PATH runs the United Way/211-Crisis/Information/Suicide hotline, provides services for homelessness, and investigates elder abuse.
Samantha has been a part of the Bloomington-Normal community her whole life and is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Samantha says it’s an honor knowing she can aid someone through one of the toughest moments of their life.
“I am a survivor of sexual assault,” said Samantha. “I know how difficult it can be to live as a victim, but working together and helping each other we don’t have to be victimized. We can survive.”
Our December volunteer highlight is Emma Lynn. Emma is from Chandlerville, IL but has been in Normal for the past three and a half years. She has been a Stepping Stones volunteer for over one year.
Emma is an Illinois State University student where she studies Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies with a concentration in Queer Studies. She also works for the Women's and Gender Studies Program office as an undergraduate assistant.
“I choose to volunteer at Stepping Stones because I had heard wonderful things from clients and volunteers," said Emma. "I am extremely passionate about ending sexual violence so Stepping Stones has been an excellent place for me to help do that.”
She said the most rewarding part of volunteering with Stepping Stones is having the privilege to leave a client feeling a little bit more empowered than they did when she arrived. She is thankful to be able to assure survivors Stepping Stones will help them every step of their journey to healing and to have the opportunity to be a support for them in a vulnerable time.
Thank you, Emma, for all your hard work in making our community a better place to be!