FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- With each stroke of pale purple paint, the National Training Center and Fort Irwin Advocacy Center started to look less like a trailer and more like a home, Mar. 28.
Spouses of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment walked into one of the four trailers at the Advocacy Center carrying buckets of paint, brushes and tape. They used old linens to cover the floor and the single piece of furniture, a black leather couch, which occupied the white-washed room.
The Advocacy Center is a centralized care facility for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, domestic assault and domestic abuse. A ribbon cutting was conudcted at the center on Feb. 27. Since the ceremony, other organizations on post volunteered to help make the trailers look a little more inviting.
Changing the color on the walls is meant to do more than add visual appeal. "A lot of studies have been done on making individuals of abuse and assault comfortable," says Maj. Robyn Boehringer, program manager for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response, here. "When somebody walks through the door, it shouldn't scream SHARP or FAP [office] or military; instead, it should be saying you can be comfortable here."
Volunteers gave thier Saturday morning to help paint the trailer, which brought extra meaning to Laura Kornacki, an 11ACR spouse who coordinated the project.
"Not only is it an opportunity to do community outreach but it's also an opportunity to get to know other people on Fort Irwin; to build friendships and at the same time reach out to the community and help those in need," says Kornacki.
For 11ACR spouses, Kornacki says the overall goal is to create an environment for victims of domestic violence to come and feel at peace. It may take a couple more weekends to finish painting and decorating, but the volunteers are well on their way to reaching their goal.
Along with painting the walls, spouses also collected decorative wall art, toiletry items, bathroom towels and books for adults and children. Some items were even donated from a local yard sale, demonstrating the community effort put forth to support the Advocacy Center.
As for contributing to the mission, Boehringer shares her appreciation for the volunteer work, stating, "This is amazing. I can't find a more fitting donation than somebody giving their time to give back to the community and I appreciate it immensely."
The Advocacy Center is located behind the Mary Walker Clinic off of fifth street. Emergency medical care, behavioral health, and legal services are all within walking distance. The center offers full-time services. Confidential calls can be made at 760-267-6792.