It's a popular saying that children are the future. In order to make that future bright, children need lots of support and guidance: a stable environment, a strong support system, and a well-rounded education. Since 1972, Domus Kids of Stamford, Connecticut has demonstrated how essential these pillars are by providing services to Fairfield County's most vulnerable youth and their families. The motto beneath their logo is that "Love Lives Here" – and we can tell you first hand, it really does.
Domus nurtures and guides kids who may be struggling academically, socially and personally. In Domus' words, society has failed many of the kids who walk through the doors at 83 Lockwood Avenue. They may feel unloved, unwanted, or afraid. They may be feared by others as being dangerous. "Our kids have suffered more than their share of loss and have become—rightly so—wary of people outside their circle." according to Julia Wade, Domus' Director of Volunteers.
Some of Domus' programs address trauma and provide housing to displaced children who might otherwise move between temporary placements. Support continues into early adulthood, as Domus sponsors an independent living program for Domus residents to live by themselves with the support of a case manager. Domus never turns their back on those who need their help - like kids with behavioral issues or academic struggles.
When somebody becomes a part of the Domus family, they discover a supportive
and caring atmosphere regardless of their background or upbringing. Domus
operates educational programs designed to empower kids and teach them essential
skills to succeed in their personal and professional lives. Students in Domus'
care have often dropped out of traditional schools or have fallen behind,
and the personalized education at Domus allows kids to cover their lost
ground and catch up to their peers. If education is the great equalizer, as
Horace Mann said, then Domus Kids is a facilitator of this equalization
As a volunteer-driven group, we have been asked what this agency needs help with, to which we often respond that a better question is to ask what they don't need help with! If you ever browse Fairfield County volunteer opportunities on VolunteerSquare, Domus will almost always be at the top of the first page. This organization needs your help regardless of your vocation or career talents: Research, teaching, tutoring, design, even handymen (and women!). Name an area of interest in volunteering, and Domus will likely be able to accommodate you.
In the off-chance that Domus can't find a place for you, they would still be happy to talk! The dedicated staff at Domus juggle many responsibilities and volunteers of all stripes are essential support. "Staff has many responsibilities and work long hours to make sure our kids get what they need," Julia told us. "So while students may want and need a role model and staff welcomes the help of volunteers, the first and most important thing a volunteer can give is reliability. Everything is built on the condition of mutual trust."
That trust becomes the foundation of many rewarding experiences at Domus for everybody involved. The heartwarming success stories of kids whose lives have been positively affected by Domus reflect on what Domus says their result is: "Happier, healthier people who can fully contribute their talents to the communities in which they live and work."
If you have an interest in working with children or teens in any capacity, register as a volunteer and give Domus Kids a call. Tell them VolunteerSquare says Hi!