Do you have spare time, and want to help others? Do you want to be able to help from your home, but also be able to go to an office if you want a change of view? Has crisis intervention always been an interest for you, but you never thought you were qualified for that kind of job?
If so, then do I have an opportunity for you. HopeLine is always in need of volunteers, and here are a few reasons why you should consider filling out that application and coming in to play a critical role for those who may just be having the worst day ever.
1) You get to help people who may have no one else. When someone calls HopeLine, you are afforded the incredibly unique opportunity to step into their lives, and listen in a way that no one may have ever done for them before. You get to meet them in their pain, and give a tangible reminder that they're not alone. For the individual who feels utterly alone, you are a breath of fresh air that reminds them to keep going. It takes a lot of courage to call a hotline, and by being at the other end of the line, you show them that that courage to call was worth it.
2) You're surrounded by others who are like-minded. Everyone who volunteers at HopeLine does so for a reason, and more often than not, those reasons all look very similar. If you volunteer with HopeLine, you're surrounded by others who genuinely want to help those in need. You're uplifted by a community who understands what you do in a way that no one else really does. In between calls, you get to engage in discussion with the other volunteers on shift, and make friendships that you may have never seen coming. At HopeLine, you never have to do it alone.
3) You're supported every step of the way. During your volunteer training, you will get connected with a mentor who will teach you, one-on-one, what responding to crisis calls looks like. Throughout your time at HopeLine, your mentor will be available to talk with you about any questions, concerns, or other things that you'd like to discuss. Beyond just your mentor, the staff at HopeLine are there for you no matter what your last call might've been. No matter what you need, the staff at HopeLine are there to support you in any way possible and make sure that you know just how important you are to the mission of HopeLine.
4) Volunteering doesn't require any fancy skills. You don't have to have a degree in psychology to volunteer at HopeLine. HopeLine practices active listening, so you will not be doing any professional counseling. HopeLine doesn't give advice, so there's no pressure that you might tell someone to do the wrong thing. HopeLine listens, and supportively reflects and directs. Everything that you'll need to know before you volunteer, you'll be taught in training. You won't answer calls alone until after 32 hours of classroom training, and 8 hours of internships. If you have previous experience with crisis intervention, then that's great! But if not, then there's no need to worry. You'll be fully equipped with everything you need to know before you take your first call.
5) HopeLine can fit your schedule. As a crisis hotline, HopeLine is open 24/7. Meaning that whatever time works best for you to volunteer, then you can come work on the lines. You'll learn how to direct calls to your personal phone, so if you don't want to come in to do a shift, you don't have to leave the comfort of your home. You can access our text-line from home as well, which runs from the hours of 10am-10pm on weekdays. If you'd rather come in to the office and work from there, you're more than welcome to. In training, it'll all be covered and you'll learn everything that you need for accessibility.
HopeLine is able to operate because of volunteers, and volunteers are how HopeLine will keep going. They're crucial for the mission of HopeLine, and the work that they do is invaluable. They provide a glimmer of hope for those who are having the worst days of their lives, and they provide a listening ear to those who have no one else to hear them. If volunteering at HopeLine sounds like something you're passionate about, I urge you to fill out the volunteer application. It'll change the lives of others, and it'll change you too.