Shortly after Julia started working at Hank's Furniture Home Office in June 2012, she received an email from Cathy Browne about monthly needs at Women & Children First. Julia began donating items each month, collecting items from her family and friends. Shortly after, Cathy told her about the Peacekeepers and her journey with WCF really began.
When Julia joined the Peacekeepers, no one at the shelter knew - and not many in her office knew - that she was a survivor of domestic violence. It wasn't something that she was really ready to talk about, but as she began to volunteer at WCF she was inspired to start her healing process. Last year, when she was asked to share her story publicly, she was ready. "I felt so much freedom and it was very rewarding", Julia said. "Since sharing my story, I've had friends contact me to share their stories and ask how they can get out. I know that in sharing about my experience, I have helped friends and people that I haven't ever met. I'm so grateful to my family at the shelter, the Peacekeepers, WCF Board members, and my co-workers for all of their love and support on my journey. They have all inspired me to stand up and speak out - and now I do!".
Over the last year, Julia has been a faithful volunteer at the shelter on Thursday nights, helping with childcare in the Gentle Jungle while the weekly domestic violence support group meets at the shelter. When she is asked by the guests why she volunteers, Julia has been able to share with them that she is a survivor and she hopes that will inspire them and show them that there is hope and a way out, and that they can make it. "I love volunteering with the kids and seeing them come into the Gentle Jungle to escape from life at the shelter and just be a kid", Julia said. Her favorite part is doing artwork with the kids, and she always ends up with beautiful creations to bring home with her.
Julia was recently elected as the Peacekeeper Treasurer and is excited about her new role. She has three sons - Justin, Dillon, and her bonus son, Tristen - and is recently married to her husband, David.
For more information on how you can join Julia and the other Peacekeepers, visit their website.