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Volunteer Program

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Tahoe Women's Services Needs Help Line Volunteers!

In 2004 volunteers for Tahoe Women's Services (TWS) answered almost 1000 calls for help. TWS provides the only 24 hour community Help Line in the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee area. The Help Line is available for information and referral and peer counseling on any subject although the agency's primary emphasis is on domestic violence and sexual assault. A new training for Help Line volunteers will begin September 8, 2005.

The training is an intensive 63-hour course being held on a combination of Tuesday evenings, Thursdays evenings and every other Saturday over eight weeks. The evening sessions will be from 6 to 9 pm. Saturday will be from 9 am to 4 pm. The trainees will be expected to attend all the sessions. There will be a sliding scale training fee for the course.

Topics covered during the training include: the basics of domestic violence and sexual assault, cultural diversity, substance abuse, legal issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse, date rape, child abuse, suicide and crisis intervention techniques

For additional information call Keely Hedderman at 775-298-0168. She can answer questions over the phone or meet with interested volunteers to discuss the mission of TWS, the agency's expectations of volunteers and an overview.

The Tahoe Women's Services Volunteer Program offers a variety of opportunities to serve the community. There is usually a project that can fit into everyone's busy schedule and if not there is always the option of tailoring a volunteer project to individual schedules. Some programs have lengthy trainings, such as the 70-hour Crisis Intervention Training. Some have minimal training, such as special events which require only energy and time. Some are in between. Below is a sampling of the volunteer opportunities at TWS.

Kid's Time Support Group

This is a weekly children's group that offers activities and support for children who have been exposed to an abusive situation. TWS staff and volunteers provide fun and hands-on activities to help guide and empower children through positive role modeling, creative self-expression, education and support. This program requires nine hours of training. We ask that mentors volunteer one and one-half hours per week for at least three months. Males and bilingual applicants are especially needed to meet the needs of the children. For more information, call the Children's Services Coordinator at 530-546-7804.

Prevention Program Presentations

The TWS philosophy is that all people have the right to a life without violence, and we believe the best time to stop violence is before it begins. The Prevention Program provides prevention education to children and teens in schools and in the community. They provide age-appropriate material on child abuse prevention, dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, self defense and sexual harassment. All volunteers are required to complete 11 hours of training. For more information, call the Prevention Program at 530-546-1480.

Community Help Line

Volunteers are needed to answer the 24-hour Community Help Line. The Help Line is answered from home. There is a 66-hour required training that certifies graduates as a California State certified crisis intervention and peer counselor. Volunteers are qualified to answer the Help Line, provide peer counseling in TWS offices and in the safe house. The training includes information on active listening, peer counseling, advocacy and educates volunteers on topics such as crisis intervention, domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide, depression, child abuse and other related issues. Training is open to men and women over 18. Bilingual applicants are especially needed. Call the Volunteer Coordinator at 775-298-0168 for more information.

Speaker's Bureau

This program helps TWS establish better connections with the local business, community and service organizations while spreading awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. Volunteers educate business owners and employees about the services offered by TWS. In addition, volunteers help with community health fairs and other educational events. There is 12-hour training. For more information, call the Volunteer Coordinator at 775-298-0168.

Special Events/Fundraising

Volunteers are needed to help with the 17th Annual Chocolate Festival and the TWS Ski Day. Volunteers play a vital role in planning TWS fundraisers including collecting items for the silent auction, recruiting chefs and wineries to participate in the festival, selling tickets, assisting with publicity and decorating for the festival. To find out how you can help, call the Volunteer Coordinator at 775-298-0168. If you have other areas of expertise such as carpentry, graphic design, photography, interior design or media relations, we also have a need for your talents. If you think you can help, but donšt feel like you can fit into one of the above programs, call the Volunteer Coordinator to explore more options.

2005 Volunteer Training Dates

June 11, Saturday, 9am - 5pm

(Lunch will be provided & coffee, juice & bagels)

The morning will start with a presentation by the prevention team. Followed by a presentation by Kellie O'Donnell regarding the Parasol Community Collaboration and the important role we play in its success, as well as, how our membership helps us. After lunch, the keynote speaker will be Elaine Whitefeather. Ms. Whitefeather has many years of training experience and has spoken at CalCasa events in the past. She is also a sexual assault survivor. Her training agenda is entitled "Improving Cross Cultural relations in order to assist Sexual Assault Survivors". The goals of the training will be to:

1) Improve our ability to be bridge builders across cultures.
2) Eliminating barriers to seeking help due to cultural issues.
3) Improving cross cultural communication
4) Identifying various ways different cultures engage in problem solving & our ability to help them with problem solving
5) Understanding how various cultures deal with crisis or threat.

The day will conclude at 5pm and should be very insightful. So that I can order food for the morning and lunch please RSVP to Keely Hedderman 775-298-0168 or you may e-mail me at: keely@tahoewomenservices.org. If possible please let me know by Friday, June 3rd. We look forward to seeing everyone there. All of the staff and board will be there and any volunteers who work with clients should plan on attending and advancing your education.


July 13, Wednesday, 5:30pm - 8pm

(light dinner)

Lee Thorpe will be the speaker. Lee gave staff an afternoon of individual zen shiatsu body work and realized that all of us (volunteers too) who are doing this work need to be sure we are taking care of ourselves. She will be starting a series of classes for us. This first one will be about body position while working, whether at a desk, on the phone, or at the hospital with a client. This should be very interesting. Please RSVP by Tuesday 7/12 to Keely.

Other scheduled continuing education classes (topic to be determined)
Wednesday, September 14 -- 5:30pm - 8pm (light dinner)
Tuesday, November 8 -- 5:30pm - 8pm (light dinner)

Crisis Intervention Training will be Sept. 8 - Oct 25.
If you have any friends that might be interested please give them my number, I would be very happy to talk with them. If there are any classes that you feel you need a refresher on, let me know and I can give you the specific dates (this would also count toward your 12 hour annual requirement).

Kid's Time training is scheduled for Aug 30, Sept. 1 and Sept. 6
. Each evening class will be from 6pm to 9pm. If you have any friends who may be interested, or if you would like further information, please call Gina Farrel at 530-546-7804. (This would also count toward your 12 hour annual requirement).