hips.org

Volunteers

HIPS relies on 100+ dedicated volunteers who donate more than 4,000 hours of service a year. Volunteers staff our outreach van, provide administrative and program support during the day, staff our 24 hour hotline, participate in community meetings and presentations, and more! Volunteers gain a unique perspective on our city’s issues and needs while learning about sex work, public health, justice, non profit administration and other issues in a hands-on, direct service environment.

Get information about joining our volunteer team

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT:

Outreach staff interview Volunteers of the Month and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jenny Babcock!

JENNY BABCOCK – Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, March 2012

What is your favorite part about volunteering at HIPS?
The people! The wonderful people the HIPS van meets during outreach, the staff, the amazing volunteers – I learn a lot from them, things like how to work without judging, perseverance, kindness.

Your most memorable moment on the van?
Shoot – there have been so many memorable moments, both light and serious. I recall one night five or six years ago when a woman we served wanted to escape her pimp. The outreach team met her at a pre-determined spot and drove her to a safe place, and GiGi, the crisis management leader (she has played many roles over the years), took over from there. We did this work because the client wanted it, and the skills of the HIPS people were impressive. On a lighter note, we once rescued a run-away cocker spaniel that had fled his upper NW home and wound up on RI Ave. The van teams are so versatile.

When you’re not being an amazing HIPS volunteer, what are you up to?
Shucks, Jenna Let’s see – I work a lot – health care for low-income people. I run, ski, do yoga, read. I also volunteer at planned parenthood as a clinic escort and with the Gray Panthers. I eat a lot with friends.

Song you’d like to see on an Outreach Mixtape?
White Stripes – Hotel Yorba or Doorbell. Or my new favorite – Alex chilton’s September Gurls.

Favorite DC spot?
You know, I love my neighborhood, Mt Pleasant and Columbia Heights, and all the people and places and languages and politics there. We have a real community there, I think.

If you could go anywhere in the world, with any one person, to do/see any one thing, what would they be?
Oh man! Is “happy” a place? Let’s all go together. Otherwise, it would be my fictional villa in Italy with, again, everybody.

Gratitude . . . what are you thankful for?
That’s easier – I am so grateful for the people in my life, starting with my mom and dad and my sisters and my nephew. They are lifelong strivers for the equality of all people. I have been so lucky. Then add to that all you HIPS people, and my other friends. How did I get so lucky?

Your message to all the people of the world??
Stop the pointless discrimination. Just cut it out. It hurts so many people. See everybody as equals, and go from there. :)

JEFF RADERSTRONG – December 2011 Volunteer of the Month

What is your favorite part about volunteering at HIPS?
The wonderful, happy people, both on staff and the clients! Everything is done with such positivity, which is so inspiring to see from people working on tremendously difficult and overwhelming issues.

Your most memorable moment on the van?
Listening to a man from Jamaica rap about STIs.

When you’re not being an amazing HIPS volunteer, what are you up to?
I work at Venture Philanthropy Partners, blog at UnSectored, bike, listen to my vinyl records and hang out with my wonderful girlfriend and wonderful friends.

Song you’d like to see on an Outreach Mixtape?
Running on Empty, by Jackson Browne. (Jenna still has my CD!!!)

Favorite DC spot?
Rock Creek Park

If you could go anywhere in the world, with any one person, to do/see any one thing, what would they be?
I would probably go into space. Is that count as the world? Also with Tina Fey, mostly because I want to meet her so badly.

Gratitude . . . what are you thankful for?
Every day!

Your message to all the people of the world?
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

MEREDITH ZOLTICK – October 2011 Volunteer of the Month

What is your favorite part about volunteering at HIPS?
The AMAZING people I get to spend time with- whether its on the van with volunteers (you get very close to people when you spend the ENTIRE night with them often), engaging with clients hearing their stories, learning from them, being that smiling face at night, and potentially providing a service they really want, getting to know and learn from the HIPS staff members many of whom are now my closest friends, and everyone else who is part of the HIPS family. These wonderful people make this world a place I want to live in.

Your most memorable moment on the van?
Oh wow, there are so many beautiful, and even not so beautiful memorable moments from the van where do I even begin. Okay, I will go with the story that is often shared as to why outreach is useful! So when I first started volunteering at HIPS there was push to reach out to different areas of the city, places where the HIPS van was less known. We would frequent these strolls and hope people would come up to the van or take a moment to chat with us. It took a while and a lot of dedication. One night Jenna and I were in the van trying to reach new clients. It was tough! We saw one woman who we had seen many weeks in a row, but she never wanted to come to the van. I remember looking at Jenna, nodding then yelling out the window, “You look beautiful tonight.” She looked back at us and smiled. The next week she cam up to the van and asked who we were. The week after that she reported a bad date sheet, and now she is a beloved client of HIPS who frequents the HIPS van. And it all started with a crazy girl (me) yelling out the window.

When you’re not being an amazing HIPS volunteer, what are you up to?

Currently, I am training for a marathon. It is my new found passion and form of self care. I also love spending time with amazing friends often biking, dancing, and drinking coffee/eating food. During the day I work at Children’s National Medical Center as a HIV tester/counselor/all around sexual health resource. I also run two youth programs out of the hospital.

Song you’d like to see on an Outreach Mixtape?
Ah, I have to go with “Let’s Talk about Sex” by Salt n’ Pepa (Is that already on a HIPS van mixtape?)

Favorite DC spot?
Can I have two?
The first is the Einstein Memorial over by the National Mall. You can creepily sit on his lap and ponder the world or you can not-creepily stand in front of Al (yes, we are on a nickname basis) and hear a really cool acoustic echo.

The second is the the two stone structures that jut out over the Potomac river by Georgetown. It’s a GREAT place to watch the sunset on a hot summer night with friends or by yourself. :) Okay, now I want to go there!

If you could go anywhere in the world, with any one person, to do/see any one thing, what would they be? 

AHHH… [...] only one place—ok I have a few I have narrowed down my list.

1.) Help Harriet Tubman free slaves by way of the Underground Railroad

2.) Be with Neil Armstrong as he took the first step onto the moon (or to see if that really happened for all those who believe in the conspiracy theory.)

3.) Go back to beach of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to a hammock with my all the people I love most in the world (yes, I know its more than one person but sometimes you have to make up your own rules.)

BAM! I did it!

Gratitude . . . what are you thankful for?

The support I have in my life- my family and my friends who are basically like my family. The people who make the hard days livable and the best days memorable (I am a poet and I didn’t even know it.)

Your message to all the people of the world?

I am cheesy/corny…but I really mean this…

“We are all humans. We all have the ability to love. We may not always agree or see things eye to eye, but we are all human. So, stop discriminating and start understanding, stop hurting and start loving, stop fighting and start talking, stop hating and start caring.”

OR

“Safe sex is about feeling safe with the person you are having sex with!” (Of course this would be translated into many languages and blasted over the world’s intercom system.)