I was raised in a volunteering home. As a child, my mother would take us every Saturday to help at a pop-up free health clinic set up by a family friend, Dr. Alice. We were also raised taking half our birthday gifts over to a local children’s home and spending the day playing with the kids and their new toys. Giving back to the community and finding an organization that supports your passions is a special relationship that I hope everyone finds. I have found that relationship with Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support.

I came to Genesis eight years ago, when I first moved to Dallas, TX. I chose Genesis because I had seen enough women affected by intimate partner violence that I knew it was a real issue. I also needed to have a better understanding of how this was happening. I could have never guessed in my wildest dreams it would be 1 in 4 women. After asking around Dallas, it became clear that Genesis was an active part of the community. Genesis has a long history of serving the women and children of Dallas impacted by domestic violence and is an established organization that was clearly well regarded.

Additionally, I gravitated towards Genesis for their interdisciplinary approach to treating the women and children they serve. They treat each client as an individual with a unique set of needs. Genesis strives to provide a tailored approach using all their resources both within the agency and throughout the city. One thing I love is how hard everyone works to continue growing the services they offer in-house so women can get all the tools they need to get to safety. Most recently that has included adding legal staff to their program so women can get the aid they need to protect themselves and their families.

Since I have been volunteering with Genesis I have gone on to also join the Board of Genesis Young Leaders (GYL) auxiliary. It has been incredible watching this group start and grow our main fundraiser, the GYL Masquerade. This event has broken fundraising records year-over-year, which is such a special feeling to be part of. My favorite part though is being involved with GYL Nights where we spend an hour at the residential campus doing activities with the children staying at the shelter. It’s a remarkable experience seeing how these kiddos change from shy and reserved one month to jumping in your lap and giggling away while they work on crafts the next.

Genesis welcomed my help with open arms. They have given me all the opportunities in the world to donate my time in a meaningful setting that allows me to use my individual strengths while cultivating my talents. Genesis puts a huge emphasis on education, which has grown my knowledge and understanding of how so many women can be affected by this almost-invisible affliction. Genesis continues to support, empower and equip me with the tools to continue giving back to the community and foster understanding about this epidemic. Genesis is my home away from home; their incredible staff feels like family.

Tamara Boozell has been involved with Genesis for more than eight years and is an active member of the Genesis Young Leaders (GYL) Board.