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CRISIS LINE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO TAKE CALLS

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The Crisis Line of Utah County needs volunteers to answer phones and talk to people who call the Crisis Line.

Callers range from children, teens and adults who are lonely to those with suicidal thoughts. In addition to answering calls, volunteers will do light office work.Volunteers work one three-hour shift per week and one overnight shift per month. An eight-month volunteer commitment is preferred. However, individuals who cannot commit to the entire eight months are welcome. Individuals who wish to volunteer must be at least 18 years old or be a high school graduate.

Training is provided for each prospective volunteer. Kristie Lemmon, co-director of Crisis Line, said volunteers are trained in listening skills, how to answer various types of crisis calls, how to be empathetic and other skills to better assist callers.

Training sessions consist of one eight-hour session away from the phones and six hours on the phone while being assisted by a staff member. These training sessions are primarily given twice a year - once in September and once in January. However, smaller training sessions are given if enough individuals want to volunteer at other times during the year. The smaller training sessions consist of three hours of training away from the phones and eight hours on the phone while being assisted by a staff member.

The next training session is Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Gathering Place, 555 South State Street, Orem.

Other volunteer opportunities in Utah County include:

- Prepare an agency for painting. Volunteers are needed to help Alpine House clean, tape and do other needed preparation for painting the building. A group of 10 to 15 volunteers would be ideal for this project, which will take place Tuesday, Aug. 30.

- Serve a hot meal to the homeless. Help provide meals for less-fortunate individuals. Various volunteer shifts are available, Monday through Saturday.

- Help shelve and repair books at your local library. Also, help with children's story hour and adult outreach services. A four-month commitment is required. Weekly, four-hour shifts are available.

- Help brighten a patient's hospital stay. Volunteers can make a patient's day better by reading to him/her, singing, playing a musical instrument or simply talking with him/her. Hours vary.

For more information concerning these and other volunteer opportunities, please call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.