National Runaway Safeline

Fun Fact (something about you that you would want others to know that theyJason, Volunteer of the Month may not know already):

I co-wrote and directed a musical that ran for 96 performances in Chicago, and was covered by MTV News. Granted, it was “Jersey Shore: The Musical”, but still…

How did you first become involved with NRS?

I was reading a New Yorker piece about a psychologist who conducted a decade-long experiment in which he sent former patients a letter once a month, wishing them well and inquiring whether they needed anything. He found that the great majority did not respond. However, those who received the letters had a far lower rate of suicide than those who did not. The anecdote hit me hard–it reminded me how many people simply need some reassurance that someone out there cares about their well-being. After some prodding from my wife, I began looking for an opportunity to be that voice.

What have you learned from your experiences here?

How much more powerful non-directive feedback is than advice. People are wired to seek advice, but the conclusions they come to on their own are for more likely to stick and spring them into action.

Give us a story from your experience that stuck with you:

This is a conflation of experiences, but I’ve chatted with so many smart, capable young men and women who are trapped in repressive or abusive environments, who were incredibly grateful to hear that they were not strange for wanting to experience other things in life, or to think that they deserved to feel safe and loved. I chatted with one young woman from Alabama who told me I was the first adult that ever took her seriously, and that she would include me in her prayers, even if she didn’t know my name. I’m tearing up just typing that.

Open Mic Moment (this is your chance to say to all volunteers whatever you would like):

It’s an unfortunate thing that we live in an age where kindness and compassion is a political act, but here we are. The work we do is critical in ways we probably will never fully understand; it is weaponized hope, aimed squarely at the creeping sins of apathy and craven self-interest. Keep up the very needed good work.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

March 2024 Volunteer of the Month – Copy

We’re excited to spotlight Nissa Petrewski, who has been voted as National Runaway Safeline’s Volunteer of the Month for March 2024. This is Nissa’s second time receiving this acknowledgement from the NRS Team, initially being celebrated in April of 2022.

Nissa’s was introduced to NRS at the Chicago Volunteer Expo hosted at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. She was immediately drawn to the details of the organization’s training and preparation for volunteers. Inspired, she decided to complete training and take an active role on NRS’s front lines.

January 2024 Volunteer of the Month

The National Runaway Safeline is thrilled to announce Jackie Barron as the January 2024 volunteer of the month. Jackie’s path to volunteering with NRS was paved with empathy and a desire to make a positive impact. Growing up in a challenging family environment, Jackie often found herself in the “fixer” role (having a keen sense of responsibility, often prioritizing the needs of other before her own), even at a young age. This understanding of adversity and resilience led her to seek out opportunities to give back, ultimately leading her to NRS.

Scroll to Top

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website. 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website.