WEEK 19 – THE 52 WEEK LOVE PROJECT

Welcome to Week 19 of The 52 Week Love Project. The project designed to recognize 52 inspiring humans who are giving back to our community – whether in a small way or by creating a movement for change and inspiration. 

The project will showcase LOVE at it’s finest, share their stories – what they do and why they do it!  It’s an opportunity for us to find out what inspires them and what keeps them going when challenges or self-doubt assail them.

Meet Sarah, She volunteers with Prison Networks and Girl Guides 

This the expression that Sarah lives by:

“Nothing is wasted”

“Everything happens for a reason. Failed relationships, the death of a loved one, chronic medical conditions. Etc.  It’s not for nothing. Every time I go through a bad experience, I try and focus on a positive I can pull from it or I try and find value in the new door that’s opened.”

#the52weekloveproject

WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?

16 years ago a friend of mine that I played basketball with invited me along to check out the work she did in Prison. I loved it so much I signed up straight away. I can’t explain why I loved it so much. It just felt like the place I was meant to be (as a visitor 😊)

Nine years ago the Girl Guides journey began. After meeting the women in prison and hearing their stories I was saddened (but not surprised) to learn that many of them had difficult childhoods.  It is estimated that close to 90% of women in prison are survivors of childhood sexual or physical abuse. This inspired me to look for an additional volunteer opportunity that focused on girls and young women.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

ThePrison Network provides support to women in Prison by offering a range of programs that are run both inside and outside of prison as well as offering support to their families.  I coordinate the ‘Fun with Mum Program’, assist with Child Transport and also part of the Arts and Craft team that visit’s the country prison.

The ‘Fun With Mum’s program runs each fortnight on a Sunday in the visits centre at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. It’s a program for the Women and their Children to participate in together, helping them interact and have quality time together.

I value the relationships I have with the children that I transport into the program. It’s always a fun time chatting about school or holidays and singing along to their favourite songs. (I’ve lost track of how many times we have sung “let it go” at the top of our lungs).

Arts and Craft is always a night well spent in prison. We sit and do a craft activity with the women and we talk about anything and everything. I love listening to what’s on their hearts and about their journey. It’s such a rewarding experience and such a privilege to spend time getting to know them.

With the Girl Guides, I am a State Program Manager and a leader of a 10-14yr old unit. As a State Program Manager, I help to oversee State Events, Camps, Program delivery, Badge work and Service projects. As a unit leader, I run a session for the girls every week based on what they want to do or a new skill they want to learn. I enjoy watching the girls learn new things and have fun with their friends. I really love taking the girls Camping. Its always a fun time sitting around a campfire cooking damper, singing songs and making lasting memories.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

I love helping people, I especially love helping those that are in need or going through a tough time. I believe that we were created to live in relationship with people and to serve one another.

I’m constantly inspired by the people I meet.  I love hearing about their lives and the trials they have walked through. I am grateful for the doors that have been opened to allow me to do what I do.

HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF DOUBT?

I try not to listen to self-doubt and just push through. Fortunately, I’ve found that the people that believe in me and believe in my abilities are louder and more persistent than my self-doubt talk.  For that I am grateful and in turn it prompts me to play that role for others as I feel/see the difference it makes in my life.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE/CHANGE IN THE WORLD?

Get started! Don’t waste too much time talking or dreaming about it. Not sure where to begin? Put your hand up and be willing to help with an open heart, wherever the need is. Once you are willing and active, doors will open and you will find your place and the path you are meant to be on.

Also you don’t have to go big, there is so much you can do right now in your community.

DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE OR EXPRESSION THAT YOU LIVE BY?

“Nothing is wasted”

Everything happens for a reason. Failed relationships, death of a loved one, chronic medical conditions. Etc.  It’s not for nothing. Every time I go through a bad experience, I try and focus on a positive I can pull from it or I try and find value in the new door that’s opened.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?

I also volunteer at a Community meal (Dinner Tonite) that runs every Saturday night. I am on the host team.

Over winter I volunteer with Stable One. A pop-up style homeless shelter.

HOW CAN OTHERS HELP/GET INVOLVED?

There are many opportunities to help and get involved. All the organisations I’m involved with are non-for-profit so any financial donation is always appreciated to keep the programs running.

Volunteers are also welcome to apply.

Prison Network, you can apply: here

Girl Guides Victoria, learn more: here

New Hope Community Care, Dinner-tonite, learn more: here 

Stable One, learn more: here 

Please join our mailing list for the  ‘The 52 Week Love Project‘ and we will hit your inbox each week with the story of an inspirational game changer … Sign Up: Here!

#the52weekloveproject