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Karen Dees: A Servant to our Community

Karen 1

In life it is so important to have someone to give you a voice when you can’t seem to stand up for yourself. Karen was that voice for so many people.
Karen started at DVN 3 years ago because she was in need of a job. Hired originally as a part time office manager and advocate coordinator she quickly became much more as she grew the Advocates Group. Karen was the program coordinator for the advocates group. She managed meetings, arranged speakers for the group that met monthly, and set up training for the annual Advocates retreat. She had a creative spark and was able to see new ways of doing things which lead to excitement for the team at DVN.
During the time that she was involved as the Advocate Coordinator she grew the group by being a natural connector. Karen had a way of drawing people in. She effortlessly found small connections and easily made anyone feel comfortable.
One of the most impactful parts about Karen’s job at DVN was her role in the Self Sufficiency Fund, a program where DV survivors work with an advocate from a place like the Julian Center. The Advocate would help acquire funds for the survivor. Karen was in charge of managing this fund and seeing the money go into the hands of the people that needed it most. Perhaps most rewarding, was 60 days after receiving the fund, the survivor sends a statement of impact to Karen letting her know how that money has changed their life for the better. During Karens time in that role she was able help over 400 hundred people in need of support. She gave people a voice to stand up and fight for their own lives.

“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives that we’ve touched.”

Karen touched so many lives not just through her work with DVN but in her personal life as well. She was always full of energy and always on the go. Each weekend had a new adventure whether it was a concert, church event, book club, or spending time in her craft room at home. In every one of those things she was able to touch peoples lives for the better. She spent the last 15 years of her life loving her long term boyfriend Clyde and her 3 precious dogs that were like children to her. She didn’t spend her life thinking up ways to make a difference, she lived a life that made a difference.

Carrie Herndon contributed to this article.