CARE House of Oakland County: It shouldn't hurt to be a child.
CARE House of Oakland County: It shouldn't hurt to be a child.

In addition to answering the main phone line and transferring calls to staff, the Front Desk Volunteer is the first person a child sees when they come to CARE House. In their role, they can help set a child who’s coming to us for the first time at ease, and become a familiar friendly face to kids who are coming back each week.

Ben lives in Oak Park with his wife and their dog, and works as a Professor of History. He has a strong interest in helping abused and neglected children. Despite his busy schedule (Ben is currently working on his second Master’s in Political Science in addition regular babysitting shifts for his 3 year old nephew, and doing most of the cooking and cleaning at home as the househusband), he knew that giving back was crucial to his own recovery as a survivor of child abuse.

“[I] believe strongly that children have rights and dignities inherent in all human beings. Abuse is a violation of those rights and I was denied both protection and justice for the crimes committed against me, if my volunteer work can assist even one child in similar circumstances I consider it well worth the effort…CARE House was at the top of the list of institutions that help children who are victims of abuse. It seemed to be a good fit so I came for a tour and signed up the same day.”

Ben has become a regular fixture at CARE House, and in addition to his work at the front desk, he assists at events and helps us with clerical work as needed. As a Front Desk Volunteer, he gets to see the positive changes our kids go through up close, and he finds it rewarding to, “[see] them come to the realization that they are human beings with gifts, potential, and hopefully happy lives ahead of them.”

He remembers one client who made a lasting impression in particular:

“I saw a little girl, tiny and adorable, transform from someone frightened and somber to an energetic and charismatic child full of plans and hope. Her foster mother and she could not have been more disparate in appearance, but shared an obviously deep bond that warmed my heart. I think of that little girl and what her foster mother and CARE House did for her often. I consider it sound evidence that love and respect, given freely, is the answer.”

In his spare time, Ben enjoys gaming, film, cooking, reading, and yoga; he’s also an active member and an Oakland County delegate for the Libertarian Party of Michigan.

Ben believes strongly in our mission, and hopes to see our reach grow in the future. “I hope that more and more children will find a caring adult who will make the effort to help them and bring them to CARE House and that CARE House can grow in tandem and meet the needs of the children who come, be it counseling, education, or any of the other services. I hope more than anything that CARE House and places like it can raise awareness of the terrible crimes these children suffer and that by doing so our society begins to treat children less like the possessions of adults and more like the new and developing human beings they, in truth, are.”

We couldn’t do what we do at CARE House without the passion and dedication of Ben, and each of the volunteers who donate their time for children in need. If you’re interested in becoming a Front Desk Volunteer like Ben, be sure to visit the Volunteer page on our website!

Advertisements