December is a time when many of us are busy getting together with friends and colleagues and buying gifts to celebrate the holiday season. It is also the time that we celebrate and recognize the power and potential of volunteerism and thank those who give and create a community in a different but equally important way. Since 1985 the UN has celebrated International Volunteer Day (IVD) on December 5th. Thousands of volunteers worldwide participate in a range of activities from COVID support, clean-up campaigns, conferences, disaster support, and much more.
For TELL, IVD is about celebrating our volunteers both on the Lifeline, our board, and out in the community. At TELL we are incredibly proud of our volunteer Crisis Support Workers who even throughout the challenges of COVID-19 continually demonstrate their incredible generosity and commitment to others who are struggling. Throughout this entire year, they have ensured every shift has been covered, sharing hope and kindness with those who are feeling alone and lost every single day. This year 56 new volunteers became members of the Lifeline team undergoing months of intensive training and ongoing supervision bringing our volunteer numbers to 134. They have also allowed us to double up on over 100 chat shifts and offer both phone and chat support across 160 shifts helping us to reach more young people than ever.
Boards play a vital role in all NPOs helping to steer their vision and mission. All members of the TELL board are volunteers and key members of the community who generously donate their time, expertise, talents, and connections in support of TELL’s mission. In 2021, our board extended its membership to Akemi Suzuki, a Japanese attorney who is passionate about diversity, sustainability, and human rights issues. In September, the TELL board met to set the foundations for a five-year plan for the organization in which taking the Lifeline 24/7 was set as the top priority.
In addition to our Lifeline volunteers and board members, TELL would also like to thank the countless other volunteers who help with administrative support, checking resources, or helping with events, or promoting our services. We’d especially like to thank our volunteer coordinator, Aditi Parekh, who is herself a volunteer. On this day, we recognize and celebrate all the volunteers, their efforts, and achievements, without which TELL would not exist. With your continued support, we hope to achieve so much more in 2022 as we strive to provide a 24-hour English-speaking crisis support service in Japan. Everyone can help play a role in this goal: you can join our next Crisis Support worker training, help fundraise for us, Become a TELL hero or join one of our events and help raise awareness about mental health needs in our community. Let’s break down barriers and change lives.
Join TELL in celebrating ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, and helping us to make the world a better place. Thank you volunteers for making a difference and sharing hope and kindness to others.
Happy International Volunteer Day!