April Volunteer of the Month: Calm and Inspiring

By Jamey Sheesley

Audria Tamez Maltsberger (pronounced Audrey) is one of the most beautiful humans I have ever met. She started volunteering for Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence (BTSADV) in January 2019 as a helpline advocate. 

I first met Audria in March 2020 when I picked her up at the airport for BTSADV’s Survivor Sister Retreat.  I was nervous and had doubts about attending the retreat, but as soon as I met this woman, she calmed my soul instantly. She immediately opened up to me about herself, which made me feel more comfortable. She is one of those people who makes you want to let your light shine because hers is shining so bright. She has the natural ability to connect with people and I noticed that when she was getting to know me. 

At the retreat, I was also Audria’s roommate, and we were able to talk and get to know each other. Her story is messy, full of heartbreak and pain like most survivors, but the one thing I noticed about her is she did not let her bad experience harden her. She is still so full of love and inspiration. She is hopeful about the future, and it just humbled me. To see someone who has been so hurt love unconditionally shows who she is as a person. She loves her family with her whole heart and only had wonderful stories to tell about them. 

The helpline is lucky to have her since she can make people feel comfortable around her right away. Audria’s entire demeanor is calming, and for someone in a moment of crisis, that personality trait is critical to be able to help them. 

“She is compassionate for those she helps. She has a very pleasing voice – which I’m sure adds to the comfort of her callers,” said Cathy, helpline advocate. 

Audria found BTSADV on Facebook, clicked on our website, and applied to be a volunteer. “There are no coincidences; it’s all God. He puts us where we need to be,” said Audria. 

She did not want her experience to all be for nothing, so she decided to use it to help others. The calls are not all easy; sometimes, she has to take a minute to regroup because the crisis calls can sometimes remind her of her crises. However, once she regroups, she can confirm that she is doing the right thing. 

“There is not a call that doesn’t grow me in some way [sic], I know I am meant to be there that I was supposed to talk to that person that day, I am a cheerleader for people and did not know that I could be. When it comes to cheering someone else on, I realize that is what I like to do,” said Audria. 

Those who volunteer with her can also tell her drive to help others by using her own experience. “She clearly wants to turn what she went through into a positive by helping others,” said Cathy. 

Audria believes every volunteer who volunteers with  BTSADV should spend time on the helpline because it has helped her heal. Every call she takes, she feels another layer of healing. 

If you do not know Audria, I would suggest getting to know her. She will give you a new perspective on your healing journey, and she is there to lend a helping hand if you have hard days. 

Congratulations, Audria, on being named April 2020 volunteer of the month. 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.

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