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Letters: Service is the rent we pay

'Service is the rent we pay' April honors Sexual Assault Awareness, Child Abuse Prevention and Crime Victims Awareness Week (April 13-19) and Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 27-May 3). Being an advocate is a blessing, not a job. I have been so...

'Service is

the rent we pay'

April honors Sexual Assault Awareness, Child Abuse Prevention and Crime Victims Awareness Week (April 13-19) and Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 27-May 3).

Being an advocate is a blessing, not a job.

I have been so blessed. I have not had a "job" for eight years; instead I have been blessed to receive a paycheck for receiving a gift from those who are brave enough to invite me into the ugliest part of their life and invite me to walk with them in their journey of healing.

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It amazes me the strength survivors have every day to conquer their demons and finally take their life and power back.

I am truly elated when I say something or am part of a moment that triggers an understanding in the survivor that releases a huge part of their pain. You can actually see a physical change in them. The way they carry themselves shows a huge weight has literally been lifted from their shoulders and/or heart.

What can be better than sharing that moment with someone? Nothing in my past employment even compares. Sure I enjoyed seeing and talking with the regulars getting their coffee and paying for their gas. I was thrilled when I figured out what type of gadget customers were describing and could find it in the store. I was elated when someone actually bought something I was selling over the phone, but all that only gave me a paycheck, and made someone else a little bit richer.

When I can see that what I do now matters to the core survival of a fellow survivor, there is nothing that I would be willing to give this up for.

I can't say that I'm glad I was abused, but if I hadn't been, I'm not sure I would be doing this work here...and for that I am extremely grateful.

I challenge everyone to volunteer for some place that needs your talents.

"Service is the rent we pay for living," this according to Marion Wright Eddelman.

Kim Zimmerman,

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Advocacy Services Coordinator, Sexual Assault Program

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