Each year, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) hosts a Volunteer and Community Appreciation Event to recognize and celebrate the work that our volunteers perform every day in our crisis services center, as well as, our donors that support these services. Our volunteer coordinator Rebecca Bowlin and crisis services supervisor Jamin Draves organize the event, and NRS staff members help make the event the best experience yet.
Hosted at the historic Walnut Room in Macy’s on State Street, our staff, volunteers, donors and their guests enjoyed each others’ company. The energy in the room was lovely and positive as attendees chatted amongst themselves. Close to 100 people joined us to acknowledge our volunteers and donors and to see who would be named our 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
We choose our Volunteer of the Year from the year’s Volunteers of the Month award recipients, who are voted upon by NRS staff. The Volunteer of the Year is a person who goes above and beyond expectations. He/she may spend extra time taking calls and emails from youth, cover other volunteers’ shifts, or simply create a warm environment for other volunteers.
Working in the crisis services center is not easy. Our liners hear a lot of unsettling stories from youth and parents of youth that can take a toll. It is important that the atmosphere in our crisis services center contain elements of self-care, humor, and support. Our past Volunteers of the Month and Year help create that environment.
As the evening progressed, we acknowledged the efforts of other volunteers. Receiving special awards were:
Nancy Kloetzi, The Outreach Ambassador Award, for her outreach efforts on behalf of NRS.
Ellie Sharp and Olivia Landgraff, The Terrific Twins Award, for their commitment to NRS and their desire to work together.
Thomas Einstein, The Happy Camper Award, for creating a positive environment within our crisis services center.
Bella Bruk, the Intrepid Interpreter Award, for her ability to translate for others on the phone.
And then the announcement of our Volunteer of the Year for 2017: Ken Lavelle.
Ken’s work in the crisis services center, as well as an NRS board member, represents our agency in multiple arenas.
His dedication, knowledge, and empathy ring through in his work in our crisis services center, our board room, and at our events. He represents the best of what NRS is and we are proud to honor him.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for NRS, email our volunteer coordinator, Rebecca Bowlin, at RBowlin@1800RUNAWAY.org.