He’s not an employee but he’s dedicated to his work. He’s committed to the mission and his contributions come primarily from the heart– meet Stan Lee, a senior volunteer at St. Jude House in Crown Point, IN for two years. Lee is a retired business owner that found a new labor of love that has added “meaning and purpose” to his life and he has made it his mission to ensure that the children of domestic abuse and violence sleep a little better and feel a little safer at the shelter.
St. Jude House is a Family Violence Prevention Center and 30-bed Shelter in Northwest, IN, providing compassionate services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Its goal is to empower clients with the tools and resources needed so that they and their dependent children achieve self-sufficiency, breaking the cycle of violence in their lives and, ultimately living free from violence. St. Jude House is a not-for-profit organization and through in-kind donations of businesses, the community, and selfless volunteers, like Lee, has managed to serve more than 9,400 women and their dependent children, since opening its doors in 1995.
Many volunteers across the country find a connection with where they choose to devote their time and energy. For Lee, the choice was easy when he learned of the services offered at St. Jude House. “I do what I can to help St. Jude House in their mission, but my heart always goes out to the children that are caught up in the violence or abuse of their situations,” Lee said. “St. Jude House actually changes not only the lives of these women and parents, but it helps the children understand what is acceptable and what isn’t in any relationship. The help and programs here change and support them in a way that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” he explained.
Smiling like a proud father, Lee listed some of his weekly contributions during his 20+ hours per week at the shelter, including transporting clients to appointments and maintenance care. However, his face lit up as he described the work he does that impacts the children, “seeing the faces of the children and knowing that they are safe and happy, that’s what it’s about for me,” he stated. He described the sadness that comes through the doors of the shelter in the form of cuts, bruises, broken or fractured extremities, and scarred memories. “It’s something you wouldn’t wish on any family, and especially not on an innocent child,” he said.
“If we had more volunteers like Stan Lee, there would be no telling how much we could accomplish through our mission,” said St. Jude House Executive Director Mary E. Govert. “There have been several times when we have needed help with projects and Stan is always quick to offer himself, no matter what time or day. He is our own personal hero and we are blessed to have him,” she added.
For his service and commitment, Stan Lee is being nominated as an outstanding senior volunteer. St. Jude House staff says they hope to see Lee nominated as a Salute to Senior Service honoree. The public may vote for Stan Lee by visiting salutetoseniorservice.com beginning April 15th through April 30th. From there, state winners will be reviewed by a panel of senior experts and an honoree will be selected.