Volunteers of the Month-July *Jessica & Payden*

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
~Elizabeth Andrew

Almost a full year of volunteering, Jessica has stolen the hearts of many colleagues and people in crisis alike and with that, her calm and gentle nature earned her the award of being Volunteer of the Month for July. Every shift she joins, Jessica has proven herself to be valuable to the staff as someone who takes her position very seriously, smart and skilled in her approach at the unique situation and chat at hand, and comes out on the other side helping the person in need in the best way she possibly can. Collectively, her empathic nature, true gift of listening, and creative but effective strategies set her above the rest this month as those strengths stand out and truly allow the world to be left in a brighter state, even in a minuscular way. She feels her natural way of putting herself in other people’s shoes is what allows her to succeed and as she says, “I also want to learn new ways of helping others in a crisis. If I could help even one person through the darkness, it would be extremely rewarding for me.” 

Those who have worked with her in the last eleven months as she has blossomed into the volunteer she is today praised her with similar esteem, comments like, “Jessica has demonstrated the ability to handle difficult chats in a calm manner that was still focused on the possibility of helping the person talking to us – even when there is a lot of anger expressed towards anyone that could be a resource – including us. Jessica is a joy to have on shift, communicating well and paying close attention to what the person chatting with us is sharing. Using that shared information to really understand how the PIC is feeling and what might be their biggest struggle has been a strength that Jessica shows in chat.” and “Jessica is very deserving of this award! She is an absolute gem on shifts, and takes her work very seriously here with IMAlive. She is wonderful in chats, and seems to find a way to connect with almost every PIC she comes across.” IMAlive is fortunate to have Jessica be a wonderful example of how volunteering never fails to bring a little hope to especially those who think there isn’t any left in the world. Congratulations!

With over 300 hours of practice and experience, Payden came to IMAlive with the intention of gaining a stronger ability to listen to people in crisis, and help them work through their situation, and gain knowledge on resources to provide to them for help, as she so proudly stated. This month, we’re able to recognize and acclaim Payden for doing so with great care and capability for the work we do here. Every hour she’s contributed to the IMAlive’s mission, she’s earned this great honor as she continues to volunteer and apply what she’s learned to the next shift and beyond. Even with a quiet nature, Payden exemplifies that volunteers come in all forms, in all demeanors, and can be successful being the person who allows others to dance in the spotlight. 

Payden’s best qualities have been said to be “a very skilled volunteer who always gives her all on chats. She has so much empathy and “Payden is very caring and always makes great connections with the people who come to us, and as well as “Payden tends to be on the quiet side as far as communication but is very capable in chat while knowing when to reach out if needed.” We continue to be thankful to have a volunteer like Payden to further serve those in need and represent the crux of volunteering means. She has stayed true to her intention of helping others and it landed her safely here where IMAlive is so proud to say she is our July Volunteer of the Month! Congratulations!

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