Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Judy Donner

Photo of Judy DonnerJudy Donner is the queen of the Donation Station at Coburn Place. She spends one day every other week sorting the donations people drop off or send us through our Amazon Wish List. She lives with her husband, John Mullen, and their 10-year-old rescue dog, Sadie, near Eagle Creek Park and has worked with us for three years.

“Judy’s generosity and resilience by volunteering so consistently during a pandemic has made her a crown jewel here at Coburn Place,” says Drew LaCroix, volunteer and resource coordinator. “Her dedication to our mission truly shows through her kindness and can-do attitude. We love her.”

What was your life like before retirement?
I was the public relations/communications coordinator with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, working part time for the last five years of my work life. My work there taught me abuse comes in many forms – financial, emotional, non-physical abuse that happens as much or more often than physical abuse. It was through ICADV I came to know about the work of Coburn Place.

What do you do when you’re here?
My role is to sort donations and place them in the various storage areas where they can be accessed by staff to set up apartments and provide items for residents. The donation room is filled with different things each time I’m there – food, bedding, diapers and many other items that residents need when they come to Coburn Place.

What do you enjoy about supporting Coburn Place?
My first volunteer activity was to help set up an apartment for a newly arriving family. I remember thinking how impactful it must be for a family coming to this safe space from an abusive, unsettled household. I then came to admire the staff at Coburn Place for their work to restore self-sufficiency to residents. If through my volunteer activities I can help them in their support of residents, then that’s what I want to do.

What do you do in your free time?
I retired in 2017 and began volunteering with a number of organizations in the community. My husband and I play golf and love traveling.

Why do you think it’s important to support Coburn Place and survivors?
Survivors of domestic abuse have been knocked down by significant others for too long. Coburn Place offers more than just a safe place to live, it also provides the support services these families need to one day thrive.