For Michele V., being a volunteer counselor at Walk-In was a great team experience — and also a springboard to a full career as a school social worker. During her time here, she didn’t picture herself coming to Walk-In as a client, but that’s how it turned out.
After years of helping others through tough times, Michele received a diagnosis of leukemia in 2006. “At that time, most people diagnosed with leukemia died,” she recalls. “The only way for me to survive was to have a bone marrow transplant…. and then have a clinic check every day for 100 days. I was really lucky and was cured.” But one of the drugs used in her treatment had the side effect of causing mental health problems for Michele. One day she and her husband knew they needed immediate help with her manic symptoms, but despite the fact that she was well versed in locating mental health resources she couldn’t find anywhere to go where she could get the immediate care she needed. So, she and her husband came to Walk-In, and Walk-In saw them through.
Being a bone marrow transplant recipient led Michele to the Be The Match Foundation, of the National Marrow Donor Program. She got involved in that group’s gala and silent auction. “That’s when I found out I wasn’t afraid to ask people for donations,” Michele recalls. She has served on the Board of the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health organization as well, helping them with their gala, and now she is on Walk-In’s 50th Anniversary Celebration team. She is probably out there now, looking for silent auction items. (To see what she is offering as a donation, read on.)
Michele remembers fondly the Walk-In team that she served as a volunteer. The team leader was Jeanne Bearmon, a devoted advocate of women’s empowerment. Jeanne held classes at her home on topics related to empowerment and self-discovery, sometimes with dinner.
“I came to Walk-In looking for a volunteer experience to keep up my clinical skills. I learned so much and continued to believe in Walk-In’s mission so I have gone from counselor, to client, and now sustaining supporter.”
For the 50th Anniversary Gala Oct. 12: A Special Silent Auction Item
Michele V., profiled above, plans to offer as a silent auction item. A Garden Tour: You will get a glass of wine as you tour the garden and visit with the gardener, and take-home a large bouquet. In this photo, Michele celebrated surviving leukemia in her garden during the first spring after her bone marrow transplant.
We hope to see you on Oct. 12, 2019 at Walk-In’s 50th Anniversary Gala/Reunion. Do you have something to donate to a silent auction? (A weekend at your cabin, theater or sports tickets you are not using, gift cards to your favorite restaurant, etc, (Think outside of the box.) We are waiting to hear from you as we continue to plan this exciting event! Click here to tell us how you can help!