By Langa, Volunteer Services Manager
Antoinette Moore is a natural leader, creative thinker, and strategic problem solver. She’s highly committed, generous and a persistent optimist. For a volunteer who joined the SafePlace community in June of 2012, you wouldn’t know it by the incredible accomplishments she’s carried out in just two short years. In that time she has served as a Shelter Clinic volunteer, HouseSupport volunteer and Volunteer Leadership Committee Team Building Coordinator.
In her initial role at SafePlace, during the brief time that SafePlace had a Clinic Volunteer position open at the clinic, Antoinette was our one and only volunteer and she was incredible. She was patient, flexible, and supportive and handled everything with the sense of humor that this volunteer position required. The clients adored her. This position was short lived due to a decision by clinic staff to discontinue SafePlace volunteer engagement. Antoinette’s role set the bar for best practices and expectations for this sensitive volunteer position. With the clinic volunteer position ending, Antoinette joined the Shelter House Support volunteer program. She thrived in the shelter, as she was proactive, quick on her feet and solid in her boundaries with clients. Staff appreciated her clear communication and her positive approach even in challenging situations. When she learned that Shelter clients wanted more books to read, she came up with an idea of having a bookcase in the laundry room for families to take books. She began fundraising to generate funds for this literacy project. Ultimately, a book cart was donated to the library project from Children’s Services so Antoinette decided to donate the $300 plus dollars she raised to Children’s Services, to be used for book marks and special request books for the children.
In addition to her volunteer work at the Shelter, Antoinette has also serves on the Volunteer Leadership Committee (VLC) whose mission is to encourage a sense of community among SafePlace volunteers. The VLC plans the annual SafePlace Volunteer Celebration Event. For a second year in a row Antoinette has served as the chair of the decoration committee and also secured high value door prizes for volunteers attending the event. Her contributions helped to transform the Community Room into a relaxed, festive and fun party venue where volunteers felt appreciated and celebrated.
Beginning in 2013 Antoinette began to expand her role from the VLC Committee toward the role of VLC Team Building Coordinator in which she organized monthly Volunteer Projects involving all SafePlace volunteers and benefiting a variety of programs at SafePlace. Some of the most impactful of monthly projects that Antoinette organized were focused on children. They included a Trunk or Treat Halloween carnival event which benefitted over 90 children. Antoinette organized a group of volunteers that came dressed up and ready to run a fun booth/activity for the children. She ordered prizes, created the games and booths, and even thought to bring snacks for the children. Children’s Services staff discussed the idea with Antoinette and she ran with it. “Antoinette has terrific initiative. Her enthusiasm and energy makes it very easy to work with her. Each time she has done a great job of scheduling the event, communicating with me and the VLC group. She is very comfortable in a leadership role with the VLC group, so when the group arrives she continues to be the contact and lead person for the event even though staff are present. This is very helpful. Each project she has coordinated, she has also found the resources to bring supplies to complete the project. She does not expect to go back to staff for supplies or resources, which again makes it very easy for staff to work with her and the VLC.” –Yvette Mendoza-Rouen, Children’s Services Director
Other monthly VLC Projects have included a Back to School Backpack stuffing project, holiday card writing campaign for Shelter clients, making Shelter welcome bags or decorating, prepping and securing donations for Life skills graduation and bolstering more community support for the Holiday Program. “Antoinette is constantly looking for new ways that she can improve the lives of people on our campus. She heard that our Shop for the Shelter program was getting less donations than we needed and was not okay with any SafePlace clients not getting the holiday gifts. When Antoinette approached me saying she wanted to make an Amazon registry for our holiday program, I thought it would be something small. Later that same day, she sent me a list with more than a hundred items and the gifts started rolling in after that. It’s amazing to see how much she cares and how hard she works for our clients.” –Steven Olender, Community Relations & Holiday Program Coordinator
It has been pleasure to work with Antoinette in her varied roles at SafePlace. She has been a tremendous asset to our organization and it has been exciting to watch her grow and become such a strong advocate for social change and specialized care for survivors of trauma. It is a delight to nominate her for the Frankie Fowler Volunteer of the Year Award.