National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, is about honoring those who give selflessly of their time, energy and compassion. National Runaway…

03-2014_M_NationalVolWeek14National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, is about honoring those who give selflessly of their time, energy and compassion. National Runaway Safeline (NRS) took the opportunity to name Joyce Sapir the 2014 Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to helping runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families.  Sapir received the award at the annual Volunteer and Community Recognition event this past Monday  at ZED451. The event also honored all of NRS’ more than 125 dedicated volunteer call center liners, who help keep the crisis line operating 24 hours a day throughout the year.

Since 2012, Sapir has volunteered more than 300 hours in the 1-800-RUNAWAY call center, assisting runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families through NRS’ crisis hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY. In the past two years, she has reconnected 17 youth with their families through NRS’ Home Free program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc. and she has handled 1,050 calls, advocating and searching for available resources.  Sapir is the 2014 co-chair of Spirit of Youth. She and her husband Jonathan have not only been donors since 2012, they have also supported NRS’ Major Gift Initiative.

“Volunteers like Joyce are the lifeblood of our organization that makes it all possible. We recognize, honor and celebrate her for selflessly giving her time and talents, as well as care and compassion to the National Runaway Safeline and the hundreds of youth and families she helped,” said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director.

The National Runaway Safeline, formerly known as the National Runaway Switchboard, established in 1971, serves as the federally designated national communication system for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth.  NRS makes more than 250,000 connections to help and hope through hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY), online (1800RUNAWAY.org) and offline resources.  NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country.  More than 14,000 youth have been reunited with their families through NRS’ Home Free program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc.  For more information, visit 1800RUNAWAY.org.