By NRS board member Anne Schankin
NRS’ Board on Board Series
by Anne Schankin, Board Member since 2010
Back in the fall of 2008, my husband and I were looking for a place to volunteer together; we lived very close to the National Runaway Safeline’s crisis services center and noticed the “Volunteers Needed” sign. We were welcomed warmly, the training offered was excellent, and we started “lining” regularly on Monday evenings; it has truly been a great experience since!
Each week, we leave our shift feeling enriched, aware that through phone calls, chats and email messages, we do a little bit of good. This includes reconnecting a runaway youth with family through a conference call, finding a bed in a shelter or providing a bus ticket for a youth on the streets. It includes helping worried parents come up with ideas to find a missing child; calling child protective services and supporting the youth report ugly abusive situations; providing information on counseling, emancipation, legal aid, LGBT, bullying… or just being there to listen and to help youth going through so much. The resilience of most of them is incredible and teaches me so much.
Our weekly shifts are often fun times with the other volunteers and crisis services supervisors – each contributing in their own unique ways, and each one always surprising me with their skill and caring attitude. I also love to facilitate role plays during the training of new volunteers once or twice a month; it has helped keep my “crisis intervention skills” fresh.
After seeing firsthand what amazing services NRS provides and how well the organization is run, I wanted to get more involved and joined the Board of Directors in 2010. It’s been a privilege to collaborate with this fantastic group of diverse, talented and generous people. I have learned so much from them and the staff, and have built great relationships.
By now most of my coworkers, family members, and friends have heard of NRS! Many have also donated generously because they realize how important NRS’ mission has become to me and my husband. Over the years I heard youth in painful and sad situations, so it’s really fulfilling to know that I could help them be safer or make a small difference in their lives. Thank you, NRS, for being there for youth in crisis!