by Macey McAtee
I have been a full time volunteer at Lydia’s House through Mercy Volunteer Corps since August 2021. Through my time and experiences, I have been able to truly frame what this organization means to me. This place? This place is a safe space, both physically and intangibly. Lydia’s House is not only a space, it is people. It is a community. It is consistent support rooted in love and community.
We open our doors and arms to women and children that have been through experiences that no person should ever have to endure. We take time and thought to craft a space that reflects comfort and safety. One of my favorite things to hear from former guests of Lydia’s House is feedback from their children. The kids of the community often affirm our work towards a comfortable environment when they ask to play at the house or asking their moms when they can stay another night.
“It takes a village to raise a child”, and there is nothing truer than this statement. The Lydia’s House community is full of women and children that share respect and empathy for one another. Community members provide support to one another by exchanging childcare, offering car pools, sharing resources, and so much more. There is intentional participation to ensure the wellness of each other.
Families that have spent time at Lydia’s house are provided with support during their stay and well after they leave. Advocacy is portrayed in many forms and is individualized to fit the needs of our guests. We remain committed to these women and their children for as long as they may need, ensuring they feel confident and equipped in the world beyond Lydia’s House. I am proud to be a part of an organization that provides support encouraging wellness in all aspects of life. I have been able to become a consistent advocate for the women and children of Lydia’s House through this work. The work is not easy but it deserves our time, energy, and compassion.
The last eight months with Lydia’s House has allowed me to become a member of our community and it is truly one of the reasons I will be calling Norwood home for a while. To me, Lydia’s house means taking the time to listen to those asking to talk or, sometimes, not asking at all. It means providing non-judgmental care. It means assisting an expecting mom into new experiences of life. I am grateful for the opportunities to create and build relationships with the community members of Lydia’s House. I appreciate the efforts of our team to develop intentional community, safe environments, and provide consistent support.