Schedules for Daffodil Days cover her kitchen table. Hospital visitors find comfort on their way to a loved one. Halfway house residents learn how to be financially responsible. Jane Piatt performs many good works, but she believes the most meaningful service she provides is sharing her story.
Jane was nominated for the Louis E. Waller Humanitarian Award by Lisa Hannum, Volunteer Coordinator for Domestic Violence Services of SW PA, who wrote, “Jane’s choice of where to invest her energy is a direct reflection of her compassion and humility – domestic violence victims and their children, hospital patients, those affected by natural and environmental disasters, those in need within her own community.”
In addition to leading support groups to empower battered women and serving on the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Committee, Jane also volunteers at the shelter. When she takes the midnight shift, she’ll often soothe a crying child so its
mother can relax or comfort clients who can’t sleep. “Sometimes the women just want someone to listen…sometimes it can be easier to tell that story to a stranger.”
As a survivor of nearly a decade of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse during her first marriage, Jane is no stranger to how they are feeling, and she is grateful they have somewhere safe to go. In the 1980s, there was no place for women like her to take refuge; in fact, domestic violence was a topic that wasn’t openly discussed. Jane is pleased DVSSP is helping to bring these serious issues to light and is proud to serve as an advocate by sharing her personal experience.
“In addition to her service at our local church, Jane speaks at other churches, educating them about domestic violence…I cannot imagine the number of lives that have been touched and transformed by this wonderful woman of faith,” stated Reverend Dr. L. Steven Smith, Jr., Pastor, First Presbyterian Church.
Jane is also deeply vested in her volunteer work for the Washington Hospital (as a greeter at the Visitors’ Information Desk, buyer in the gift shop, and President‐Elect of the Washington Auxiliary Board), the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Committee (as the sale site coordinator), and Greenbriar Treatment Center’s Lighthouse for Women (as the leader of a monthly financial workshop).
And before you can ask her where she finds the time to be so involved, she’ll tell you that she is
also a member and Deacon at First Presbyterian Church. Last year, she was thrilled to participate in a mission trip to Alabama and hopes to go on another soon. Additionally, Jane is a past member of the YWCA Board of Directors, the Bradford House Board of Directors, the Washington County Daughters of the American Revolution, the Zonta Club of Washington, and the Washington County Committee for Racial Equality. Her incredible community involvement has led to recognition from local service organizations as well as the honor of being named one of the Outstanding Young Women in America in 1981.
“I don’t do what I do to be recognized…I do what I do because I care,” she stated.
While Jane enjoys taking advantage of many different opportunities to help others in the community, her heart is always with the women and children of DVSSP.
“I get a sense of accomplishment from seeing a woman walk that journey from the shelter to independence and a new life,” she remarked. And with Jane at their side, it is a challenging path they do not have to walk alone.