We are proud to celebrate the people who serve and connect our incredible community. Each month, we interview a different member of Resilience’s community to hear more about the work they’re doing to empower survivors and end sexual violence. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on Andrea King, Resilience Associate Board President. Read our interview below to hear from Andrea about how she got involved with the Associate Board, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and more.
You’re the President of the associate board. What inspired or motivated you to get involved in this role?
I initially joined the associate board back in 2019 during an attempt to become a medical advocate. I went through the whole interview process and then my sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and it just got to be too much. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do the training. I didn’t have the time or the emotional bandwidth. The associate board turned out to be the perfect alternative to that because I could still support Resilience in a different and actually better way because I’m much better at raising money than I think I probably would be as a medical advocate. Through the years it’s been really inspiring to see all of the other associate board members and all of the great work that we’ve done as a group.
How has getting involved with Resilience impacted you?
It has definitely personally and professionally made me feel more comfortable in a leadership role which has been really great in terms of supporting the organization and developing my career. Getting to know all of the staff and the other volunteers and survivors that speak at Evening of Impact or the Luncheon or any of our other events, things like that, that’s been a really great part of being on the associate board. It’s also been impactful utilizing the skills that I thought I had, but now I really know I have, like fundraising and event planning.
What is the associate board focused on right now and for the rest of the year?
The associate board is, as always, focused on meeting our commitment to the organization. We commit to a dollar amount every year with each of the associate board members pledging a minimum give-get of $650. So first and foremost, we’re focused on continuing our fundraising efforts in order to support the mission of the organization and the programs. This year we’re also focused a little more heavily on recruitment for new members. As an associate board, we can really have as many people as we want to join us—the more the merrier! If you know anyone who is interested or might be a good fit that we should reach out to, please let us know. We are trying to grow our network via our members because it’s very important to us to have diversity of geography, race, ethnicity, gender identity, and things like that. We’re open to people from all sorts of communities. We’re really looking to expand and welcome people with open arms so we can make sure that we are supporting both the organization as well as survivors of every community as best we can and making sure that our work does that properly.
What is one thing (such as an event, memory, or milestone) that you are most proud of during your time on Resilience’s Associate Board?
It was the first year we realized that we would make over $50,000 in one year. Every year we set ourselves our minimum goal, which is basically what we’ll get with everybody meeting their give-get, which is required. And then we set ourselves a stretch goal, and then one year, I think it was the year that I was fundraising committee chair, we set ourselves what we called our ‘stretchy stretch goal’, and it was like $55,000. It was very nerve-wracking and terrifying to be in charge of the committee at that point and say like ‘Oh gosh, we’re trying to raise way more than we ever had in the past’, but we did it! And it felt really good. We formed in 2019, and then COVID hit so I had only met some of the other associate board members in person one time and so then to have done all of that in one year in COVID times when we were all super stressed in our own personal lives and everything, it really felt like a huge accomplishment. It felt really good.
Why is getting involved or giving back to organizations like Resilience important in your opinion?
I’m a firm believer that it takes a village. You never know when you’re going to need a community like Resilience. For those of us associate board members who identify as survivors or have utilized Resilience services in the past, we know how important it is to have this group to reach out to during some really terrible times in your life. In my opinion, it’s important to recognize that there is going to be a day when I need to reach out to somebody and I hope that there’s going to be a group like Resilience or the associate board, that’s there when I need them. Everybody should try to remember that we all need our village. It’s a little bit like therapy. People don’t think they need it, but they do! Everybody needs therapy and that is a hill I’ll die on. Everybody needs a community.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Can you talk a bit about sexual violence and domestic violence, and how they connect or intersect? Why is it important to support survivors of both domestic and sexual violence?
I think that the two are very intimately entwined. For survivors of sexual violence, the violence has often been perpetrated by their domestic partner and I think it’s easy for people to forget that. We don’t know what’s going on inside someone else’s home. It can be really hard if a person, a survivor, is unable to talk about both of these topics. And then in turn they can’t get help for either. I think it’s really important to keep in mind that they are inextricably linked.
It’s also important to remember that each survivor needs a different type of support, and so I think the more that the wider community understands that these two issues are linked, but not necessarily exactly the same, the better that we can support every survivor how they need to be supported.
What is one fun fact about you?
My first cousin, who I grew up with, is an auctioneer by trade and she randomly reached out to me in 2020 to say she was going to be doing a virtual fundraiser in September in Chicago for a great organization that supports survivors of sexual violence. And it happened to be Resilience! I had nothing to do with getting her the gig, and she didn’t know that I was on the AB and it was just such a funny random coincidence. So now every year I get to see my favorite cousin doing all the auctioneering at Evening of Impact!