Just finished my first all-nighter with the hotline phone from the Shelter and I didn't sleep a wink. No the phone didn't ring, which is a good thing, but just the thought that it might kept me from dropping off into blissful rest. Although it is normal, I didn't think I would act this way. Answering the phone at the Shelter is completely different than having it next to your bed. I asked my husband to come get me should it ring while I was in the shower and he quickly responded, "take in there with you!" I had to laugh cause he was feeling the same way I was, nervous that it should ring and be an emergency. Now don't get me wrong, I have all the training, know all the rules, have all the contact numbers and reference materials in a big back pack that comes with the phone, but I just couldn't help the feeling of its presence, looming over my shoulder, ready to jump. I actually found myself chanting to it, "please don't ring...please don't ring," and felt like a wimp for doing so. Thankfully, the Soup Supper fund raiser was this evening and I was able to bring it along, hidden safely in my coat pocket. A great sense of comfort came over me being surrounded by all the volunteers, staff and board of directors who were working the event and I finally relaxed. Our volunteer coordinator approached me immediately to ask if I was alright, knowing it was my first overnighter, and I gushed out all of my fears even though there had been no calls. What a great system, I thought, that everyone listens and cares so attentively...and no one thought I was a wimp! I learned alot about my community and felt I belonged.
Peace and blessings to all... And go volunteer. Cause even if the phone doesn't ring, and you weren't able to place someone in a safe house or offer some kind of help, you'll be surprised at what YOU get out of it.