GVM: MWP Volunteer Spotlight!

Hillary Warrington- Mental Wellness Program Volunteer

Hillary Warrington has been volunteering, broadly, for over 20 years!

Hillary lived below the poverty line for many years of her life, and, during that time, often lamented that she could not afford to seek particular services. Hillary has great empathy for those who cannot afford therapy services. “There is a great need to help those who genuinely need therapy services but cannot afford them, and I hope to be a very small part of fulfilling that need.” She has been working with Spark the Change Colorado as a skilled Mental Wellness Program volunteer for about 10 months.

What does volunteering mean to you?

“Volunteering means the opportunity for me to reach individuals who may otherwise be unable to receive therapy services. It is hugely rewarding to see personal growth in all of my clients, most notably in those who are trying to make significant changes in their lives. Volunteering also means the opportunity to help guide future clinicians in their goal of achieving licensure. I enjoy playing a small but pivotal role in shaping future clinicians and their clients’ outcomes.”

What’s your favorite part about volunteering?

“My favorite part of volunteering is serving marginalized populations that I may not otherwise be able to treat. Serving these populations helps not only to support my own clinical skills but also impacts change in our communities throughout Colorado.”

What advice would you have to someone who’s thinking about engaging as a volunteer in their community for the first time?

“Enjoy it! Volunteering your time, skills, and energy can be such a beautiful way to impact change in our community. At times the need in our community and in our world can feel so overwhelming. But as the old story goes: “A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference for that one!” The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.” Adapted from “The Star Thrower” by Loren C. Eiseley. https://www.thestarfishchange.org/starfish-tale

Do you have any volunteer stories you’d like to share?

“I have experienced so many lovely moments being a therapist in someone’s life through Spark the Change. From an intentional choice to try a new, unfamiliar emotional path to setting boundaries to processing childhood traumas, each and every brave moment by my clients are important and beautiful to witness.”

Thank you so much for all that you do, Hillary. You are a perfect example of why the Mental Wellness Program is such a vital part of the lives of volunteers and clients, alike.

If the Mental Wellness Program Sparks your interest, consider volunteering today! Visit our website for more information.


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