Tom Cody loved the several years he spent in the U.S. Navy, both on board ship and as a post WorldWar II naval pilot, and he describes himself as being permanently "hooked" on the Navy. However, those sentiments have never precluded him from abhorring violence of any kind. So when he retired from a career in business and was looking for ways to serve the community, the name Domestic Violence Crisis Center caught his attention. In an interview with DVCC's volunteer coordinator, he learned about the agency's PeaceWorks project for Pre-K through 12th Grade students, and he was hooked again. PeaceWorks, the educational platform of the DVCC, engages young people in programs and activities that address conflict resolution, bullying and healthy relationships, while promoting tolerance, empathy and respect. Having raised three children and being as involved as possible with his seven grandchildren, Tom immediately understood the value and importance of PeaceWorks. In the spring of 2009, he completed the 30 hours of training necessary to become a certified volunteer and ever since then, two or three times a month, Tom assists a PeaceWorks educator and the three PeaceWorks puppets, Hip, Cool and Dandy, with classroom presentations to first, second and third grade students. More recently, Tom also has taken on the weekly job of visiting the local food banks to pick up food items, which he then delivers to the two DVCC SafeHouses. And now and then he'll show up unexpectedly just to lend a hand or offer support - as he did in February at our One Billion Rising event. He is the kind of person who quietly does whatever needs to be done to support DVCC. But because he believes so strongly in education and prevention, PeaceWorks has a special place in his heart.
"If you're not going to work to change the message at the earliest possible age, then you will never stop interpersonal violence," he said.
Volunteers are an integral part of DVCC's efforts to serve victims of domestic violence, provide prevention education and raise community awareness. We are grateful every day for their time, their help and their compassion.