The Albion College volleyball team continued its community service work at the S.A.F.E. Place Shelter in Battle Creek Saturday, April 1.
Short for the Secure Area Family Environment, it is a 56-bed emergency shelter designed to protect victims of domestic violence free of cost.
"Voluneering at S.A.F.E Place has been our favorite community service event for the past three years," Rachel Zawodny, a junior libero from Northville, Mich., said. "Being a women's team and contributing to a place that empowers other women is an amazing thing to be a part of. The team was split into two groups; one group that deep cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms and another group that mopped floors and helped paint. Some people would see these tasks as menial, but even the smallest of tasks at a shelter like S.A.F.E Place have the greatest of importance. To me going to a place that helps women is so important. These women have uprooted their lives in hopes of a better, safer life. I cannot imagine being in that situation, but the bravery one must have to walk away is remarkable. These women and S.A.F.E Place deserve all the help and generosity they receive."
Other Britons amplified Zawodny's comments.
"The thing I like most about community service is just the fact that I am helping someone," Marie Pregenzer, a sophomore middle hitter from Kalamazoo, Mich., said. "I know that I am making someone's day a little easier and hopefully bringing happiness to people. The thing I like most about helping out at S.A.F.E Place is that we are supporting women in tough situations."
"Doing community service for such a wonderful place such as S.A.F.E Place was a great volunteer opportunity," Emily Wagar, a first-year student-athlete from Climax, Mich., said. "As a team, we were able to assist the women who run the organization with small tasks such as mopping floors, painting, and deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. They told us that we do not realize that even though these chores seem like simple tasks, it helps them out enormously. It made me happy to know that we were really helping out S.A.F.E Place a lot more than we probably thought."
"The empowering aspect about doing service at a shelter like S.A.F.E Place, is that a group of young women can come together to lend a land to women in need," Paige Mellema, a first-year student-athlete from Grand Rapids, Mich., said. "Through this experience I learned that even the little tasks we were able to accomplish in the small amount of time we were there impacted the staff at S.A.F.E Place. We cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, floors, and painted which seemed simple, but for the workers at S.A.F.E Place this would have taken them multiple days. As a team we were able to come together to do something for someone other than ourselves or the volleyball program. This was not something that anyone was forced to do, rather it was something that the team wanted to do exemplifying a true Albion Briton."
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