STAR Volunteer Award Winner Changes Lives at Caring Network

Caring Network was so pleased to nominate Brook Hill for a STAR Volunteer Award . . .and even more pleased to learn that she had won the award!  She was officially presented the award in front of hundreds of attendees at the STAR Volunteer Award breakfast in downtown Kalamazoo on April 18th.  Congratulations to Brooke . . . and thanks so much for all you have done to support our clients and services at Caring Network! 

We’d like to tell you about her service and how she uses her time and talents to change lives . . .

As a Mother-Friend Volunteer, Brooke provides one-on-one mentoring to two different Caring Network clients.  Brooke is able to relate to these mothers and provide them with compassionate care and support because she was a teen mother herself.  Homeless at 17 and a victim of domestic violence, Brooke brings a hard-earned wealth of knowledge and empathy which our clients relate to.  Brooke’s supportive personality makes Caring Network clients feel comfortable expressing what’s happening in their lives.  Her mentoring coincides with the case management and professional counseling participants already receive at Caring Network.

Brooke has used her life experiences as a teen mother to motivate others to pursue their goals.  She believes strongly in not becoming a victim to circumstance.

“I have a passion for people and for life.  I believe anything is possible through ‘self’ and God.  When we believe in ourselves we can overcome even the most difficult of situations.”

When asked why she chose to share her time and talents with Caring Network clients, Brooke simply stated, “I enjoy volunteering at Caring Network because I have an understanding and empathy for the participants I cross paths with.  By listening and offering advice when appropriate, I hope to make a difference in someone’s day.”

In addition to her Mother-Friend work, Brooke serves as a Support Volunteer each week, helping our clients “shop” in the Caring Network basement for baby items and organizing donated clothes.  She has also been a guest speaker at Caring Network’s teen pregnancy and education class series.  The young women and men who attended reported feeling extremely comfortable asking her questions because she was so “approachable and intelligent,” adding, “She understands the fears of being young and pregnant.”  “She doesn’t sugar coat anything, yet she lets our clients know that they can still create a positive and productive life,” says Jeannine Boehm, Volunteer Coordinator.  She volunteered more than 105 hours at Caring Network in 2011.

We are so grateful to Brooke for her compassionate service.  We applaud her and the courage it takes to share of yourself in the way she does each week.  If you’d like to become involved in a similar way — using your own experiences, strengths, time, and talents — please call Jeannine Boehm at 269-381-1234.  She would be more than happy to explore options that use your experience and knowledge to change lives!


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