Why It Matters
Every day, crisis volunteers respond around the clock, often to unfamiliar neighborhoods, providing the immediate on-scene personal support that understaffed police and fire officials often can't. The true stories below give just a sample of how volunteers help preserve a ray of hope in the very darkest hours of people's lives.
After Her Best Friend's Suicide, An Angel Appears At Her Door
How do you understand grief if you've never been there? You lean on a crisis volunteer like Connie. You ask questions, have your hand held, have someone look you in the eye and hear you. Connie was strong for me. She hugged me goodbye that night and went back to her life, her family, and others who grieve. She saw me at my worst and didn't judge, just cared. I am still grieving, still sorting out what happened. But there is HOPE, and a deep sense that I am not alone. How do you get through crisis? With an angel by your side. Thank you, Connie.
Crisis Volunteers Help Devastated Co-Workers After Young Colleague Dies On The Job
On a beautiful spring morning a middle aged utility company employee named Dave collapsed on the job from a heart attack. Despite immediate action by the company's on-scene response team, Dave died. A crisis care volunteer arrived quickly and helped Dave's co-workers learn how to deal with their emotional trauma. The supervisor said "We are extremely grateful to have such competent responders available to assist us during an emergency."top
Crisis Volunteers Touch Many After Popular Boy's Death
Connor was a very bright, handsome boy who was active in sports and popular among his schoolmates. One afternoon Connor committed suicide with a handgun, and his little brother discovered his body. Over the next several days a total of nine volunteers helped Connor's family and friends struggle with their profound grief. Some time later, Connor's family said "we were so fortunate that you were there when we needed it."top
Crisis Volunteers Help Family After A Gruesome Discovery
One afternoon Jane went to her 45-year-old daughter's apartment and discovered her daughter's decomposing body. Two volunteers came to the scene to be with Jane, and with her family as they began to arrive. Jane says that the volunteers "answered my questions, were a liaison with the detectives and coroner and were very concerned for my welfare. Their assistance made a very positive difference at a most difficult time. I want to commend you for the dedication and compassion of the volunteers and for providing this invaluable community service."top
Crisis Volunteers Assist Understaffed Police Agency To Help A Suicidal Man
A local law enforcement agency received a call from a woman out of state who was concerned that her son Len was suicidal. The agency referred her to the local crisis care program, which deployed two volunteers to the son's residence. As a result of the time they spent with him that day and their follow-up calls, Len began seeing a doctor for his depression, began attending a support group, and promised to call the suicide hotline if he ever felt seriously suicidal. His mother wrote "The volunteers made themselves so available and were such a consolation."top
Crisis Volunteers' Impact Felt Long After Teen's Tragic Death
When my 16 year-old nephew died unexpectedly last year, volunteers from the local crisis care program came to notify my sister and her family. They stayed at the home for six hours, as my nieces came home from school, and other friends and family were notified. They helped manage the well-meaning neighbors that started arriving in overwhelming numbers. They also left an extremely useful information packet regarding things to be done when a death occurs, to which we referred many times in the following months. When tragedy strikes, this service makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the surviving family members.top
After A Murder, Crisis Volunteers Help Slow The Cycle of Violence
One evening a high school senior named Harvey was stabbed to death. Two crisis care volunteers spent the entire next day at Harvey's school helping his friends begin to come to grips with the tragedy. When two of his friends expressed growing agitation with others who "disrespected" Harvey's death, a volunteer headed off the potential for additional violence by transporting these students home. School administration expressed its appreciation for the program's services throughout the day, saying "Your caring presence made a positive difference for the students and staff."top