Today, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors recognized One Safe Place volunteer Brenda Wright as Volunteer of the Year 2023 for outstanding service to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the citizens of San Diego County. Brenda loyally and consistently volunteers her time and talents to One Safe Place, the North County Family Justice Center, a project of the San Diego County District Attorney.
One Safe Place is a one-stop-shop for victims and survivors of abuse and trauma. Brenda started her service the first week the center opened in July, 2022, and has continued to volunteer multiple times a week since then, making the guests and members of One Safe Place feel seen, heard and supported.
Brenda is an “all hands on deck” kind of volunteer. Some days, Brenda spends time simply sitting next to victims in the welcome lobby on their most broken day, offering them a smile, comfort, and reassurance. She’s become so good at this, that the model is now referred to as the “Brenda friend in the lobby” program named after Brenda Wright.
On other days, Brenda helps kids participate in social emotional learning curriculum in the child waiting room, to the point that kids don’t’ want to leave her care. Sometimes, Brenda accompanies victims to the “Dress to Thrive” boutique to help them select donated clothing to wear for an upcoming court hearing or simply to take on a new independence in their lives. In the hours Brenda spends with these guests, she makes them feel dignified and worthy at a time when they need it most.
Brenda is an army of one – willing to restock and organize snacks for those that come in hungry, assemble care kits that include stress balls and Kleenex for victims to provide comfort as they escape an abusive relationship, or run logistics for large One Safe Place community events such as elder abuse awareness events or animal abuse and pet wellness events. Brenda has a passion for art, and brings her talents to One Safe Place, by creating centerpieces and facilitating arts and crafts projects for partner agencies and for our guests and members.
In September 2022, at One Safe Place’s “Celebrating Diversity Event,” Brenda facilitated an art project where she helped guests and members create beautiful paintings using resin art.
Brenda has quickly become part of the fabric of a center that exists to provide hope, healing, and justice to those that walk in the doors. Victims are immediately comforted by Brenda’s smile and her quality of care and service. Brenda Wright is a shining example of what volunteerism across San Diego County should be.