When Morgan first joined the live shift team at IMAlive in December of 2020, we knew they were one to watch for all best and brightest reasons. A natural fit to the role of crisis responder, Morgan came into volunteering with the “hope to develop new skills to serve people most effectively when they are in need of help.” Backed by boundless patience, authentic interest in people, and a desire to understand them, Morgan excels in “creating a safe conversation space in which conversation partners have ample time to express themselves fully.” In creating this space, in really hearing what they are feeling and experiencing through empathy expressed with little outward effort – a feat of which we as a team recognize often requires exceptional inward energy of perception to achieve clarity amidst the chaos of what a person in crisis is feeling – time and again with Morgan’s willingness to embrace and face the challenge with them, the path clears for the person chatting to work on ways to get safely through and overcome their crisis. Morgan’s background in the medical field means they bring to the table great ideas for approaching the intervention process from a slightly different angle of view, but one still bent toward helping people to heal and one to which chatters respond positively. Morgan, we are so grateful for all you’ve done and continue to do as a shining star of team IMAlive – congratulations on being a Volunteer of the Month!
As 2021 winds down, Kellie’s dedication to crisis intervention has only increased as she approaches her one-year milestone since becoming a certified responder with IMAlive in January. Resolved to put the qualities of “a lot of empathy” and “the ability to hold space for people” to positive use, Kellie wanted to volunteer for a crisis service because she understands oftentimes “people don’t talk about their mental health struggles … and many have them” and need that empathetic space to find support. Supervisors praise Kellie’s combination of competency of skill and genuine thoughtfulness when she engages with people in crisis; her well-thought-out reflections about their unique struggles and the pain they feel have a way of consistently creating deeper connections that draw out details that shine a light on hope. Confident in her ability to help, and with a will and enthusiasm about doing so that shows in her unending empathy, readiness to face any crisis head-on with the chatter, and an unflappably positive attitude that always seeks the silver lining even in difficult situations, Kellie rarely needs assistance, but welcomes any thoughts offered in the service of the person struggling in that moment to stay safe. Unafraid to ask for help on those occasions she does need it, Kellie proactively works to improve her abilities by honestly acknowledging individual limits and openly searching for ways to improve. Kellie, you are a pleasure to have on the team, and we are overjoyed to honor you as a Volunteer of the Month!