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Contact Community Services, Syracuse, NY
Contact Community Services


Volunteer Quotes
Our volunteers reflect on the mental and emotional benefits of answering the Contact Hotline.


My full attention is so valuable to the callers.

"For me, my wellness, emotional and mental, is fed through volunteering on the hotline because I am centered and attentive to the callers and their needs. Sometimes I am spread thin at work or in my personal life-trying to multi-task. That won’t work on the hotline. It’s at least eight hours a month that I am reminded that my full attention is so valuable to the callers, and the focus is healthy for me. It also reminds me to carve out self-care time."
—Jackie


Volunteering at Contact helps me to keep life in perspective and try and look more at the positive.

"It’s a humbling experience when you connect with another person. Volunteering at Contact helps me to keep life in perspective and try and look more at the positive."
—Emelia


You get so much more...than you give.

"You get so much more from being on the phones than you give."
—Melissa


I want to be, and frankly, need to be, that gentle, calm, understanding voice for others in need.

"Eight years ago, my husband (now ex) announced he no longer wanted to be married. And with just that lack of forewarning or ceremony, he left that day...I fell into the depths of depression and confusion. The darkness and loneliness of nighttime was unbearable....the emptiness and quiet of Sunday afternoons was painful and frightening. My salvation became Contact, always there for me during my most difficult times. So now, eight years later, as I sit here, happy, content and loving my new single life and my beautiful sons, I want to be, and frankly, need to be, that gentle, calm, understanding voice for others in need. Thanks to you all for the opportunity."
—Sue


It reinforces my belief that we are all just humans and are muddling our way through life as best we can!

"I am always amazed that some of the people on the hotline calls echo various issues that I am currently dealing with or issues that have recently touched my life in some way. The situations and the intensities vary, but there are similar themes. It reinforces my belief that we are all just humans and are muddling our way through life as best we can!"
—Nancy


Makes me appreciate the many blessings in my life.

"For sure, answering the hotline makes me appreciate the many blessings in my life."
–Ed


To hear someone say, ‘Wow, I feel much better’ after talking is the greatest reward being a volunteer.

"Listening reflectively is a way for me to truly help others unselfishly by not letting my own ego-centered thoughts and opinions distract me from truly hearing another. It also allows me to give back what was given to me in my own personal struggles. To hear someone say, ‘Wow, I feel much better’ after talking is the greatest reward being a volunteer."
—Colby


The hotline gets me away from my own life issues and allows me to dive fully into another person’s needs.

"This has opened my eyes to the lives of others and has allowed me to see what I have in life and to not take anything for granted... I have always been the type of person to want to help others and when I get those phone calls that end in a ‘thank you’ or ‘you have helped me’ it makes me feel complete! I have a very busy schedule, and ‘free time’ is always slim to none in my world. The hotline gets me away from my own life issues and allows me to dive fully into another person’s needs, even if it is just lending an ear! My favorite volunteer quote is from Elizabeth Andrew: ‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.’
—Tammy


To be able to connect with other people, to learn about myself, to be in the company of such wonderful volunteers, to gain a sense of accomplishment, these are all the gifts that volunteering has given me and I am very grateful for all of them.

I truly think I get more out of volunteering than I ever put in and here are the reasons why.
  1. It takes me out of myself:
    I have my own problems and struggles and pain, and I don’t want to invalidate that, but hearing about other’s problems can give me a new perspective. Sometimes it’s about realizing that I am not alone in struggling with how you muddle through life. And other times, honestly, my problems pale in comparison to what a caller is facing. Or hearing about their struggles helps me appreciate the incredible support network I have.
  2. It provides me with a sense of pride and satisfaction:
    There is deep satisfaction in knowing I am able to connect and help someone else.
  3. It enriches my life: I talk to people on the phone lines who lead such different lives than I do, people with whom I would probably never come into contact. So volunteering widens my horizons and understanding.
  4. It has provided new friendships:
    I have forged a number of new friendships with other volunteers at Contact that are very meaningful for me and a lot of fun to boot.
  5. It gives me insight into myself:
    Because we need to be mindful of our own stuff to remain non-judgmental and keep our focus on the caller, being a volunteer has taught me a lot about myself. I have learned about the things that really tick me off, I have learned about the things that shut my compassion down...I have also learned what moves me and inspires me.
  6. It makes me grateful:
    To be able to connect with other people, to learn about myself, to be in the company of such wonderful volunteers, to gain a sense of accomplishment, these are all the gifts that volunteering has given me and I am very grateful for all of them.

—Leslie


It definitely boosts my spirits to volunteer...I feel very grateful for my blessings.

"It definitely boosts my spirits to volunteer. A couple of things happen—one, usually callers will say how grateful they are that someone is there to listen to them. When someone says, "That’s exactly how I feel!" when you reflect a feeling, it feels like I’ve hit the bull’s-eye. It’s very gratifying to know I’ve helped someone start to resolve a problem. Two, I’m often struck by how many people have no one in their lives who listens to them or cares about them, or they don’t have the skills to cope with life’s challenges. I might not have all the answers, but I know I have a stronger support system than they do and I feel very grateful for my blessings at the end of a shift. Sounds a little selfish I guess, but it’s the truth."
—Peggy


Visit our volunteer page for information about becoming a Contact Hotline volunteer.
Visit www.volunteercny.org for opportunities at other community agencies.

Phone: 315-251-1400  
Fax: 315-251-2218
contact@contactsyracuse.org


CONTACT COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC.
6311 Court Street Road
East Syracuse, NY 13057


Vehicle donation call 877-999-8322

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