Co-written by (listed alphabetically): Tamika Martin, Linda Neice and Gine Ryan.
This month’s volunteer spotlight is: Joline Doedens-Combs. Because of her incredible services, she is also the Volunteer of the Year for Domestic Violence Services (DVS). We cannot begin to describe how Joline’s selfless work assists both ACTS and our clients; so I want to describe a day at our offices:
Nearly every day at the ACTS Court Office, there is a flurry of activity in brief crisis counseling for walk-in clients who are seeking protection from their abusive family members. Because of the nature of the cases, often it is necessary that we operate within a very short window. It is a race against time for: preliminary protective order hearings, faxing the client’s paperwork to qualify for pro bono legal aid, finding an attorney who will represent a client for their permanent protective order hearing. Often, we receive pro bono attorney requests at the last minute and it is not uncommon for clients to hope that we can find an attorney within 24 hours!
One attorney, in particular, has helped the ACTS Court Offices by performing last minute miracles countless times over the past year. This attorney is Joline Doedens-Combs.
Joline is absolutely amazing! She is there and present for our clients- no matter what time constraint she is given. The entire staff at the ACTS Court Office – and the organization overall- is grateful beyond words for Joline’s work and dedication to our clients. Joline is a great help with all of our clients but to add to her accolades, she is one of very few bi-lingual attorneys in our network. So we know we can count on Joline for our Spanish Language client cases.
We want to give a bit of background about our clients so there is understanding about how God sent Joline’s services are. Often, our clients come from severe isolation and have a heightened sense of fear regarding the court process. Often, false threats from abusers about the court process keep our clients from seeking help.
But in many time crunches and moments of desperation- whether it’s a holiday or the busy summer months- when it is challenging to find an available attorney, Jolene has assisted our program and clients to pull a miracle out of nowhere. Enabling a victim of domestic violence to start a new life free from domestic violence. If you could only see the looks of relief and smiles on our client’s faces when we inform clients that, “We’ve found an attorney who will take your case”.
Joline, you both are and have been such an integral part of the bridge to hope that ACTS gives our clients as they move and build towards a better life. You help give our clients a voice in the crucial moments of their lives when they need it most. We truly appreciate all that you’ve done for our clients, DVS staff and ACTS. You truly embody Court Office Supervisor, Gine Ryan’s favorite quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.