"I do it because it's rewarding and I feel the need to help others in crisis situations," comments Tom (not his real name), a Crisis Line volunteer. Crisis Line is a telephone intervention program serving Utah County residents who are in crisis situations. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Crisis Line of Utah County, a United Way agency, is in need of many more volunteers. Jennifer Bramwell, director, said calls come from a variety of people. "Some callers are in need of a referral to another agency that can help, while others are lonely or frightened."These calls are taken by volunteers who agree to work one three-hour shift each week after they have completed training. Bramwell said the volunteers are trained in effective listening skills, the policies of the agency and how to respond effectively to a crisis situation.
"We are in need of the support of solid citizens from the community. Our volunteers are ordinary people who care about others and who are committed to the work," Bramwell said. Anyone who is at least 18, is non-judgmental and has good listening skills is welcome and needed.
The volume of calls has steadily increased since Crisis Line was established in 1972. Last year, Crisis Line helped more than 7,500 callers. Volunteers take all of these calls.
Anyone interested in the program may call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.
Other community volunteer needs include:
-United Way needs several volunteers to help with receptionist and secretarial work.
-RSVP needs a volunteer skilled in leatherworking who is willing to spend an hour each week teaching senior citizens.
-Red Cross needs volunteers willing to act as case workers in interviewing clients for financial aid.