In November, 2012, I was honored by the San Francisco Bar Association by being featured in their Volunteer Spotlight. I really have a passion for my work and am so grateful that I am in a position to help some of those who might not be able to afford therapy. My heartfelt thanks to the Bar Association and VLSP for this recognition.
By Julie Rosenthal, Director of Social Services, VLSP
Zora L. Kolkey, M.A., M.S.S.W., is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been volunteering with the Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) for close to ten years, contributing to VLSP’s holistic services model. Zora was the recipient of VLSP’s 2008 Community Service Award, which is given to a non-attorney volunteer who has contributed in a significant way to VLSP, its clients, and the community as a whole.
Zora is a San Francisco native and has a part time psychotherapy practice here. Working alongside her is co-therapist Dafka the dog. Zora has over 30 years of experience in the mental health field and she feels privileged to be able to give back to the community through her volunteer work with VLSP. Wanting to offer the gift of therapy to individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it is why she became a therapist, and it’s what motivated her to assist VLSP’s low-income clients.
One client with whom Zora worked through VLSP’s Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) had major surgery and was consequently experiencing a great deal of physical and emotional stress, most notably depression. It was a challenge to move this client to a place where she was able to express her feelings more openly rather than keeping them inside. As she was better able to express herself, the client’s symptoms improved and she began to take better care of herself in all areas of her life, including those impacting her legal issues. She still checks in with Zora from time to time and is doing quite well. This social services component is key to the legal services that VLSP and HAP provide, and its holistic model, in that it assists clients in obtaining stability in all aspects of their lives.
To find out how to volunteer with VLSP as a social services volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.