Kate Margolis

Daily Point of Light # 3200 May 11, 2006

Kate Margolis has dedicated the past three years to children, teens, and families impacted by domestic violence and dating abuse through her volunteer work at Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS). It was in 2002, when Kate first completed the JBWS 40-hour domestic violence training. Like most JBWS volunteers, she began her volunteer work in the Helpline program. However, what is unique about Kate is her desire to keep adding more challenges to her volunteer experience. In just three years at JBWS, she is now a help line volunteer, a Crisis Response Team volunteer, a Dating Abuse Prevention Program (DAPP) school educator and manages additional volunteer projects as the need arises.

It is fair to say that Kate is involved in every area of JBWS’ mission, which is “the prevention of domestic violence through the protection and empowerment of the victim, the rehabilitation of family members, and the advocacy of social reform to help these families and the education of the public about domestic violence and its consequences”. Kate’s on-going involvement in various programs at JBWS demonstrates her strong commitment to this mission statement.

Kate Margolis is a dedicated helpline worker, she consistently reports for her help line shift every Monday morning from 9 – 1 pm. She provides help line services including information, crisis intervention, and referrals. She responds to crisis situations in a professional manner and is skilled in the area of providing empathy and emotional support to helpline callers. When the Helpline is quiet, Kate is responsible for helping the staff counselors to meet the needs of the women and children who live in the shelter. When asked to describe Kate, the counselors say she is “a reliable volunteer whom often goes above and beyond what is expected.” She is willing to take on any tasks ranging from providing childcare for children in shelter, setting up shelter rooms, to completing administrative assignments. She willingly provides transportation and advocacy during her scheduled volunteer shift as well as on additional days during the week when needed.

Kate is a CRT member for Chatham (Township) since 2004. Crisis Response Teams consists of a group of volunteers who provide information and emotional assistance for victims following a domestic violence police call. As a CRT volunteer, Kate is called to meet a victim of domestic violence at the police department to provide emotional support, information on the dynamics of domestic violence and the laws available to protect victims, social services referrals, access to shelter, and help with developing a safety plan. As a member of a CRT, Kate received additional training and makes a commitment to be on-call for 12-hour a day, seven days a week.

This school year 2005/06, Kate began as a DAPP educator substitute. The DAPP program is and educational preventative program that reaches middle school, high school and college students throughout Morris County. As a DAPP educator substitute, Kate provides coverage for scheduled DAPP engagements that the DAPP educator could not attend due to an illness, or to fulfill the demand for the programs. She trained for one and half years to be able to present programs to students in middle schools, high schools, colleges. She read many books on the topic of dating violence, viewed educational videos on dating violence, observed other staff doing the presentations, co-facilitated DAPP engagements, and met periodically for training and supervision with the coordinator of the dating abuse prevention program. Kate’s efforts are endless as she attends the DAPP monthly staff meetings. Additionally, in 2004, Kate mentored the Key Club at Chatham High School in a project where they put together more than 300 goodie bags for the JBWS Safe Date Challenge walk/run.

For one full year, Kate took on the responsibility as monitoring the JBWS donation line. She picked up voicemail messages on the donation line, returned phone calls, and determined how the donation might best be used. Kate is highly knowledgeable in the area of community resources.