By Margaret Stadtwald
Muscatine abounds with organizations ready to step in and help the most vulnerable members of our community. Family Resources represents a major contributor to this group and provides many services to help a wide variety of people in the Muscatine area. In the words of Sarah Tisinger, “Family Resources strengthens children, families, and individuals by providing quality services that engage community resources to create effective solutions.”
In practice, this involves coordinating and offering a huge number of services, including mental health counseling and therapy, mentoring programs for boys and men, medical care for children enrolled in Medicaid, and comprehensive medical, legal, and counseling for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and violent crimes. Family Resources focuses on seeing each person it helps as an individual and giving them self-efficacy as they receive services. To further this goal, all programs take a client led approach, where the people receiving services set their own goals for what they want to get out of the program.
Because of the vast array of services they offer, Family Resources always needs volunteers. Tisinger stresses that “there are volunteer opportunities for anyone wanting to serve and make a difference in the Muscatine Community.  Family Resources can utilize a wide range of skills and talents of community members with a desire to volunteer and make a contribution to their community.” Family Resources offers short-term volunteering opportunities, such as helping gather supplies and money to support families in need at their annual Fill the Truck event held at the Muscatine Hy-Vee. For single-day events like Fill the Truck, Family Resources trains its volunteers on location and provides all needed materials. These enjoyable events do make a difference in the Muscatine community and make volunteering possible for those with busy schedules.
For individuals over the age of eighteen looking for longer term volunteer commitments, Family Resources offers positions as survivor services advocates. These people work with people in the community who survived domestic abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and violent crimes and help them gain access to the services they need. To become a survivor services advocate, Family Resources runs a thirty-hour series of advocacy training sessions to prepare volunteers. The first two training sessions take place at Family Resources’ Muscatine location at 801 Oregon Street, and develop volunteers’ trauma awareness and effectiveness as an advocate in the community. Volunteers finish their training at home with a self-paced online program that compliments their earlier training.
Whatever your level of availability, Family Resources can use your help. To find out more about Family Resource’s current volunteer opportunities, you can visit their website and volunteer portal at www.famres.org. If becoming a survivor services advocate appeals to you, you can contact coordinator Bob Stone at (563)-468-2317.