Welcome to another of our monthly Advocate profiles, where you get to know some of the folks who hold space and offer unconditional support on our national toll-free Talkline. This month we introduce Sara, who joined the Portland Talkline team in the Fall of 2011!
How, when and why did you first get involved with Backline?
I was looking for an opportunity to get involved with an organization operated by women that supported women. I found Backline at a Planned Parenthood block party. I was so impressed by the mission statement and the enthusiasm of the advocates sitting at the table. I applied for advocate training that day!
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
Personally, I changed as an advocate after I became pregnant. I don’t know why this surprised me, since we discuss it so regularly within the Backline community. I thought that I would be the same person, just pregnant. Then I understood how life, work, and relationships influence your pregnancy experience – that’s when it “clicked” for me and I grew as an advocate. I took some calls in which it was easier to support callers and I took other calls that were more difficult. I’m grateful for those experiences.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
My favorite thing about being on the Talkline is being able to hold space for a caller. There is such a unique, dynamic situation that occurs when we take a call from someone. I have such a respect for that time and space with each caller and it humbles me.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your Backline colleagues.
I have always enjoyed competitive swimming. Some days I wish I pursued my aspirations to be an Olympic swimmer.
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
I love to dance. So, that is by far my favorite thing to do for fun! Earlier this year, I took a few classes at a studio in Portland and I’m looking forward to taking more in the future.
If Backline’s mission were achieved and all people had the support and resources they needed for pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption experiences, where would you volunteer your time?
I have enjoyed volunteering with literacy groups in the past, so I would like to spend time with an organization that encourages children’s literacy.
Thanks for all you do, Sara!