Volunteer’s of the Month – *September* Brooke and Jennifer

Brooke S. From Ontario, Canada

Brooke hit the crisis response ground running, bounding from training into live shifts in September of 2020 and bringing along a bubbly personality, persevering energy, and a deep empathy for others to each and every IMAlive shift take. A self-described “people person through and through,” Brooke’s care and desire to help shines both in her interactions with those who come to us in crisis seeking help and in the background of shifts in conversations with her supervisors. Her intention in aligning with the organization is one shared by so many of our volunteers, “…to be a light to anyone who is suffering,” and to do so by showing them understanding through active listening, engaging in safety planning, and by extension helping them to see a perspective where people do care and there is hope for better days to come. Supervisors appreciate Brooke’s cheerfulness and describe her as a joy on shift. A positive attitude and presence is only half of it, and she rounds out the rest with a capable skillset and ability to clearly communicate even under challenging circumstances. She has a great grasp of what to expect of herself with regards to handling chats, and never hesitates to seek a second set of eyes on a chatter’s situation to be sure she’s covered all the bases. Her style of chatting is simultaneously pragmatic and warm. She also doesn’t gloss over painful aspects of what is going, which is something a person in crisis may not have experienced from their existing supports who perhaps led them to feel their problems were being diminished. This willingness to embrace their pain quickly gets most chatters feeling like they have a down to earth and understanding ally who wants to support them, isn’t afraid to honestly talk about tough topics, and who is more than willing to work with them as they find solutions to stay safe. Brooke, for your outstanding contribution to the IMAlive team, we are overjoyed to honor you as a Volunteer of the Month!

Jennifer D. from Georgia, USA

Jennifer joined the IMAlive crew in August of 2020, with a desire to serve as a volunteer founded on two beliefs: That “each of us should give of ourselves to others and that we are enriched by doing so,” and “that volunteering will help me become an even more empathetic and understanding person.” It’s evident Jennifer approaches each shift and each chatter with an open heart, a willingness, and the crisis response skills to offer them support, and these two beliefs resounding behind every heartbeat and thoughtfully written reply sent out in pursuit of establishing that support and affirm a sense of hope for them to safely overcome and navigate the crisis at hand. Supervisors praise her positive attitude and an ability to give 100% to a person in crisis in every chat, no matter the challenges they face, or how their challenges may in turn challenge the empathy experienced as a responder. Jennifer is a great communicator on shift, never hesitating to ask for help in being the best helper to the person in crisis, and exuding patience for the person to whom she is connected to, and also for herself as she works through the oft complex – and changeable based on the individual in need – a process of crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Thank you, Jennifer, for your steadfast service to others and for continuing to grow with us to best assist our chatters in crisis! Congratulations on being a Volunteer of the Month!

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