Quite simply: we need you, and they need you.

Why You Should Become a Teen Crisis Hotline Volunteer

Why You Should Become a Teen Crisis Hotline Volunteer - National Runaway Safeline

You want to help. You feel the need to do something good, something worthwhile. You want to make an impact on peoples’ lives. Have you considered helping youth in need?

Volunteering to help teens and youth in crisis is both challenging and rewarding. Here are reasons why you should consider volunteering for NRS’ teen crisis hotline.

Why we need you.

Runaway and homeless youth in America have become an epidemic.

  • Every year, there are between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth living on the street or living in unstable situations.
  • We make over 250,000 connections with youth and concerned parents and guardians via our hotline, our website, and our social media.
  • Our crisis services center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • We are a national organization, serving the United States and its territories.

That is a lot of hours and a lot of territory.

We have 12 workstations in our crisis service center. Although there are usually two crisis service supervisors managing the shift, we need many volunteers to help cover the shifts fully.

We need you because we need to provide the type of service these kids and teens deserve.

We need you because more youth are connecting with us every day through our website.

We need you because there can never be too much compassion and kindness at NRS.

We need you because they need you.

What you would do.

You will be trained as a crisis intervention frontline team member. You will then be receiving calls, emails, and live chat messages through our system from youth who are in crisis or in distress, as well as from parents of youth in crisis.

Your most important work will be to listen.

Most often, youth are looking for a listening ear; someone who will listen to them without judgment. Teens and youth often feel like they are alone and that no one will care about their needs or feelings. That is where you come in. You will be their sounding board and allow them to share their concerns.

For youth that may be in more desperate situations, you will work with them to create a plan of action for their next move that will keep them safe and off the street. You may also connect them with resources in their area that can help.

If the youth requires a shelter, healthcare, a food pantry, or even a way back home, you will be able to provide the resources needed, along with our crisis services center supervisors.

Our center is meant to be a beacon for those in need, drawing youth and teens to the help they need.

How you can benefit.

The act of giving back: Volunteering at NRS may be one of the most rewarding acts that you can do. The life you change for a teen in crisis can mean everything to that youth, even though you may not meet them in person or hear from them again.

Take it from our volunteers themselves:

“What keeps me coming back is the feeling I am making a difference, and of course the other volunteers! Everyone is so welcoming and nice.” – Sophia

“…Each week I really do listen and talk with youth across the USA who just need a conversation with a safe person.  A lot of them know the decisions they have to make, but need someone to hear them talk it through.” – Emily

“The ability to be a resource to those in times of need is a great feeling. Apart from that, the call center atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed. There is never a dull moment. It is a great escape from my regular busy schedule.  Not to forget, the staff goes far and beyond to keep the volunteers happy and keep coming back.” – Ankit

You, too, can experience this profound sense of purpose, by helping youth in crisis.

How we train you.

You receive comprehensive crisis intervention training from our staff, including how to deal with youth in situations such as human trafficking and suicide prevention.

The skills, experience and training you receive are valuable for your own career skill set and improve your emotional intelligence, technical and computer skills.

How we treat our volunteers.

Our crisis service center supervisors do a great job of working with you to provide service, and also do a great job of creating a fun environment. Games are played, treats are shared, and after-care for those especially tough calls is provided.

We recognize outstanding service through our Volunteer of the Month program, our yearly Volunteer and Community Appreciation event honoring our Volunteer of the Year . We cannot complete our mission without our volunteers, so we do our best to recognize and appreciate them.

How you will network.

You will also connect with a variety of volunteers from different backgrounds, and different ages, making personal connections with like-minded individuals who can help you in the future.

Who you serve.

We are talking about the future generations of America.

Here are some of the pleas received from youth:

“My mom is kicking me out, I just turned 18. She wants to move her children into my room and for me to find somewhere else to live. I’m a senior in high school and I have a job but no car. I am scared. What do I do, I don’t have the money to rent an apartment…”

“I’m 14 years old and 6 months pregnant I will be 15 in two months and my mom is emotionally abusive and my dad isn’t in my life. He was physically abusive to me when I was little but I want to get out of where I am because my mom screams at me all the time for no reason…”

“I’m 18 and struggling with everything I need help.”

Many of these youth are not “bad kids.” They are trying to escape from bad situations.

Most importantly, they are scared. They need someone to listen. They need someone to empathize. They need to be connected to resources in their area that can help them find some stability.

How to apply.

Visit NRS’ volunteer page and complete an online application. We will be happy to hear from you.

 

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