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New Year… New Active, Helpful You

If one of your goals for 2010 is to become more active in your community, please consider becoming a volunteer for Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston. In FY09, 841 callers dialed the Switchboard for assistance, looking for anything from referrals to GLBT-friendly organizations and businesses, to help with serious concerns about sexuality, HIV, substance abuse, relationship problems, domestic violence, sexual assault and crisis intervention.

Community Projects Specialist Sally Huffer, who manages the Switchboard volunteers, says, “One of the most important services the Switchboard provides is to be an ear for the more isolated members of our community. Isolation may lead people to addictive behaviors, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Most callers just want someone to talk to, someone who will listen with an open mind, without prejudice or recrimination.” Switchboard volunteers are trained to listen supportively to callers, help them find their own solutions, and make referrals to service agencies if the help that is needed is beyond their scope of peer support. They are available for emergency crisis intervention 24 hours a day.

Volunteers needed! To become a Switchboard volunteer, we ask that you commit to volunteering for one three-hour shift per week for one year. After your training is complete, it is possible to satisfy your shift from the comfort of your own home. For more information about this and other volunteer opportunities, or to fill out a volunteer application, clickhere. Switchboard volunteer training happens only a few times a year, and the next training will be in February or March, so apply today!

Have you visited the newly designed Gay & Lesbian Switchboard website yet? You can help us expand the community directory on the Switchboard website. The GLBT Resource Directory lists GLBT-dedicated and -affirming service providers in the following categories: Arts/Cultural, Community/Events, Education/Advocacy, Health Care, HIV/AIDS Support, Mental Health/Substance Abuse, Religious/Spiritual, Senior Support, Social/Recreational, Support Services, and Youth Support. If you are the representative of a GLBT-affirming agency, please add/update your organization’s listing by clicking here.

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