On June 21, the interns took a tour of The Nest in Lexington. The Nest offers a variety of services including childcare, respite care, parenting classes, and domestic violence counseling. The organization has existed for over forty years and has partnerships with many other organizations in order to provide as many services to as many people as possible. The name of the organization comes from an acronym summarizing goals of The Nest: nurture, encourage, support, and teach.
The Nest has two large initiatives for children in the community. The first is story time heroes, which is an event in which members of the community come in and read stories to children. They can dress up as super heroes, princesses, and other characters to make the event even more enjoyable. The second initiative is family night, which is another community event during which parents and children come to The Nest and spend time together with a potluck or catering.
For me, the most interesting part of The Nest is the domestic violence counseling. As stated by Jeffrey White, the Executive Director and our tour guide, domestic violence is a large problem in the United States and victims frequently do not know where to go for support and encouragement. The Nest offers a fourteen-week program called the Relationship Recovery Workshop, which is meant to help victims of domestic violence re-establish healthy relationships with themselves. Various people from the community come in to help these victims. For example, experts from the financial industry will come in to teach victims how to handle their money responsibly, instructors will come in and teach self-defense classes, and people in the cosmetology industry will fix victims’ hair and makeup to help them regain self-esteem.
This has honestly been my favorite field trip we have taken thus far. Every person we met who worked or volunteered for The Nest seemed so genuinely happy to be there. With all of the tragedies and crimes we are constantly hearing about in the world today, it is so easy to forget that there are good people with good intentions. The Nest is a safe haven filled with people who are dedicated to helping other humans. I am grateful to have learned about such a rare, caring organization.