Alyssa Edstrom, a junior public relations major, said she mentors children every Thursday night for the Women’s Protective Services in Lubbock.
She said they offer group therapy, outdoor activities and babysitting to help give time to mothers who need to go grocery shopping and run errands.
According to the Women’s Protective Services website, the organization was established 32 years ago, when a small group of concerned Lubbock citizens came together to do something about the domestic violence issue going on in the city.
The website states that there is a 24-hour crisis hotline, as well as housing, food, clothing and transportation provided to victims. They offer services not just to women in need but to children and men, too.
Edstrom said she mentors weekly because of the kids that she teaches. She said she loves seeing the growth and changes a child can make from getting help once a week.
“I love that I’m part of the reason that’s happening,” Edstrom said.
Lubbock is a big area for domestic violence, Edstrom said. The Women’s Protective Services offers middle school and high school programs that are designed to teach children about the signs and ways to deal with abuse.
Besides mentoring every Thursday night, there is a carnival every October and other themed parties throughout the year.
The most moving experience, Edstrom said, she has encountered happened last year when she helped put on a Valentine’s Day party for the children. Edstrom said it was the first year the mothers were invited and seeing them interact with their children was a great thing to experience.
Morgan Selph, a junior marketing major, said she has mentored children every Thursday for three years. She said she likes devoting her time to helping children out who need a role model.
“I look forward to it every week and it’s really rewarding because I get to help the same kids pretty much every week,” Selph said.
Through helping the children with their homework, playing with them outside and asking about the issues going on in their life, Selph said, she has seen a huge change in several of the children since she started volunteering.
If you are a Tech student, you can volunteer to be a mentor at the Women’s Protective Services. For more information on how to get involved, go to their website.
by Kate Westfall
Contributed to The Hub by Jour 3312