One of our longest serving volunteers, Ann joined the IMAlive team in November of 2015. Her dedication shift after shift has meant hundreds of people in crisis have found someone to connect to in a moment when they most needed support. Ann is proof that one person’s unwavering kindness and empathy can ripple into an enormous tide of hope to touch the lives of many. Supervisors praise Ann’s dependability and practical approach to crisis intervention; she works hard to do her best for each and every chatter with whom she speaks, showing them understanding and stretching her skills to point out paths to hope and safety from suicide. At the same time, she maintains realistic expectations of what we can accomplish when it comes to respecting the limits of what a person in crisis is willing to do; this allows her to reset to help the next person wanting to talk, even after those most challenging of chats. Unafraid to seek feedback and open to that same feedback, striving to continually to improve upon her skills as a responder, Ann always responds to her supervisors in a positive and appreciative manner and implements any suggestions. Becoming involved in volunteer work is part of Ann’s lifelong bucket list, and we are so very grateful to have her checking that item off the list, year after year, as part of our team! With that gratitude at heart, we are happy to select Ann as our volunteer of the month for November!
Winter of 2018 – a frigid February going by our standards in the EST time zone – is when Summer began to shine her skills and warmth of empathy worldwide at IMAlive. In addition to time spent on shift chatting with people in crisis and helping them to plan for their safety, she’s evolved into a valuable asset behind the scenes on our Resources team where she assists in organizing a large and ever-changing database of resources available to our chatters. Her knowledge, reliability, and alacrity compliment one another to lend a professional yet personable air to any interactions. Supervisors say this natural cheerfulness, motivation to help in any way she can, and independence in applying her skills of crisis response make Summer a joy to work with. When engaging with a person in crisis, especially our youngest callers, Summer has a knack for quickly connecting with them, adapting to their comfort levels, and coming up with unique ideas and perspectives not thought of in those tougher situations; this knack ultimately helps the chatter feel understood and in turn directed toward the goal of how to stay safe. Having experienced rough times personally during her time volunteering with us that makes the work of helping those at risk of suicide all the much more personal, she doesn’t let her focus on a chatter’s situation and respect for their feelings be hindered by her personal ones; in fact, her own experiences seem to strengthen her resolve, empathy, and passion to help. When it comes to crisis intervention and suicide prevention, Summer is in a word – driven; for that drive and more, we honor her as volunteer of the month! We’re so glad to have you in the IMAlive family, Summer!