The new year is here, and we have our newest Volunteer of the Month!
Our crisis line volunteers do amazing work, speaking and communicating with youth in need of help, as well as concerned parents and guardians. They are the first contact point for youth in crisis and provide information and resources that can help youth stay safe and off the street. Our newest Volunteer of the Month is no exception.
We are proud to announce our crisis line Volunteer of the Month (January 2017) is Bri Wanlass. She responded to our questions below.
How did you first get involved with NRS?
“I was at a hospital networking event where I met two NRS employees, Amy Dahlem and Andrea Medina. We soon started talking and once I mentioned I was looking to start volunteering in Chicago, they suggested NRS.”
So what makes you keep coming back?
“I always leave my shift with a feeling that my time couldn’t have been better spent anywhere else.”
What have you learned from your experiences here?
“I have learned that you can truly provide emotional and social support to those in need starting with the simple act of answering a phone call.”
Please share a story from your crisis services experience that has stuck with you.
“One story that really stuck with me was a young girl who was determined to cross state lines, run away and live with a much older man she had briefly met. It was very challenging, providing non-directive support; however, we successfully came up with several specific safety plans if she ended up leaving. She mentioned that this man lived near his parents, so we came up with the idea that she could ‘Skype’ with the parents to get to know them before heading there. The youth also decided to provide the destination address to several close friends. I also provided her with a list of youth shelters in her current and future locations.”
Please tell us a fun fact about yourself.
“I’ve had the opportunity to live in seven African countries.”
Any last thoughts?
“If you enjoy the time you give to NRS, spread the word to encourage others to follow suit!”
Thank you for your service, Bri! We appreciate your work with runaway, homeless and at-risk youth.