CONTACT Altoona is a person-centered telephone helpline whose mission is to respond to the needs of callers by active, reflective listening and, when appropriate, to make referrals to needed services. Since 1982, CONTACT Altoona’s Reassurance Program and Telephone Helpline service has been staffed by selfless, trained volunteers that make its mission possible.
John Hoover, who has been a CONTACT Altoona volunteer since April 2020, was inspired to become a volunteer after learning about the program and its benefits. “After learning about what the program was about and knowing someone who would have benefitted from this service but wasn’t aware of it, I thought it would be a great fit for me to be useful and serve my community.” John’s favorite part? “Connecting with people and being able to help those struggling by providing support and advising them when needed.”
A new CONTACT Altoona volunteer, Sue Bryan, began her volunteer journey with the program in February 2021, even though she had always wanted to join the organization. “Years ago, a colleague talked about volunteering for CONTACT Altoona. She described what she and how good it felt about helping others,” Sue explained. “However, at the time, I was a single mother with three small children and I was unable to help, but I always said I would join this organization someday.”
And that, she did! So far, Sue is enjoying her time with CONTACT Altoona. “I like interacting with and helping people and hoping to make their life a little brighter,” she shared. “I have been very blessed in my life and have a very positive attitude, and I hope some of my positivity can be shared to others through conversation.”
The volunteers at CONTACT Altoona are of all ages, education level, and skills that successfully complete the free, required training to become a volunteer, and enjoy the flexibility of working from home and choosing their own schedule. Most of all, they enjoy the feelings of fulfillment from assisting those who need help the most.
Future, in-person, volunteer training seminars are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday on September 27th and 28th; October 4th and 5th; and October 11th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the CONTACT Altoona office. If you are interested in becoming a CONTACT Altoona volunteer, visit www.contactaltoona.com or call (814) 946-0531 today to learn more.