“After escaping to a women’s shelter, a necessary divorce, and receiving professional diagnosis of my son’s disabilities, the best journey for us seemed my becoming a college student. Although I assumed there would be difficult times ahead, I had no idea of the level of suffering social isolation would add to my life. Without CONTACT Care Line in place to ease the suffering, my life, and the lives of those around me would have been at the least, more difficult. Thank you for being there for me.
CONTACT Care Line was a vital link in my support system while attending Maryville College. The social support CONTACT provided during the journey through college was essential. According to the statistics, as single mom, I had less than a 10% likelihood of graduating. Social isolation is a significantly difficult stressor. Thanks to CONTACT ’s volunteers, I graduated this spring. They were there to listen with compassion, kindness, and even sometimes, prayers. They dispelled the social isolation so devastating to a mom in college. Listening, helped me move from despair, and isolation to action and choice. It seems that just being there, on the phone, to listen, not fixing me, not condemning me, and not telling me what to do (although sometimes I did ask), let me learn to trust myself, and make good difficult choices for myself and my son.”
“My time at CONTACT Care Line has taught me how to actively listen, to be patient and to give my full attention to every situation…I am extremely grateful for the tools CONTACT has given me—tools that have not only helped me respond to callers, but tools that have changed my life. During my time here, I have learned more valuable lessons and gained more experience than I have in any classroom or job position. Rather than rushing through life by multitasking or turning the focus of conversations to myself, I now give my attention to the present moment. When people ask me about CONTACT, I tell them that it not only changes the lives of the callers, but the lives of the volunteers, as well. Although our patience is tested more on some days than others, I leave each shift knowing that I have somehow made a caller’s day better. On behalf of the University of Tennessee’s psychology students who have had the opportunity to work with CONTACT, thank you for teaching us how to take a step back from our hectic lives and go back to the basics of listening.”