National Runaway Safeline

judith rodriguez 1


We sat down with Volunteer of the Month for October, Jackie Barron to discuss her journey with NRS. Jackie has been with NRS since April 2021.

NRS: What made you decide to volunteer with NRS?

Jackie: I went to a couple of volunteer orientations for different food pantries and never followed through with them. I don’t really know why. But I remember driving past the NRS office in Lakeview and something about it was really drawing me in. I can’t quite say what it was. I don’t have a strong affinity to teenagers or the issues they face, but maybe that’s why I felt like I could be helpful to the. I wasn’t going to get too broken up about it.

I remember myself at that age, as a teen, and thinking how nice it would have been to have someone to talk to. Before volunteering I came across a teenager who was passed out. Their friend was with them. I stopped to ask if they needed help, and the other kid said yes so I called 9-11. At the time it was the only thing I knew to do. I think now I would have done something different. I’m glad to be involved with NRS, it allows you to insert yourself in that moment in someone’s life and make a difference.

NRS: What keeps you coming back to volunteer week after week?

Jackie: (Laughs) Even when the conversation doesn’t go as well as I’d hoped I still feel good about it. Sometimes you give people 8 great ideas or things to consider and nothing seems to be resonating and they’re just as lost as when you started the conversation, I imagine that person later kind of reflecting back on what we talked about and maybe considering something in the conversation. It helps me to keep that perspective.

NRS: Tell us something you’ve learned from your experiences volunteering with us?

Jackie: I’ve learned how to not to jump to giving advice in everyday life. I tends to think I have great advice to give, but now I try to focus on the validation. If you focus on validation first they might be a little more open to hearing your suggestions later. 

NRS: Give us a Fun Fact about yourself that you don’t think someone would be able to guess just by meeting you.

Jackie: I am actually (or try to be) funny. I have to bite my tongue sometimes because I can be inappropriate. I’m also really infatuated with the lakefront and like to stare at the water. I love walking, biking out there a lot.


NRS: What would you say to someone who was thinking of volunteering with NRS?

Jackie: I feel like it’s this really easy way to feel like you helped the world be a better place. It’s not REALLY easy, there’s a lot of training and a big learning curve, but you don’t have to lift or chop or move something heavy to make an actual difference.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

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.

Activating Connections to Prevent Human Trafficking

As we step into a new year, January holds more than the promise of resolutions. It’s a clarion call to confront a pervasive crisis: Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This presidentially designated annual awareness campaign, led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), unites youth-facing service providers and communities through education about human trafficking and the roles we all play in protecting vulnerable youth. The 2024 theme, “Activate Connections to Prevent Human Trafficking,” is a stark reminder: This fight isn’t for the solitary hero. It’s a collective struggle, demanding connections that safeguard and uplift those at risk or already ensnared in human trafficking’s grip.

December 2023 Volunteer of the Month

It’s not often that a nonprofit organization is lucky enough to have long-term volunteers. Fortunately, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) has been working with John P., our December 2023 Volunteer of the Month, for more than 12 years! John finds that volunteering provides a “meaningful connection with the human experience.” He recognizes something special in helping those in need and wonders why more people aren’t drawn to the fulfilling world of volunteering.

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.