Volunteers of the Month – June *Holly & Jane*

Dedicating oneself to volunteering on a consistent basis is something extraordinary; the ability to choose to help others again and again…beyond what is expected, beyond what is anticipated is a call that not everyone answers. However, those who do answer harbor something exceptional that takes shape when they perform an act of volunteerism. Similar to seeing a comet streak across a night sky, the warmth and awe of it fills our chests and gives us hope that the world can improve to become better, just because we were able to witness such a phenomenon. We’re able to breathe a bit easier. June’s Volunteer of the Month recipients choose to help people again and again, displaying kindness and selflessness, that may not be comets in the sky but does not mean volunteering is any less of an astonishment.

Starting with IMAlive in July of 2018, Holly has taken hundreds of chats in the last four years of volunteering and each and every one has been done with grace and care in hopes of making a difference. Her attitude from the beginning implied that she would one day radiate as a volunteer as her skills were honed over time. Though the subject matters of mental health and suicide carry a heavy feeling, the supervisors who have had the chance to work with her praise her for “bringing a calmness to every shift, understanding when to reach out for guidance and giving that same calm space and safety for someone in chat to get their thoughts and emotions out” and “being a very motivated and intelligent responder. Holly has excellent skills she uses well to get a good connection with our callers. She’s able to see through all the trouble and find the one thing that makes a difference in one’s life. She has a great way to focus on hope. Despite big changes in life she makes time for shifts. It is a great pleasure to have her on shift.” Holly also attributes her success as a crisis responder to her medical background which she holds very dear to her heart and has mentioned in passing as well; “It has given me empathy and humility in being able to care for those who are suffering.”. Now she’s turned her attention towards the fight against the mental health stigma, stating “Mental health treatment still has a lot of room for improvement and I would be humbled to be a part of that change.” An opinion we can all very truly agree on while her resilience continues to move her forward. This month in particular, we’re happy and humbled that Holly chose IMAlive to further be a helping hand to those who seek out help and represent our hopes in making the world a safer place even for the time being.

Jane, a volunteer who was proudly sponsored by Random Acts, has been taking chats since September of 2020. Her passion and determination to make a dent in suicide prevention and mental health awareness fuels her behind the screen and can be felt through the other side. Her supervisors were especially proud to nominate her for this honor, noticing that since her certification, her true strengths carry over to every chat despite how past chats may have gone. Something specific that stood out has been  “her positive approach to every chat.  Whether helping someone to simply talk through what is going on or patiently working with a person that may be struggling to communicate clearly, Jane conveys empathy in a loud and clear way.” With that, they went on to mention the joy it is working with her as well, “Always looking forward to working with Jane, she is such a pleasant person to work with. Grateful, optimistic, grounded and an eye for detail. Open to suggestions and not afraid to ask for feedback. Jane is one of those people who has care for and ability to help our people in need in a seemingly perfect balance. She tackles difficult subjects and addresses subtle differences in a chat while also keeping the general subject in mind with what they came here to talk about.” Jane’s greatest assets are her “understanding and empathy” but something that allows her to stand out, especially during the month of June, is her solidarity, “I myself have used IMAlive years back so I have some understanding of what it is like to be on the other side.” With this unique eye and natural talent for listening and service, Jane continues to be a luminous example of what IMAlive strives to achieve daily.  We are proud and moved to name Jane Volunteer of the Month!

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