As a teenager myself, I find volunteering at NRS to be not only extremely fulfilling, but a great way to help and identify with my peers. - Celeste, Teen crisis line volunteer
By distributing posters and other materials in my community, I know I'm helping someone else get help. - Mary, Street Team Member
There are many ways to get involved and help runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth and their families, from volunteering at NRS to working with a youth organization in your community.
Volunteer at NRS
In Your Community
Work at NRS
Make a Donation
Volunteers serve as the lifeblood of the National Runaway Safeline. Whether you volunteer as a frontline team member, administrative volunteer, materials distributor, task force member or as a part of our Board of Directors, you are providing youth and families across the country with an opportunity to find a solution to their problems. If you don’t live in Chicago where we are headquartered, check out the In Your Community section for additional ways you can volunteer and help keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.
As part of our frontline team you can help us answer the more than 300 calls we receive each day. "Liners," as they are called here at NRS, assist callers with identified needs such as filing an abuse report, finding shelter or making arrangements to return home. Liners are asked to make a one-year commitment and to serve two-four hours per week. Minimum age is 16.
Before taking their first call, each liner must complete a 40 hour training program including classroom and experiential training. The training acquaints prospective volunteers with the National Runaway Safeline, our services and philosophy, and our crisis intervention model. Skill development exercises are employed to educate trainees about effectively responding to specific topics on calls, such as, child abuse and family dynamics. After successful completion of the training, volunteers are qualified to answer calls in the call center with an experienced NRS supervisor, who is always present, offering assistance and support when necessary.
If you are unable to make a long-term commitment to the National Runaway Safeline, you can help with short-term activities. Administrative assistance is always needed at NRS for such activities as filing, data entry and general office tasks.
Depending on the requirements of your school, the National Runaway Safeline can be an excellent training or learning environment for those interested in pursuing a career in social service.
Work Study (Chicago volunteers only)
If you qualify for off-campus federal work study through a local college or university, you could be paid to work as part of our front line team. Please contact the volunteer coordinator for more information.
Interested in learning more? Questions about any volunteer opportunities? Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@1800RUNAWAY.org or 773-289-1726.
We rely on volunteers throughout the country to help youth and families learn about 1-800-RUNAWAY in their community. Every call we receive means that at least one person – a teenager, a parent, a teacher, or someone concerned with a child's well-being – reached out to NRS for help. With more than 100,000 calls each year, we answer the call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
We know there are many teens and families in crisis that don't know about 1-800-RUNAWAY. This is where we need your help. There are many ways to help us get the word out about 1-800-RUNAWAY in your community. As a Street Team Member, you can distribute our many (free) materials throughout your community. Hand out or leave materials in schools, churches, libraries, stores, restaurants, malls, bus/train stations or anywhere that youth and parents will see them. There is no time requirement and you do the outreach on your own schedule! And, earn cool rewards for your outreach activities in your community!
Interested in learning more? Questions about the Street Team? Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@1800RUNAWAY.org or 773-289-1726.