Thursday, February 3, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheri Hoffman

Cheri Hoffman found herself in a lull in her life, when her son suggested that she get involved with one of the local organizations. She considered this option, and the next day, right there in black and white was a notice for volunteers needed at ywca clark county. “Well, I’ll try it out,” she thought. Walking into the community room for the Introduction to Volunteering, Cheri had no idea what she was getting into. The notice in the paper, and all the program representatives expressed the need for volunteers in the Sexual Assault Program, so she found her niche there. The Sexual Assault Program (SAP) aims to lessen the trauma of sexual assault for victims and their families. Volunteer advocates, like Cheri offer non-judgmental support, information and referrals for victim/survivors who have experienced sexual assault recently or in the past.

After going through extensive training, Cheri was assigned her first connection. She has since had numerous contacts with various sexual assault survivors. Providing support for these clients has been more rewarding than ever expected. When asked what the biggest challenge has been, Cheri noted that while all the cases can be upsetting, “it’s especially challenging to hear the stories of the younger victims.”

Cheri’s efforts do not go unnoticed. “As an advocate, Cheri is tenacious, invested in this work, and incredibly kind. She has taken on some very challenging cases, put in some long hours, and has gained lots of experience working both with victims and community partners. The Sexual Assault Program is extremely fortunate to have Cheri, and many other volunteers, committed to reducing trauma in the lives of sexual assault victims,“ said Kai Hill, Program Coordinator for SAP.

Cheri said she’ll be volunteering for quite some time. She sees the value in her work, and feels that any effort that can be made to help those affected by sexual assault is worthwhile. For more information on volunteering for SAP, or any other program visit

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