Name: Maggie Bott
Year & major at IU: Senior, international studies and Central Eurasian Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global & International Affairs
IU Corps volunteer position: Resident advocate in the emergency shelter at Middle Way House
Since May 2018, IU Bloomington senior Maggie Bott has served as an advocate for residents in the emergency shelter at Middle Way House. A Bloomington-based nonprofit that launched in 1971, Middle Way House is a United Way of Monroe County member agency that provides services to people in crisis, helping to empower survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking through support services and advocacy.
During her time with Middle Way House, Bott has answered crisis line calls, acted as an on-the-scene advocate, and helped lead the Middle Way House chapter at IU. This type of service work is considered an IU Corps experience. IU Corps is a network of IU Bloomington students, campus stakeholders, and community partners whose combined efforts lead to positive social change in local neighborhoods, across the U.S., and around the world.
She initially became involved with Middle Way through friends in her major, international studies, who were volunteering in the crisis intervention office. “They were upperclassmen who I looked up to a lot,” Bott said, adding that volunteering with Middle Way opened her eyes to how widespread and sometimes hidden issues of abuse can be. “At Middle Way House, they train you very well on issues of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence, and encourage you to become knowledgeable about the prevalence of these issues in our communities,” she said. “Being able to see the problem and help people has really motivated me to continue here.”
From 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12, the IU Middle Way House chapter will meet at 333 S. Washington St. to write letters to incarcerated survivors of abuse, assault, or trafficking.
Currently, the shelter is also collecting use new or gently-used coats, hats, and gloves for both kids and adults. Unfortunately, many of the children and young adults assisted by the youth program come in with no warm winter wear. “There were many mornings at The Rise [transitional housing program] when kids were leaving for school and it was freezing out, so we would grab gloves and hats for them. We would be happy with any amount of donations. We have lots of little hands—and big hands—that need gloves and hats as well.”
View the full Middle Way House wish list.