We are so excited to celebrate our July Volunteer of the Month, Rachel! Rachel joined training in January of 2019 and, as of July 1st, has contributed 242 hours on the lines. She was among the first group of returning volunteers after the pandemic and just this year she’s managed to more than double her previous year’s volunteer hours!
We sat down with Rachel for a brief Q&A:
NRS: What made you decide to volunteer with NRS?
Rachel: I had been living in Chicago for a while, I was in the city for college. Shortly after graduation, a lot of my friends were in helping fields and they often worked with youth. A lot of them had experience directly with youth, or volunteered for the Suicide Hotline. They mentioned that a lot of the young people they talked to wanted to run away. One colleague mentioned that they’d provided NRS as a resource for a young person.
I researched what it is that NRS did exactly and thought that it sounded like a great fit for me. Young people deserve to have a place to call and make a plan or get resources, if life at home was making them want to leave. I’ve been very fortunate in my life and NRS felt like a great place to volunteer to give back in a meaningful way.
NRS: What keeps you coming back to volunteer week after week?
Rachel: First of all, since I first started with NRS, I’ve moved to the burbs and I’m a bit further away from the office than I used to be. The convenience of working from home really appealed to me. It makes it so much easier to be to just hop online for a shift. I do really miss coming to the office and socializing with other volunteers, but now that there’s a commute it is appealing to have the option.
Otherwise, of course, the message of NRS and the mission statement make me want to stick with it. Also, NRS only asks for a 2 hour a week commitment. That initially appealed to me and continues to keep me coming back. It’s a very manageable time to volunteer.
NRS: Give us a fun fact about you that you don’t think someone would be able to guess just by meeting you.
Rachel: I’m really into TV & Movies! Not just recent ones, but the classics. I’ve written little reviews for my friends to use when I’m making recommendations. But I haven’t yet committed to starting a blog!
NRS: What would you say to someone who was thinking of volunteering for NRS?
Rachel: It’s a great step forward and you should take the initiative! It’s very commendable to want to do it. Even though the training seems long, it is so worth it! When I joined, I had no idea how I was going to be able to do it. I really didn’t think I could keep up with it all. The training taught me how and there’s such a great support system in place if you’re confused or stuck. You’re never alone! It’s a real community and I’m so grateful for it. It’s fun, rewarding, and a learning experience. You learn so much about yourself, others, and the world as a whole.
Thank you so much Rachel for your amazing, dedicated service. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer like Rachel, click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Our volunteers allow us to provide 24/7, free, confidential services to young people and their families. We couldn’t do what we do without them!