A year ago, I attended a training academy for the Trauma Intervention Programs (TIP). The free training on emotional first aid was very thorough. All of my classmates came from such varied backgrounds, yet we all shared the common bond of wanting to help other citizens.
During my first TIP call, I quickly learned how important volunteers could be to distressed family members during the first few hours after a loved one's death. I spent six hours in the middle of the night at a hospital with a client whose husband had died in the trauma room. All she wanted was to say goodbye, but the situation did not allow that for several hours. So we waited, made phone calls, walked and talked a lot. Just being there for her meant so much.
The best part is when clients want to hug you as you're leaving. Then, a few weeks later, you read the client evaluations that say things like, "I don't know what I would have done without her." This is why I am a TIP volunteer.
I encourage others to learn more. TIP will be hosting a training academy Nov. 2-11. For information, and to register, call (559) 621-4009.