The YWCA Northcentral PA’s Wise Options program
is a safe haven and source of support for the people of Lycoming County, giving
help and hope to women, men and children surviving Domestic Violence, Sexual
Assault and other Violent Crimes. Free and confidential services are provided
by Wise Options 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff and volunteers
provide immediate support and information to help clients deal with crisis and
offer follow-up assistance to cope with ongoing related issues.
Direct action services are provided by Wise
Options for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Victim Services. Wise Options
• Emergency Shelter • Protection from Abuse Orders (PFA’s)
• 24 Hour Crisis Hotline • Crime
• Crisis Intervention • Emergency Safety Planning
• Court accompaniment • Hospital
• Counseling •
Community Education Programs
One of the main sources of support to the YWCA
and Wise Options are our dedicated volunteers. It is through their dedication
and passion for the clients and services that we provide, that we are able to
reach over 3,000 men, women and children through Wise Options Education and
Below is an interview with two active Wise
Options volunteers. Radecka Appiah-Padi works locally in the field of higher
education, and Brian Brooking works in finance within the Williamsport
community. This is their story, and how Wise Options has impacted their lives.
BRIAN: It’s a way to give back. Make Williamsport a
RADECKA: Giving back, fulfillment, finding meaning in
life. There is more to life than earning an income, what can I do to give to
What is it
about Wise Options that made you want to become a volunteer?
RADECKA: Wise Options for me is
like a lifeline. Every day they are giving women and children a second chance
at life, and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s great getting to watch people
turn their lives around. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it
BRIAN: I learned about Wise Options through the
United Way. After serving on review panels and volunteering in different
capacities, I was able to learn in-depth about the program and the impact it
can have on someone’s life. We are too busy to do things just to do them, I
wanted to make a direct impact. As time’s gone by, I’ve met people who have
been affected by Domestic Violence, and I didn’t know how to help them. When I
became a Wise Options volunteer, it gave me the opportunity to grow and share
the knowledge that I’ve learned. Now when people say to me, did you see in the
paper about this case of Domestic Violence, I can say ‘did you that 1 in 4
women have been victims of abuse?’ We have that knowledge, and I think it’s our
responsibility to share that. It’s in our backyard.
the most impactful part of the Wise Options volunteer experience?
BRIAN: The most important part was hearing directly
from the Domestic Violence survivors. They live it, and their story is
powerful. When you experience it first hand, it just stays with you, it made it
RADECKA: Despite the heaviness
of the issue, seeing that people can do the work that Wise Options does, and
help people get out of their situations, is inspiring. These women feel like
there is no hope, but there is this wonderful place out there to help. It keeps
you engaged. I really enjoy doing the advocacy part of Wise Options, sharing
BRIAN: As a guy its exciting to have the opportunity
to reach out to other men, and help break some stereotypes. The prospect of
speaking to different Fraternities and groups is really exciting.
Wise Options volunteering a good fit?
RADECKA: If you want to make a
direct impact on someone’s life, then Wise Options Volunteering is right for
you. You see women and children’s lives turn around, you actually see it. You
can see these women work through the process of healing, and be a part of it.
They don’t just help you and push you out of the nest, these are lasting
relationships. No matter what your interests or time commitments are, there is
some way for you to give back. As long as you have a passion for what we do,
you’ll see a result.
BRIAN: You have the opportunity to do something that
cultivates who you are, and what you want to do. I thought ‘what am I going to
do, I’m a finance guy?’ But I really got into the education piece and found my
niche. The most rewarding volunteer experiences come out of new challenges,
they take you out of your comfort zone and help you grow. It’s really great to
meet these women and see the smiles on their faces, and know that you had an
impact on their lives. Wise Options is a safe place, and maybe someone’s not
ready to make that leap to leave, but they have a judgment-free support system
that’s there anytime you need them.
RADECKA: I don’t know why anyone
wouldn’t want to be a Wise Options volunteer!
If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, call 570.322.4637 and ask to speak to a volunteer coordinator, or email us at email@example.com, attn: Volunteer Coordinator.
Please return all completed volunteer applications to:
YWCA Northcentral PA | C/O Lynn Bies | 815 West Fourth
Street | Williamsport, PA 17701