Guest post by Crisis Text Line’s Laurel Schwartz, MSW.
The holiday season asks a lot of us: gifts, end-of-year workloads, family commitments, and packed schedules. It’s also an important season for philanthropy and giving back. From dropping a coin in the jar next to Santa to giving time by volunteering at a nonprofit, there are so many ways to make a difference.
We know that everyone can make a difference with an internet connection and a few kind words. In just over six years we’ve processed over 130 million messages from people in crisis. Our secret sauce? All-star trained volunteers who lead with empathy and kindness. In the last six years, over 22,000 caring individuals have completed our 30-hour training coaching them on how to help move a texter from a hot moment to cool and calm.
The Crisis Counselors who power our platform help texters who are self-harming find healthy alternatives. They also help texters who are seriously in pain over a relationship remember that they deserve kindness. Sometimes even help people live authentically by offering a brave space for people to share the things they’ve never shared before. They do it all with kindness and empathy from the comfort of their own home and on their own time.
So, are you ready to help ease the pain in the world? Here’s how to get involved.
Head over to Crisisitextline.org and submit an application for Crisis Counselor training. PRO TIP: Make sure you select “Giving Time” in your application form.
Once you’ve been accepted into training, you’ll be matched with a Coach who will guide your one-stop shop for everything Crisis Text Line. They’ll answer all of your questions and provide feedback on your crisis counseling skills along the way.
After you graduate from training, you’ll be able to log onto the platform and take your first conversation with a texter in crisis! On the platform, supervisors will be there to guide you through hard conversations and lend a helping hand. Don’t worry, we’ve totally got your back. And, you can do this.
Give time this holiday season. Become one of 2,020 people who pledge to become an Empathy MVP next year and apply to become a Crisis Counselor
Author bio: Laurel is the Growth Marketing Manager at Crisis Text Line, where she strategizes and executes creative content to help people connect with a real human whenever they’re in crisis. She holds a Master’s of Social Work from Columbia University and is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her favorite talent she’s worked with was a very sleepy professional sloth.
Sonia creates content to help promote VolunteerMatch's mission of connecting good people with good causes. If you're interested in volunteering or running an effective volunteer program, you're in the right place! Head to VolunteerMatch.org to get started.