THE CONNECTION HELPLINE’S Mission
The Mission of the Connection Helpline is to assist callers in Orange, Seminole, Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties to identify problems and connect with resources to solve their problems in a faith based, emotionally supportive way.
- We believe in the power of prayer to bring peace and healing to those in need
- We believe that with God, all things are possible.
- We believe that God is good and He loves to provide for all our needs, when we ask Him for help.
- We believe in treating each caller with respect, using a non-judgmental attitude
- We believe in serving our callers compassionately, while focusing on each individual’s needs
Benefits of volunteering
"Everybody can be great because everybody can serve."
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Perhaps the first and biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country. The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve. In addition, when we share our time and talents, we:
- Solve problems
- Strengthen communities
- Improve lives
- Connect to others
- Transform our own lives
Over the past two decades we have also seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. This research, which is presented by the Corporation in a report titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.
Job Title - Telephone Assistant
Purpose of Position:
The Telephone Assistant is responsible for responding to Connection Helpline calls during his or her assigned shift and for providing encouragement and referrals, when needed, to callers affected by a variety of personal problems.
Requirements of Position:
- Nonjudgmental Attitude
- Good Listening Skills-Will learn in training
- Ability to speak clearly
- Spiritually grounded in the Christian faith
- Must Complete the Helpline training
Training includes 9 hours of group instruction and 1-3 orientation shifts, in which the new trainee works one-on-one with a trainer. The orientation shifts are 4 to 4-1/2 hours in length. All materials and instruction are provided to the volunteer.
Volunteers may receive calls at their homes via a forwarding system during their shifts. The privacy of the helpline volunteers is guarded and callers cannot obtain phone numbers for any of volunteers.
Shifts are 4 to 4 1/2 hours in duration. Most volunteers cover one shift per week, or bi-weekly. The hours for each shift are 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. It is possible for two volunteers to split a shift, if needed.
- Provide Resources
- Provide emotional support or encouragement
- Pray for callers when needed
- Help provide intervention in emergency situations-with assistance of supervisors
- Fill out call sheets providing basic information for statistical purposes
Sample Training Program
The training for this position is subject to change. The following provides an example of a training program that may take place over 2 days of 4-1/2 hours each.
TRAINING – DAY 1
2:00pm-2:15pm The Connection Helpline Video & Confidentiality
2:15pm-2:45pm Introduction to Communication
2:45pm-3:00pm Personal Crisis & Attitudes
3:00pm-3:10pm Exercise #1
3:10pm-3:30pm “How Do You Feel?” and “Winners or Losers?”
3:45pm-4:15pm Personal Support Counseling & Steps in Good Listening
4:15pm-4:30pm Exercise #2
4:30pm-4:45pm Exercise #3
4:45pm-5:00pm Group Exercise #4
5:00pm-5:15pm Creative and Open-Ended Questions
5:15pm-5:30pm. Creative and Open-Ended Questions Exercise #5
5:30pm-5:45pm Stages of Counseling, Steps in Problem Solving, Helping to Set Goals
5:45pm-6:00pm Types of Counseling Responses, & Making Referrals
6:00pm-6:30pm Small Group Exercise #7
TRAINING – DAY 2
2:00pm-2:15pm Exercise #8
2:15pm-2:30pm How to Fill Out a Call Sheet
2:30pm-3:00pm Case Study: “The Rent’s due” (Call Sheet Exercise)
3:00pm-4:00pm Reason to Live - Suicide Prevention & Emotional CPR
4:00pm-4:15pm Small Group Exercise #9
4:30pm-5:00pm Sharing Your Faith
5:00pm-5:30pm Personal Behavior
5:30pm-5:45pm Small Group Exercise #10
5:45pm-6:15pm Helpline Policies and Procedures
6:15pm-6:30pm Q & A, Scheduling of Orientation Shifts
Becoming a Volunteer
If you would like to become a volunteer please fill out and submit the following form. We request a $20 tax deductible registration donation to cover the cost of a book and a training manual.
There are 2 steps to registration. Step #1, fill out the form and click on the Submit button. Step #2 will direct you to registratoin payment either by check, PayPal, or using a credit card. If you have questions about becoming a volunteer for The Connection Helpline, please contact us at one of our helpline numbers.
- Step #1: Registration Information
- Click here to fill out the VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION form