Through mediation, Mountain Mediation Services strives to help people in conflict–not only by solving problems, but by helping parties communicate. Ideally, mediation can be used to identify issues, explore solutions, and foster a greater sense of understanding between conflicting parties.
Our work is only possible through the help of our volunteers, who give their valuable time to promote peace in our community. These volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds. Every one of them has something unique to offer Western North Carolina. Perhaps you do, too…
Become a Volunteer!
MMS has many opportunities for volunteering! Many volunteers take our 21-hour Mediation Training and work with lead mediators to be mentored in learning the mediation process. Others assist with trainings, serve on the board or on committees, or help out with the court intake process. There are many ways to be involved. Here are a few examples:
- Volunteer Mediator
- Social Media Volunteer
- Speakers Bureau participant
- Court Intake
- Events Committee
- Office Volunteer
Mountain Mediation Center
c/o Betty McRae
285 N. Main Street #1100
Waynesville, NC 28786
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Volunteers–the Heart of Mediation
If you ask the staff at any not-for-profit organization how they are able to do what they do in the community, you will usually hear “volunteers” as one of the first words spoken. Of course, it takes sufficient funding, a competent staff and a program that makes a difference. But without volunteers, the work of the organization would not go forward in the same way. In a true sense, volunteers are the heart of the organization.
Volunteer mediators go through a three-day training and a lengthy mentoring process. The Mountain Mediation office in Waynesville is fortunate to have many good volunteers. Among those volunteers are three who have been serving for several years and have led literally hundreds of mediation sessions. They are Lee Finger, John Scroggs and Peggy Smith. They are a part of the heart of the organization because they are motivated to make a difference by helping others.
Lee Finger, a retired corporate executive, has volunteered with MMS for fourteen years. Lee states that he loves to be involved with all kinds of people. He puts his motivation this way: “Mediation not only gives me the opportunity to be involved with different people, it allows me to be a part of helping these people resolve their problems.” Lee states that it is really moving for him to be a part of a mediation in which family members reach a breakthrough. “To see two or more family members sit down at the mediation table, not speaking or looking at each other and then, two or more hours later, to see these same members get up from the table hugging and crying with the joy of being back together, this is truly gratifying!”
John Scroggs has been a volunteer with Mountain Mediation for fifteen years. He retired after 37 years with Champion International–with a good deal of that time spent in labor negotiations. Looking for a place to volunteer, he took the basic mediation training offered by MMS. Since then, he’s been hooked on the process. John serves as a mediator, helps with trainings and does group facilitation work. John states that he is motivated by the idea that mediation might help make our area a better place to grow up in–for his grand children and other folks’ grandchildren.
Peggy Smith spent 30 years as an office administrator in a law firm before retiring and coming to Mountain Mediation Services eleven years ago. She describes her motivation in this way: “I feel if you can, you should make a contribution to the community that you live in. To make western North Carolina a more peaceful place by helping people resolve their differences is a contribution that I can make.”
John and Peggy both work in the MMS program that teaches conflict resolution skills to children. Peggy says that she enjoys working with children because she wants them to know that there is a better way of dealing with problems than anger and physical conflict. John adds:” If we can change the direction of one child, the program is a success!”
Lee, Peggy and John are involved in many ways in the community. But all three have a special place in their hearts for MMS. And at MMS, they have a special place at the heart of mediation.