If you are in crisis or need someone to talk to, call Raft now at 540-961-8400.
Deana Stinson, Raft Manager
Phone: 540.961.8300, ext. 1033; Mobile: 540.750.5046 (non-emergencies)
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The Raft Crisis Hotline is a program of NRVCS (New River Valley Community Services) that offers free paraprofessional phone counseling services to the community.
Our volunteers provide suicide and crisis intervention, empathy and support, mental health and substance abuse information and referrals to the counties of Montgomery, Floyd, Giles, Pulaski and the City of Radford (including Virginia Tech and Radford University).
Raft is the only crisis hotline in Virginia affiliated with and located within a community service board, NRVCS. This provides Raft callers with continual access to professionals and trained volunteers, phone counseling, information and referrals – services not available through other community service boards.
Raft operates 4 p.m. – 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and 24 hours on the weekends. NRVCS Case Managers answer the phones during business hours and New Horizons, a residential crisis stabilization program, provides callers with services when volunteers are unavailable.
To learn more about how you can become a Raft volunteer, or make a contribution in support of the Hotline, please contact Deana at 540.961.8300 ext. 1033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteering with Raft: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteering with the Raft Crisis Hotline is a great opportunity to help the community while gaining valuable experience in mental health and substance abuse services. No prior experience is necessary as we provide all the training you will need to handle the variety of calls the hotline receives. Students may also be able to use Raft as an internship or field study.
Who operates Raft?
Raft is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers from both the community and local universities. Volunteers go through extensive training to provide the best help possible to our callers. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, complete a criminal background check, be willing to attend all mandatory meetings and trainings, agree to serve at least 8 months/2 semesters with Raft, and comply with all hotline policies and procedures. Once the training semester is complete, volunteers are expected to cover a two-hour set shift weekly and a combination of weekend and/or overnight shifts at any time throughout each semester. These requirements are subject to change periodically. Please let me know if you have questions about these requirements or need clarification.
Does Raft have different types of volunteer opportunities?
Raft also has volunteer opportunities in addition to answering the crisis phone line, these include: Fundraising including planning and implementation. Volunteer recruitment on campuses, community and internally for special events. Volunteer Appreciation such as creating, planning, tracking and maintaining incentives as well as event planning/ implementation and helping with Raft Room care. Volunteer training (this comes in your 2nd semester) includes Role Plays and training facilitation as well as continuing education planning. Lastly volunteers help with outreach and prevention, which includes representing Raft at community awareness events and at local venues (schools, churches etc).
What is the time commitment?
Once training is complete, which takes the majority of one semester, volunteers are expected to provide at least one other full semester of service and cover a two-hour set shift weekly. Volunteers can choose from a variety of shift packages, including weekend and overnight shifts, to provide adequate coverage for the hotline. Volunteers are also expected to attend a monthly volunteer meeting, and are encouraged to participate in outreach and fundraising events whenever possible. The average time commitment is about 4-5 hours a week.
Apply to become a Raft volunteer!
Download the application (Updated)