Want to Volunteer?
Call the Ear today!
We are always looking for volunteers
to join our staff. The Ear runs two or three training sessions
every year to teach prospective crisis counselors the necessary
In order to become a
volunteer, you must first attend an orientation (check the
upcoming orientation dates and locations ).
Orientations take about two hours, and include:
Filling out an
Learning more about
Participating in a
small group where you meet other potential volunteers as well as
current crisis counselors
Someone from the Ear (generally our
Recruitment and Orientation Director) will contact you to let you
know if your application was accepted. If so, the next step is
to complete the training program itself.
The Listening Ear's training program
has been called one of the most effective programs in the country
for teaching empathy, crisis intervention skills, and active
listening. Many volunteers describe training as the most
powerful life-changing experience they've ever been through.
The 65+ hour program, spread over two weekends, consists
Want to Volunteer?
Call the Ear today!
Orientation and Training Q&A
Question: What exactly is The Listening
Answer: The Listening Ear is Michiganís longest
running crisis intervention center. The all volunteer staff provides
free crisis counseling to telephone and walk in clients 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. Volunteers also offer sexual assault counseling
free of charge. All services offered are anonymous and confidential.
Question: What do I have to do to become a
Answer: New volunteers must first attend one
orientation session in order to learn more about The Listening Ear
and fill out an application. There is no need to sign up in advance
for an orientation session. After orientations are complete you will
receive a call to find out if you have been accepted into training.
If you are accepted, you must successfully complete the two-week
training program before you can begin answering calls.
Question: How long is training? Will it interfere
with my school or work schedule?
Answer: Training consists
of approximately 60 hours spread out over the course of two weeks.
All weekday training sessions are in the evenings (7PM) in order to
avoid most school and work conflicts. Weekend sessions run
throughout the day. New volunteers must attend every training
session in order to become a staff member.
What topics are covered in training?
Answer: Topics are
centered on the types of calls received at The Listening Ear. Skills
learned will revolve around helping with such issues as loneliness,
depression, suicide, sexuality, sexual orientation, sexually
transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, alcohol, drugs, and sexual assault.
Question: Once I become a staff member, how much time
must I devote to your organization?
Answer: The Listening
Ear asks volunteers to give one 4-hour shift per week to answer the
phones. This may seem like too much for some, but keep in mind that
on most shifts you are not constantly on the phone (although this
can happen). Many volunteers bring work to do while on shift, making
the four hour commitment much easier to fit into the week.
Question: I am especially interested in becoming
involved with your sexual assault counseling program. How do I do
: All sexual assault counselors
must first go through regular training and work at least 6 shifts
answering the phones before they are able to go through the
additional 40 hour sexual assault training program.
In case you are
wondering what it looks like inside the ear, here is a picture of
the phone room where all the calls are taken:
As with any organization, a great
deal of work is required to keep The Listening Ear
functioning. These responsibilities include word processing,
data entry, building maintenance, and many various office-related
tasks. The regular volunteers try to keep these duties under
control, but our primary responsibility is always to our
clients. As a result, we're always looking for those people
willing to help out by taking on non-crisis duties.
Non-crisis volunteers are not
required to attend any orientation or training sessions before
beginning their work, but they are bound by the same confidentiality
clause as any volunteer. Being an NCV is also a good way to
earn community service hours. If you've been thinking about
becoming a crisis volunteer but aren't sure yet, becoming an NCV is
a good way to get acquainted with the Ear.
To apply for a position as a
non-crisis volunteer, stop by the Ear or call the business line to
set up an appointment with our Office Manager.