Volunteering isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes, it’s time spent in front of the glow of a computer screen working on spreadsheets, PowerPoints and databases — a critical administrative function for nonprofits that are supporting vulnerable populations and attending to people needs. At Coburn Place Safe Haven in Indianapolis, which provides transitional housing and programming to survivors of domestic violence, that critical admin job has been “owned” by retiree Lynn Davis for three years. Twice a week, she heads into the Coburn office and does, mostly, data entry. But it’s the important kind: tracking contributions and sending out thank-you notes. “If you plan to give back, give back to something that’s important to you,” she advises.
Lynn’s skill set comes from working 22 years at the Indiana Department of Education, where she trained people on how to use computers and then moved into a human resources post. When she retired, she wanted to stay active and give back to her community. She volunteered at an area shelter, but surprisingly never heard back about contributing her time and energy.
It was Coburn Place’s great luck that she found this worthwhile organization where people recognized her talents and put her to work. And she’s never looked back. “I’m happy to be in the background,” she laughed. “I sit mostly in the office, but I get a warm welcome every time I arrive. People say – ‘I don’t know what we’d do without you.’ Not everybody is willing to give that kind of time. But I need to stay active.”
Last year, Lynn was one of Coburn’s top administrative support volunteers, having logged in 560 hours of time. For any Indy resident interested in volunteering at Coburn Place, a “best in class” domestic violence program for transitional housing, you can track the organization’s activity on Facebook, Twitter and its website. As Coburn notes, every survivor is on a journey to “immediate and long-term safety, to emotional and social well-being, to self-sufficiency and to permanent housing.”
You can also help us support Coburn on Oct. 25 in Indy by donating a no-longer-used wireless device to HopeLine from Verizon at the Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Just look for the HopeLine bins outside all of the stadium entrances from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can even drop spare change into donation jars. Verizon, a supporter of Coburn Place, recognizes Lynn Davis as a #HopeLineHero during Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October. Remember that every penny counts for domestic violence organizations. And every device donated is repurposed for a grant to support Coburn Place.