“Everybody can be great because everyone can serve.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Martin Luther King, Jr., National Day of Service (MLK Day), we celebrate the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy as a day of service, encouraging all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. During the last quarter-century, MLK Day has grown as more Americans are encouraged to provide meaningful change. This is an opportunity for all of us to unite in service to help our communities prosper and thrive.
This year, let’s make a New Year’s resolution to provide service with empathy and compassion, which can empower individuals and strengthen our communities. Volunteering can be as big or small a commitment as time allows, but it’s always time worth spending. Not only are you lending a hand to those in need, you’re guaranteed to feel good about it, too.
At Crisis Text Line, we have trained over 55,000 volunteers in the US and approximately 6,000 of those volunteers are active on a monthly basis. Our volunteers work remotely—saving lives from the comfort of their homes; supporting people in need at any time, anywhere. Every day, at Crisis Text Line, we see strangers helping strangers with each side confidential. One side with the courage to ask for mental health support met by our volunteers with the empathy to listen and respond. It’s interesting to note that the majority of our volunteer Crisis Counselors are young and diverse which generally reflects the people who use the service. Over half (56%) are GenZers and over 30% are Millennials. So how amazing is that– peers helping peers/teens helping teens. It’s no wonder that the impact of our volunteer community truly makes a difference in the lives of people in emotional distress.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with one of our amazing volunteers. Here she explains how volunteering at Crisis Text Line has impacted her life.
Meet Sidney D’Amaddio– A Crisis Text Line Volunteer Crisis Counselor and Campus Advocate
How did you first get involved with Crisis Text Line?
I started as a volunteer Crisis Counselor about six months ago. I know people who have been involved with Crisis Text Line as crisis counselors and texters, and both speak very highly of the services they are able to provide and receive. I wanted to volunteer at an organization where I could produce an immediate impact while maintaining a flexible schedule to make sure I would be able to keep up with my studies and have time to myself. I was very excited to apply and be accepted as a crisis counselor, and am so thankful for Crisis Text Line for enabling me to impact the lives of real people in a positive way.
As a volunteer, you are making a difference in the lives of individuals in emotional distress– how does this make you feel?
Volunteering at Crisis Text Line has opened my eyes to the many unique struggles that many people cope with, and has helped me appreciate the beauty in the messiness of being human. Everyone has their own unique challenges, though I have learned that a life well lived is not one free of challenges, but rather, quite the opposite. I have been profoundly moved by each person I have come into contact with as a Crisis Text Line volunteer, which has helped me to come to terms with my own battles. I look forward to continuing to help others see their own barriers as less daunting.
Why do you feel it is important to give back to your community, especially as a college student?
As a college student, I rely heavily on my community for assistance–ranging from emotional to academic support, even though reaching out when you need help is not always easy. College is hard, and many of us prefer to deal with our struggles behind closed doors, relying on services like Crisis Text Line to find support. As a Campus Advocate, I am honored to be able to bring awareness about Crisis Text Line to others on my campus. I want to make sure no one ever feels alone, and volunteering at Crisis Text Line has proven itself to be a way that I can reach others in need.
Just like Sydney, Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the power of service. On MLK Day and beyond, let’s start this year with a commitment to making our community a better place by helping people in need with empathy and compassion. Together, we can make a difference. No need to wait–you can become one of our amazing volunteer Crisis Counselors today!
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”–– Martin Luther King, Jr.