Nonprofit Spotlight: How Crisis Text Line Celebrates Their Volunteers

Guest post by Ashley Womble.

If it were up to us, every month would be National Volunteer Month. Volunteers are integral to the work we do at Crisis Text Line. We literally couldn’t do our job of running the country’s first-ever national crisis textline without them. If you’ve been thinking of becoming a Crisis Counselor, we hope this list inspires you to become one of our empathy MVPs.

  1. We invest in you. Each volunteer is enrolled in a 30-hour online training program and assigned a coach who teaches you effective communication techniques such as active listening, risk assessment and collaborative problem-solving.

  2. After all that training, we give you an official title: Crisis Counselor. You can add it to your resume and get a certificate when you complete 200 hours.

  3. You can wear your jammies. Seriously. All of our Crisis Counselors work remotely which makes it an excellent gig for people with busy schedules who still want to give back.

  4. Bragging rights: Since we launched in 2013, Crisis Text Line has processed more than 100 million messages. How’s that for making an impact?

  5. Awesome perks. After you’ve handled a certain number of conversations, you level up and become eligible for some great extras including a membership to Headspace, a Best Buy gift card and even a trip to Disney!

  6. Ageism isn’t a thing with us. Our oldest Crisis Counselor is 84 years old.

  7. We love to hire Crisis Counselors. Forty percent of our current full-time staff started out as Crisis Counselors. Did we mention that we’re hiring?

  8. Community is important to us. That’s why we created a Mighty Network forum just for our Crisis Counselors. The most popular threads are self-care tips and photos of pets.

  9. We have Crisis Counselors all over the country and coordinate meet-ups so you can connect in real life. One Crisis Counselor says we’re responsible for her engagement.

  10. All the feels. At the end of every conversation, texters have an opportunity to share feedback, which we pass along to the Crisis Counselor. It’s an incredible feeling to know that your words actually helped someone when it mattered the most.

We’ve trained almost 20,000 Crisis Counselors! Ready to join? Learn more about how to become an empathy MVP with us.

Author bio: Ashley Womble, MPH is the Head of Communications and a Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Line.