Not in our town?

Not in our town?

I was fortunate enough to be chosen to attend a week-long Community Leadership training put on by the Blandin Foundation. The Blandin foundation’s mission is: “To strengthen communities in rural Minnesota,” by providing community leadership training opportunities (Blandin Foundation).

As a social worker, I attended to seek ways to enrich my work with Northfield Hospice. I wanted to learn ways to engage our community in conversations about death and dying. As a Hospice social worker, I work with a team to support and guide dying patients and their families both leading up to, and following the death. It is an invaluable service to our community and touches many lives.

However, at the end of the week, I felt more compelled than ever to seek ways to raise awareness of another important issue facing our community—sexual violence.

In addition to working with those facing a terminal illness, I have spent the last 10 years advocating for survivors of violence around the state, and more recently in the Northfield area. I do so by serving on the Board of Directors for the HOPE Center. For those that may not be familiar with the HOPE Center, it stands for: Healing, Outreach, Prevention, Education. The HOPE Center is the only organization in Rice County providing free, direct support to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. It is also committed to creating zero tolerance for violence by collaborating with many community agencies and schools to provide education and prevention strategies in Northfield and all of Rice County.

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