Chatty extrovert seeks hotline volunteering opportunities
May 30, 2019 2:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm an extrovert who loves chatting with people. Are there hotlines I could volunteer with that focus on providing conversation and a friendly ear to people who need it? (More low-key than crisis/triage hotlines)

This MeFi post about suicide in Wyoming got me thinking about this again.

I love small talk and shooting the shit and listening to people. I love how it helps people, and I get energized from it myself when I do it. I want to find ways I can use this to help others (but without a huge life change, like changing careers to be a counselor).

I did a little searching and found The Friendship Line and The CONTACT Helpline. I'm interested in what else is out there like this. I'm not very interested in crisis hotlines like the Samaritans. I'm looking for something more low-key.

My parameters:
- Greater Boston area or remote volunteering from home preferred
- Evenings/nights/weekends preferred (I work an office day job)
posted by cadge to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Check out 7 Cups of Tea to see if it works. Warning: I know someone who did and they needed to have really good boudaries about cutting off conversations that were going in an inappropriate direction.
posted by metahawk at 3:06 PM on May 30, 2019

There are sites for people who are studying a language to talk with others in that language. You don't have to be a teacher, just a native speaker. Italki is the one whose name I remember offhand, but there are a bunch and there are probably IRL places in Boston for EFL students. The library might be able to refer you. (Actually they might know of other types of programs as well.)

Another thought is volunteering at a hospital or nursing home, where a lot of people could use the company.
posted by trig at 6:35 AM on May 31, 2019

I volunteered at a children's hospital for a little while and a lot of it was really just chatting to the kids. It was pretty fun and the kids tend to be in good spirits in spite of their medical troubles.

I was also part of this program at my local uni where we came to ESL classes and hung out with the students. Sometimes we'll do things like play Frisbee, often we're just in class. It's like an IRL version of the program trig talks about - it's an opportunity for ESL students to practice their skills in a very casual fashion.

Hell, look up anything to do with international students, that should give you a few leads.
posted by divabat at 12:25 AM on June 3, 2019

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