Claire Xu ’21 recognized as outstanding volunteer by United Way of Alamance County

Xu was nominated for her work with Family Abuse Services of Alamance County

Human Service Studies major Claire Xu ’21 was one of seven people recognized for notable work in the community by the United Way of Alamance County at its annual volunteer awards.

Each year, local nonprofits nominate volunteers who have done outstanding community service work. In 2019, Family Abuse Services of Alamance County nominated Xu. The agency provides crisis and legal support for individuals and families coping with domestic violence.

“I see people who come in time after time seeking help because they’re in this cycle of abuse or sex-trafficking,” Xu said. “It puts my own day-to-day struggles into perspective.”

Xu began volunteering at Family Abuse Services before it was required by the HSS program. All HSS majors are required to complete a 40-hour service-learning requirement in an introductory course; a 110-hour practicum at an agency; and a semester internship including 300 hours of work at an agency.

Xu quickly was taken on by Family Abuse Services as an intern, where she has completed at least 1,000 hours of service since May 2019. During her internship, she worked as a court navigator — accompanying victims to court hearings and helping them through proceedings — answered the agency’s crisis hotline in English and Spanish, staffed the emergency shelter, and more.

“I’ve always had an interest in taking a helping role,” Xu said. “I always knew I wanted to go into therapy and counseling, and this seems like a good way to get started to do that.”

“It was great to see Claire’s progress,” said Bridget Werner, prevention coordinator at Family Abuse Services. “Having active volunteers allows us have more time to do things, like create more awareness events, or collaborate more with staff members.”

The award came with a $1,000 award to Family Abuse Services. Xu was happiest about that, “because I know how much they can use that money,” she said.

To learn more about Family Abuse Services of Alamance County or to volunteer, visit the agency’s website.