“Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” – William J. Clinton
This month we honor two hero volunteers here at IMAlive – two outstanding people whose dedication to service matters profoundly, and whose willingness to share their time and empathy with those struggling to overcome crisis help to change the odds for others each and every day.
The recipient of a Random Acts sponsorship to complete training as a crisis responder in May of 2020, Bridget has logged over 300 hours volunteering as Alex connecting with people in crisis and working together with them to gain perspective on their unique situation(s) and to find them a safe plan or steps to move forward. Bridget’s self-proclaimed “mom vibe” allows people to “feel at ease when they are talking to me, so people will open up.” Possessed of a “judgement-free belief system,” Bridget came to IMAlive understanding that “suicide can happen to just about anyone,” and feeling “there is no judgement for those who have tried” because suicide “can be 100% preventable with the right support.” Described by her supervisors as a bright and competent volunteer – one who brings a positive attitude and general cheerful approach to helping however and whomever she can – they go on to praise a steadfast ability to empathize with chatters and a gift of honest care that resonates with visitors to the site. She consistently gives people space to feel heard, and isn’t afraid to tackle any topic at hand, however painful. With a keen eye both for minute opportunities for a chatter to make positive changes in their life and technicalities that require some focus to resolve, Bridget is skilled in assisting people in crisis toward finding their safe options. In between chats she is quick to shift to the lighthearted and much loved topic of her pups Roxy and Groot until the next person needing support and a caring ear comes to talk. We are so very happy to honor you as a Volunteer of the Month!
Kyra stands on the cusp of reaching 300 hours of service as she celebrates her one year anniversary this May of becoming a certified crisis responder with IMAlive. Self-aware of a great capacity for empathy, Kyra nurtures this natural gift with values of deep understanding and universal acceptance for others and a desire to shine a light on “suicide as an issue that needs to be more widely understood in society” so that “individuals who have been affected by suicide and have suicidal thoughts” no longer suffer in silence. Supervisors all around say Kyra is a hard working volunteer, always prompt, and able to adapt her approach to connect with anyone in crisis, no matter their background. She shows a strong desire to keep growing skills as a responder and never hesitates to seek feedback or reconsider her approach and wording to see if there is room to improve for future, and then to further build her repertoire of tools by applying what she has learned. A careful listener, Kyra is vigilant when it comes to noticing changes a person might make or try and offering a perspective to explore those hopeful options. Pleasant company for her supervisors to have on a shift, Kyra’s kitties Fuzz and Luna are never too far from her side to offer their support. Congratulations on this Volunteer of the Month nomination – you have our sincere gratitude for being one of our hero helpers!