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.
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Outreach staff interview with 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.