“As a crisis hotline counselor, I gained the experience to define 2-1-1 in my own words. 2-1-1 is a listening ear, a comforter, an empowerer; 2-1-1 is a support system. This inspired my interest in exploring the inner workings of mental health by pursuing a masters degree in mental health counseling and ultimately becoming a clinical psychologist.”
- Geraldine D., Former Volunteer Counselor
“2-1-1 Big Bend offered a wonderfully eye opening experience. It’s great to know there are resources available for the community and it was satisfying for me to be able to provide referrals to such services.”
- Joi R., Former Volunteer Counselor
“This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never forget my time at 2-1-1 Big Bend changing and influencing callers’ lives. I am so grateful I got to be a volunteer with such a dynamic and engaging organization.”
- Sara F., Former Volunteer Counselor
“I’ve loved my time with 2-1-1 Big Bend. When I really needed help, my supervisors worked with me. I’ve learned so much that can be applied to the rest of my life. Supervising trainees was challenging, but helping someone else through that process was rewarding.”
- Katie L., Former Volunteer Counselor
“Volunteering has helped me grow, not only as a person, but professionally as a social worker. I am more knowledgeable about the types of services available to people in need and I am more competent in dealing with people in crisis. 2-1-1 Big Bend does so much for the community and I am so glad I got to be a part of it”
- Demi M., Former Volunteer Hotline Crisis Counselor
Hear from more from our volunteers on our testimonials page.
Make a real difference in people's lives?
Join a team of staff and volunteers who value all people, regardless of their situation in life?
Boost your professional repertoire by increasing your awareness of social services, ability to manage multiple tasks, as well as interviewing and documentation skills?
Assist the agency in one of the following categories: Administration, Information & Referral, Public Relations, Special Events, Speaker's Bureau.
Have another interest? Let us know and we can see what we can do.
1) Schedule an interview with our Coordinator of Volunteers
2) Bring your completed application to your interview
Volunteer Hotline Counselors
Provide free, short-term crisis counseling and referrals for Helpline 2-1-1 and Lifeline, and can receive additional training to answer the HIV/AIDS Hotline and Family Health Line.
Training is offered three times each year, typically beginning in January, May, and September.
1) Complete your application prior to an information session
2) If accepted, you will join our training class!
2-1-1 Big Bend relies on the support of dedicated volunteers to keep our hotlines fully staffed. We are proud to have one of the most comprehensive hotline counselor training programs in the nation.
Summer 2020 Information & Interview Sessions
• Make a difference in people's lives, one call at a time
• Personal growth, improved interpersonal skills
• A greater understanding of self & the experiences of others
• Meaningful relationships & networking opportunities
• A supportive environment of staff & volunteers
Professional & Academic Rewards
• Internship, work-study, & course credit upon approval
• Experience providing direct service assisting with a variety of needs and concerns
• Extensive awareness about community resources and services
• Opportunities for paid employment
• Letters of recommendation from supervisory staff upon completing the 200-hour commitment
Training to answer a hotline can be intense and demanding, but the 2-1-1 Big Bend team is here to support and work alongside you!
Where would I be training and volunteering?
2-1-1 Big Bend operates out of a confidential location for the safety of our counselors and the confidential information we interact with. If you are accepted to attend training, you will sign a Confidentiality Agreement and be provided the address.
Do I need prior experience?Nope! Work or volunteer experience is helpful, but not necessary. We look for individuals who display empathy, a willingness to learn, resourcefulness, and non-judgmental attitudes.
Do you interview prospective volunteer trainees?
Yes, this helps us get a feel for someone's attitudes and motivations related to telephone counseling and helping people in need. You will be also asked to provide contact information for three personal and/or professional references.
Who are your volunteers?
A diverse group of adults (18+) living in the Tallahassee area, representing a range of occupations, interests, and backgrounds. A significant number are students training to enter human service professions. We also make a special effort to recruit bilingual individuals who can talk directly with native Haitian-Creole or Spanish speakers.
How often will I be expected to volunteer?
18+ hours per month with a flexible schedule.
Coordinator of Volunteers
Phone (850) 617-6309
Fax (850) 561-3443