Michelle, Teena, and Nicole smile at the camera
I am so grateful to be a part of Womxn’s Night where I can make another person’s day a little easier and a little brighter.

Womxn's Night volunteer Michelle Kwon, Womxn's Night Coordinator Teena Weisler-Vega, and volunteer Nicole Smith.

Prevention Point Philadelphia (PPP) offers a number of ways for people to get involved, from volunteer opportunities to donating meals to hosting a supply drive. This National Volunteer Week, we are featuring two steadfast volunteers at our weekly Womxn's Night, Michelle and Nicole. 

If you are interested in getting involved with Womxn's Night, contact: teena@ppponline.org


Michelle Kwon has been volunteering at PPP Womxn’s Night every week for the past several months. We are grateful for her kindness, consistency, and desire to learn.

I became interested in working with people affected by substance use disorders (SUD) after I had a friend pass away from an overdose. Substance use is a topic rarely talked about in Korean culture, so I became interested in educating myself. I learned about the institutional problems that heavily contribute to the growing drug issue in the U.S. and systemic barriers that exist for people with SUD who are looking for help. I also learned about amazing organizations, like PPP, which have harm reduction programs that save lives. I had to get involved.

At Womxn’s Night, every day is new. Some days I help give out wound care supplies, hygiene products, and other necessities. Other days, I organize clothing donations and help participants find an outfit that makes them happy. Most of all, I try to connect with the women who come through. I hope to figure out ways to better support them through their unique problems.

Being a part of PPP has helped me understand more about the Kensington community and has taught me how to selflessly support other women—and really all people. Although the experiences our participants go through are hard, PPP constantly reminds me of how much kindness, goodness, and laughter there is in this world.

It is hard being a woman, but even harder when you are dealing with SUD and homelessness. I am so grateful to be a part of Womxn’s Night where I can make another person’s day a little easier and a little brighter.”


Nicole Smith has been volunteering at Womxn’s Night for nearly two years. She is a registered nurse with decades of experience in emergency care, and was just accepted into an NP program. Womxn’s Night Coordinator Teena Weisler-Vega wrote one of her recommendation letters. 

"I chose to volunteer at PPP because I wanted to put my energy somewhere it was really needed—where resources were limited. I wanted to work with people who face barriers to access to care.

The first night I came, a woman called me over saying, 'I heard you’re a nurse, would you look at my hand?' Her hand was blue; she had thrombosis, a blood clot in her arm. I told her this, and she refused to go to the hospital. But she knew. It’s crucial for people to have knowledge of what’s happening in their bodies, and options. What people do with that is up to them.

I've done everything at Womxn’s Night—the clothes, the door, food, handing out supplies. I've changed people’s wounds, I’ve assessed participants and notified them if I think they’re in a medical emergency. Sometimes they do go to the hospital.

Volunteering at PPP makes me evolve my thinking and throw away my predisposed ideas about people who use drugs. One thing I learned here is that most people with SUD have a history of trauma. When people say things like, 'I can’t believe you go there, aren’t those people awful?' I say, “Well, you know the majority of people using drugs outside in Kensington have a history of trauma? Like assault, being trafficked, sexual abuse? Think about that. How would YOU cope?' Considering people in this context and focusing on empathy makes you stop the judgement.”