Friday, February 2, 2007

The Advocates recognized for valuable services


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

TRICIA SWARTLING

Nonprofit organizations such as the Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Hailey often go about their work with little or no notice by the broader public.

For many people, the issues on which these organizations work are something people simply don't seem to want to think about all of the time, the Advocates Executive Director Tricia Swartling said Tuesday.

"It's not a fun, happy topic," Swartling said.

In recent weeks, the Advocates' anonymity has been lifted to a large degree.

At the Hailey Chamber of Commerce's annual Community Awards event on Thursday, Jan. 18, the Advocates was recognized as Hailey's 2006 Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

The award was a thrilling surprise.

"It's nice to get the recognition," Swartling said.

The Advocates has been providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Wood River Valley since 1991.

In an average year, the organization helps about 500 women and children who have been victims of violence, Swartling said.

The Advocates is a sort of social service, social help agency, she explained. Not everyone sees the direct benefits of this kind of work.

"Being there for people who need us is the main thing," she said.

The organization's work couldn't be done without its long list of volunteers, Swartling said. On an annual basis, up to 100 people help out in one way or another at the Advocates.

And they're always looking for additional help, she said.

For additional information, call the Advocates at 788-4191. Their 24-hour crisis phone line is 788-6070, or (888) 676-0066.




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