Our Crisis Line Program operates with a blend of master’s level supervisors and well-trained volunteers. I think of our team as being like a kaleidoscope – beautiful in the diversity of colors and patterns of interaction. With 100 volunteers, we represent an incredible range of experiences and perspectives.
We are united by our training and our common goal – to further Oregon Partnership’s mission in drug prevention and to end substance abuse and suicide by responding to callers with compassion and insight, knowledge and respect. Our life experiences and personalities make up the colorful array of the kaleidoscope.
We are constantly amazed by the way callers seem to magically be connected to the volunteer who somehow has the ability to offer exactly what the caller needed that day. Sometimes the volunteer just sees things from an angle that the caller never considered before, and that makes all the difference. Sometimes the volunteer has something in common with the caller that paves the way for an especially helpful connection. I think of the elderly grandmother who was losing her will to live, reaching a volunteer whose strong connection with her own grandparents motivated her to engage courageously with the caller in a way that helped to rebuild a connection to life. The caller going through a painful break-up reaches the volunteer who found his way to the other side of a similar crisis a few years back. The veteran caller reaches the veteran volunteer who can truly understand and make a needed, life-sustaining connection. The caller in the early stages of recovery from addiction reaches the volunteer with several years of sobriety under her belt.
Our volunteers commit to a full year of service, giving 4 hours of their time each week. When these uncanny connections occur, and we know we helped, it makes it all worthwhile.