Christmas came early for the Vernon Crisis Line.
The support service for people in need was given a $50,000 anonymous donation to help keep it operating.
Cassandra Schwarz, community engagement and fund development officer from the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Vernon branch says it was much appreciated.
“It was an extraordinary gift at just the right time. It really gives us the ability to ensure we always have somebody who is on the line able to answer every call that comes in,” Schwarz tells Kiss FM.
“In the last 6 years, the calls to the Crisis Line have doubled, yet our volunteer numbers are on the decline. This has posed a significant budget challenge with more staff working on the phones to ensure no call goes unanswered,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Executive Director. “Due to the astonishing generosity this anonymous donor we can continue to offer this essential service, and there is time for increased volunteer recruitment, as well as adjustments to our funding levels to accommodate the need for both staff and volunteers to answer Crisis Line calls.”
Schwarz says they are now trying to sign up more volunteers to answer the phones.
“This is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities we have in the community. You get to help people every day that you’re volunteering. That direct communication is such a great experience.”
The service had over 5,500 calls last year.
Volunteers are asked to visit peopleinnneed.ca for more information….or call 250-545-8074.
The Vernon Crisis Line has been operating since 1975.