Volunteer of the Month
Daniel Mungul is the Volunteer of the Month for January 2022!
Daniel started training to become a volunteer in August, 2019. After a brief pause in our volunteer program due to COVID-19, he and his partner, Mallory, helped pilot our remote volunteer program, and have continued to be a dedicated and dependable part of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) team. When Daniel first joined the NRS team he was working as an EMT and is now on his to become a physician’s assistant, yet he still found time to dedicate over 236 hours of his personal time to youth in crisis. If you know or have had the pleasure of working alongside Daniel, please feel encouraged to congratulation him for such hard work!
NRS: What made you decide to volunteer with NRS?
Daniel: I was an EMT at the time and had just started applying for PA school. My partner Mallory was volunteering a year before me and she was really into it. She kept telling me that I should try it. She brought me along for a listen in. She wasn’t wrong, I really needed to get in and volunteer! The time commitment wasn’t huge and it was something that I could make more of an impact than expected.
One of the hardest things about working with NRS, but also one of the beautiful things, is that we don’t have a long time to make a connection. There’s not always a tangible reward, which is hard, but at the same time if you get good feedback or had a major turnaround after a few hours it just feels so good.
NRS: What keeps you coming back to volunteer week after week?
Daniel: Jamin’s Emails! Just kidding. After getting dismissed for COVID, it was sad. I missed those 2 hours a lot, it was nice to get out of the house and do something else. I’ve found it grounds me in a way to keep up and keep doing this. It keeps an interesting perspective on things. I knew I’d be back with NRS, which made a big impact on me from the get-go. I was really happy that NRS kept in touch during that time, it really got me to come back.
NRS: Tell us something you’ve learned from your experiences volunteering with us?
Daniel: Working with NRS and also fostering kids made me realize that not every interaction you have you will feel good about. You won’t know your impact on everybody. That doesn’t mean you should stop what you’re doing. It’s really nice to have that gratification. But it isn’t going to happen all the time. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t meaningful.
Gives me a better sense of the country and their perception of youth. It’s shone me about different ways to raise kids. A little less judgmental.
NRS: Give us a Fun Fact about yourself that you don’t think someone would be able to guess just by meeting you.
Daniel: When pandemic started my partner and I got a couple of bunnies. They’re running around the house a lot. They love raisins and they hate us! We’re in the process of training them.
NRS: What would you say to someone who was thinking of volunteering with NRS?
Daniel: I’d tell them it’s a fantastic experience. Even if you can only spend the 6 months doing this, it can really make you appreciate the variety of scenarios and situations that happen right here in the US. It makes you understand what other people go though. All of the supervisors are really great. It’s a heck of an experience to talk with someone with a completely different value set and life experience. It’s the learning experience of a lifetime and 100% needed.