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Agency Spotlight: Center for Women's Ministries

Women Supporting Women!

By: Mercedez McDowell

Picture a woman with two kids and two jobs as a part time student at Indiana University. Her day consists of classes from 8:00 a.m. to noon, work from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Then, she rushes home to cook dinner, bathe the children, change diapers, and study. And, of course, she's getting a divorce.

Doris Elgin - Center for Women's Minsitries Doris Elgin of the Center for Women's Ministries The Center for Women's Ministries is dedicated to improving the quality of life for hurting women like this. Finance Director Doris Elgin said her most memorable experience with the Center was as a client. "It helped to have people lovingly accept me no matter what," Elgin said, "They hugged me, gave me cookies, and played soft music in the background. That's what motivated me to volunteer."

With more than fifty new clients per year, the demand for volunteers is high. After filling out an application, prospective counselors are required to complete a 14 week training class. During that time, however, many applicants realize the extent of their own affairs and choose to become clients. The remaining applicants, then, give two to three hours per week to counseling others.

The CFWM is devoted to Christ-centered counseling. Elgin said every Tuesday the Center hosts bible studies, and Thursdays are reserved for the "Problem Solving Support Group." In fact, to promote spiritual and emotional healing, volunteers post motivational quotes to the office walls. For example: "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29

From client to counselor, Elgin has a well-rounded view of the Center for Women's Ministries. In both positions she appreciates going to prayer and scripture to overcome issues. When clients are feeble, they may be assured through this scripture displayed outside of Elgin's work area: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Some advice for fellow volunteer coordinators:

Two heads are certainly better than one, according to Elgin. Promoting coordinator unity, Elgin said, "It's important to connect resources with one another and some way help and support each other."

Some advice for prospective volunteers:

Elgin simply asks that volunteers be consistent in their commitment.