July Volunteer of the Month: Ben - National Runaway Safeline

National Runaway Safeline

July Volunteer of the Month: Ben


Ben2Fun Fact (something people may not know already about you):

I am a huge rubik’s cube nerd. My fastest solve of a standard cube is 32 seconds and I have a whole display case full of different twisty puzzles.

How did you first become involved with NRS?

I went to the Chicago Volunteer Expo at the Nature Museum and the National Runaway Safeline really resonated with me. I have a niece who was a frequent runaway during her teenage years and I remember how helpless it felt. NRS gives me the chance to make sure young people have someone they can trust when they are making these big, scary decisions. (My niece is now 21 years old and is safe and well!)

What keeps you coming back?

At NRS, I can help a few people in a tangible way every week, and it restores my soul a little bit.  Also, the other folks at NRS are a lot of fun so I always have a good time.

What have you learned from your experiences here?

Because we work with anonymous calls and chats, when the connection is lost, I may not get that person back. It has really helped me to rewire my brain to try to be present and help in the ways I can at each moment. If I do that, then I can let it go when I get a challenging call or chat. I don’t have to fix everything, I’m just here to help.

Give us a story from your experience that stuck with you:

The Home Free program has enabled me to help a number of young people return home. I helped a son get home to his mother even though she cursed me out because she thought I was trying to scam her. I helped a pregnant girl get home to her mom and sister in a small town in Iowa where my friend happens to live. I helped a young father cross the entire country after being stranded by labor traffickers.

Open Mic Moment (this is your chance to say to all volunteers whatever you would like):

I haven’t met a single liner or supervisor that I couldn’t learn from. You all inspire me with your kindness, empathy, and quick thinking. Keep doing what you’re doing!

If you are in the Chicago area and interested in becoming a crisis services volunteer at NRS, please e-mail Jamin Draves, Volunteer Coordinator, at JDraves@1800RUNAWAY.org with any questions.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

Youth Ambassador Spotlight: EJ Velez

Youth advocate EJ Velez selflessly shares his own personal experience with homelessness and the challenges he faced navigating systems in an effort to educate the public and ensure youth receive proper support and care they need to succeed. As a college senior, EJ balances school work with his activism. He serves on the National Runaway Safeline’s Youth Advisory Board, as a Youth Catalyst Team Consultant for Youth Collaboratory and is a Youth Consultant to National Network for Youth (NN4Y).  

Partner Spotlight – Advocates for Children

As Advocates for Children in northwest Georgia celebrates the organization’s 40th anniversary, the team takes pride in their countless accomplishments, including client success stories, new and expanded programs and the purchase and renovation of their new headquarters where all prevention, education and advocacy programs are now under one roof.   

Partner Spotlight – Avenues for Youth

Avenues for Youth recognizes that while most youth experiencing homelessness have faced trauma, they are each unique. They have unique needs, experiences, abilities and aspirations. Each individual is on a personal journey through homelessness and, hopefully, on a path to a bright future.

Scroll to Top

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website. 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website.