Column: Volunteers make local nonprofit run smoothly
Chaucie’s Place is much more than just a building with an address. Although there are real people doing important work at the little yellow house office, Chaucie’s Place symbolizes a way of thinking and acting that is spreading across our community in a positive, constructive way.
“We are a child advocacy organization that focuses on prevention of child sexual abuse and youth suicide. Our outreach programs work with children, adults and school systems to drive prevention,” said Executive Director Toby Stark explaining the nonprofit’s mission.
With a small staff and limited resources, Stark and the team are making a major difference by saving lives and changing behaviors. But, since April is National Volunteer Month, Stark was practically rabid with her passion to tell me about the amazing group of volunteers who assist Chaucie’s Place.
The volunteers, in her words, allow the staff to focus on programming and clients.
“We could not do it without them,” she said.
One such volunteer worthy of special mention and attention is Mike Jeter. For years now, Mike has been willing to accept the title of “volunteer handyman.” Jeter is willing to do anything around the facility including battling the fierce winter snowfalls. When not battling snow, he maintains the property and is skilled at hanging doors to repairing a wall.
But Mike is not the only one. One of Carmel’s bravest, firefighter Chuck Plumber gives back to his community during his off-duty hours and maintains the Chaucie’s Place grounds. Without being asked, he shows up to make sure the lawn is mowed.
During our conversation, Stark was especially grateful to the ladies of Northview Christian Church. Led by Courtney Hudson, the army of cleaning specialists leave no dust mites behind and ensure a floor so clean you can see Mr. Clean looking back at you. Maybe just a shadow, but the place is spotless and the employees who work there realize the labor from the ladies of Northview Christian Church is priceless.
And then there are the twenty plus volunteers who run Smart Steps: Body Safety Program for Children in the Elementary Schools. This program has now reached 12,000 students with a message of awareness and protection.
And from 7 to 9 a.m. April 23 at Ritz Charles, the Friends of Chaucie’s Place Breakfast will take place to honor National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The speaker will be 1958 Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur.
For more information visit www.chauciesplace.org.