Bridgeport, Ct. --- The Center for Family Justice is pleased to announce that Bridgeport resident Bill Van Ollefen was recently named its Volunteer of the Year for his service and commitment to the nonprofit’s mission of transforming victims of domestic and sexual violence into survivors.
Bill received CFJ’s annual Beatrice Boucher award for outstanding volunteer services from Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President& CEO at the non-profit’s annual meeting.
CFJ provides crisis and supportive services annually to more than 9,000 residents of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull, who have been impacted by domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.
Van Ollefen is the co-founder of Pathway to Mindfulness, a business which teaches people how to develop a daily 20 minute mindfulness meditation practice. He was honored for his work teaching mindfulness meditation to CFJ’s clients as part of a wellness initiative to help them cope with their trauma.
Van Ollefen is also a talented photographer who frequently donates his skills to capture important CFJ events. In addition contributing scores of volunteer hours to CFJ, he is also a member of its White Ribbon Task Force, which is committed to engaging men and boys in the effort to break the cycles of domestic and sexual violence.
“Bill is such a dedicated and outstanding volunteer that we were delighted to give him an honor he truly deserves,” said Greenwood. “Bill is a kind and generous man who constantly goes out of his way to support our clients and staff and we are grateful for the difference he has made in their lives.”
Van Ollefen said he was surprised and humbled to receive the honor. “I don’t do any of this for recognition and I am one of many volunteers who are making a contribution,” he said. “But I am happy to be associated with an organization that is doing such important work and saving lives.”
Greenwood noted CFJ she was especially pleased to give this award, for the first time, to a male volunteer.
“Having men be involved is critical,” said Van Ollefen. “It’s so important to engage them in the efforts to educate and break the cycle. We as men need to visibly support, educate and be proper role models to boys and continue to support their involvement with this mission as they grow into men.”
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR FAMILY JUSTICE
The Center for Family Justice Inc. (formerly The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc.), brings all domestic, sexual and child abuse services – crisis intervention, police, prosecutors, civil/legal providers, counseling – under one roof, in our headquarters in Bridgeport, CT. Together, we work to break the cycle of violence by helping those in crisis restore their lives. Although our name has changed, we continue with the work we have provided for 12 decades, providing free, confidential, bilingual crisis services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. It is the comprehensive services our partners are providing that are streamlining the road to healing and self-sufficiency.
Within the past year, The Center answered more than 950 calls on a 24-hour crisis hotline; assisted with the civil and criminal court processes for more than 2,500 survivors of domestic violence; responded to more than 500 survivors of sexual assault and their families; provided a safe home for more than 100 women and children fleeing domestic abuse; coordinated the investigations of more than 170 cases of child sexual and severe physical abuse, developing service plans for the young survivors and their families; and provided psycho-educational support to more than 1,200 survivors of domestic violence, planning for their safety and promoting self-sufficiency.
As part of our mission, The Center educates approximately 4,000 members of the community about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse to prevent future violence and spread the word that about the services we offer at The Center for Family Justice. Annually, we teach more than 2,000 children and teens about building healthy relationships, bullying prevention and dating violence.
For more information, visit www.CenterForFamilyJustice.org.