This year’s events remind us the unexpected and unthinkable can happen at any time.  Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone touched by tragedy.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, the devastating wildfires caused untold destruction and loss of life.  They’ve left many feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Where would you turn in a time of crisis for support?  Who listens to your fears?

We do.  Our Crisis Center volunteers are here to help and to listen, just as they have since we first opened in 1963.  That’s why your support is more critical than ever.   Please consider a gift this year.

In addition to crisis intervention, we provide grief support and our 2-1-1 line which helps people make timely connections to safety-new resources.  And to support the safety net, we recently added Share the Spirit and Corporate Volunteer Week.  Donors like you make this possible, alongside our dedicated board, volunteers and staff.  Together we create a safety net for anyone in need, whatever their income, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or citizenship status. 

As the Crisis & 211 Call Center Manager, Lesley Garcia, shares Steve’s enthusiasm.

Initially volunteering on the suicide prevention hotline, she soon joined the staff, right after finishing her BA in psychology.  She said, “In my teens, I lost a family member to suicide and wanted to learn how to help other people.  Volunteering was so fulfilling.  To hear and learn from peoples’s stories and provide support.”

She left to continue her education and pursue a Masters in Counseling, then worked in the Oakland Diocese as a counselor for 9 years.  A position opened at the Crisis Center just when she wanted a change.  She smiled and added, “Some of the same staff were still here.  It felt like coming home.”

She continued, “I am impressed with the diversity and experience of the call center volunteers – from such varied backgrounds and aged 21 to 70!  I’ve learned so much from them and gained a rich perspective on life.  I love getting up and going to work each morning.  It’s a life-changing experience.  I can’t change the world, but I can change a lot of little worlds.”

Our trained volunteers, dedicated staff and generous donors, like you, keep our work alive so we can be here when needed.  In 2017, we’ve received 23,738 calls on the 2-1-1 line from people seeking basic assistance or shelter.  Our crisis lines received 20,626 crisis intervention calls.

Please give generously.  Your donations shares light and hope with the lives of so many.  On behalf of the Crisis Center volunteers, board, and staff, I thank you for your support.

 

Sincerely,

Mary Vradelis, Interim Executive Director