Dean from Irelan
A sponsee through Random Acts, Dean completed training and certification and began volunteering at IMAlive in June of 2019. He expressed a personally meaningful hope to “make a small difference” to those with even “the slightest thought of suicide,” believing that “a small difference for me, could mean a much bigger difference for someone else.” Like many who possess natural empathy, Dean has always been told he is a good listener; he combines with this trait an uncanny Sherlock-like knack for probing for deeper details of interconnectedness by asking questions in a way that gets people thinking about the answers from a new perspective. Such perspective can be the key to a person in crisis unlocking a safe path through that crisis. Supervisors praise Dean’s compassion, patience, and sensitivity no matter what the people he connects with are experiencing. He is consistently able to respect the individual behind the crisis, demonstrate through that understanding their value as a human, and navigate every aspect shared with care and gentle determination toward finding something that will work for them at their pace and without additional pressure over that breaking point that brought them into the chat. A pleasure to have on shift for his laid back personality and sense of humor, the supervisors who work with him regularly find shift feels easier to them with him on the team; those that only work with him every so often wish they had a chance to see him on shift more. It’s no mystery why this month, we have the great pleasure in honoring Dean as a Volunteer of the Month!
Aptly described as a bright light and genuinely gracious human being by her supervisors, Keita has shone her uplifting brand of sunshine at IMAlive as a sponsee of PostSecret since April of 2020. Keita’s motivation to volunteer with IMAlive arose in wanting to “make a difference on a wider scale than is accessible to me in my day job.” A careful listener, quick, and optimistic, she strives to identify the silver linings in a chatter’s misery – that is those things, even earlier details that seemed unimportant when first shared, that may be appropriate an useful in leading to change in their life – and so often in doing so turns the tenor of a situation around with a thoughtfully crafted sentence or two to connect heart to heart with and reveal to a person in crisis the hope still existent as well as focusing on steps to take toward suicide safety to keep that hope and themselves alive in that toughest of moments. Her great ability to adapt to anything, tap into an aura of calmness when needed to stay grounded, and thrive on new situations – and each crisis and chatter who visits us is exactly that, unique, new, and individual – make her ever ready to dive into the next chat. An excellent communicator, Keita keeps it light and fresh (and quite often punny with plenty of ‘across the pond’ humor) and knows well when to proceed independently and when to welcome feedback or reach out with questions and concerns to work together toward other possible ways to help the person in crisis. Congrats on being a Volunteer of the Month, shine on Keita!