Helpline volunteering

“Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.” 

Steve Maraboli

The people who staff the various helplines are doing a wonderful job.  And did you know that some are volunteers and not in a paid position?  How do I know this?  Because I volunteered on a helpline for many years with a particular organisation that I was very fond of. 

This organisation began as many not for profits do, as a person sought assistance after the loss of his son and then he began the organisation to assist others in a similar position.  At the time that I was volunteering, I noted that many of the other volunteers were passionate about the organisation as it had assisted them when they were in need.

During the three years that I was volunteering, the organisation looked after their volunteer base.  The shifts were as much or as little that we could provide.  Due to work and family commitments, I was on a monthly schedule for a shift on the weekend.  The phone line was transferred to our landline number and the shift supervisor rang both before and after the shift ended.  The brief before, provided an update of any issues currently being experienced and the phone call at the end allowed the opportunity to vent if needed.  We also had to provide deidentified information on the calls to provide to their funding body and as a way of keeping statistics.

The organisation really kept a great eye over their volunteers, both at each shift and through a conference that was held annually.  Whilst we volunteered, they assisted in travel arrangements for those who lived further away.  At one of the weekend retreats, I met up with a friend who had relocated away from my region!  Neither of us, realised that we both volunteered for the same organisation and it was fabulous catching up and hearing how the family were going. The training that was held over the weekend was spot on and hearing about other’s stories was inspiring.

There are a number of organisations that require volunteers for their support lines and if you have the time and meet their criteria – it is really rewarding.

As always, reach out if you would like to know more.