Guest Blogger: Erin Stotts, MA, LPCC
Being a volunteer for Our Front Porch is something I do with passion and purpose. It aligns with who I am as a person, a community member, and as a clinician. This adventure that started about two years ago has been everything I had hoped it would be, and much more. Yes, Our Front Porch is an outstanding start up, but the reason I highly value it goes deeper than just being part of something new.
I grew up in the small, incredible town of Lander, Wyoming. With this came knowing ‘everyone’ and ‘everyone’ knowing you. When I was very young, I just thought this meant having a lot of friends, and I had no idea that this was actually something incredibly special. As I continued to grow up and develop my sense of self, I started to recognize the ways in which the people in my community worked with and for each other. Everyone shared in the value of community and being part of something greater than you. In times of achievement and times of absolute tragedy, everyone came together to celebrate or support one another.
I left Lander at the end of high school, and moved on to a new community. I was fortunate enough to be part of an outstanding new network as I swam for Boise State University through all four years of my undergraduate degree. What was special about it was that we were a brand new team; developing, growing, and learning together. We knew that if we wanted to be the best, we would have to pull tightly together and work as one. As there are many variables that worked together to make that happen, perhaps the most important one was that we were an incredibly strong community. We were a team in every sense of the word.
I believe that community is the strongest tool there is. It has healing elements and an empowering presence that no other thing can offer. When the idea of Our Front Porch was presented to me as a way for people to rebuild and heal after a disaster through the primary use of community, accompanied with logistical and other therapeutic services, I never once doubted its ability to succeed. I find it to be such a vital resource that not only this, but every state needs, that I am so heavily drawn to it and its growing success, that volunteering just feels right.
~Erin Stotts, MA, LPCC
Want to volunteer with Our Front Porch? Contact us here!