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Agency Spotlight: Contact-Concern seeks volunteers

Staff Report • Jul 27, 2012 at 5:32 AM

About the Agency: Contact-Concern is a telephone helpline staffed by trained volunteers providing information & referral for health and human services, a listening ear to distressed callers, crisis intervention, & daily reassurance calls. Our volunteers are trained to listen to your problems, whatever their source.

Our volunteers receive crisis calls and make referrals to health and human service agencies. We listen to the world one person at a time. Call us at 246-2273 or 2-1-1 in Sullivan, Hawkins and Johnson Counties. All calls are free and confidential. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive telephone helpline information and referral service for those in need.

We also have a reassurance service. Our volunteers call our elderly friends who choose to live alone 365 days a year. We will help them if a problem exists and follow up if the person does not answer. Call 2-1-1 or 423-246-2273 to enroll your senior today.

Do you need information and feel you have nowhere to turn? Volunteers at Contact-Concern of Northeast Tennessee are trained to meet the needs of those who require information and referral to health and human services agencies. Committed to confidentiality, volunteers listen 15 hours a day, 365 days a year to people who are calling for a variety of reasons such as abuse situations, loneliness, depression, needing temporary financial assistance, requiring medical direction or support group information. If needed, callers may receive crisis intervention or a daily reassurance call. Last year, volunteers processed 19,000 plus calls at Contact-Concern. Contact also provides the answering services for a domestic violence shelter. All it takes to receive assistance from Contact-Concern is to dial 211.

Funding is provided by United Way and by direct community support. With additional resources, Contact could provide more up-to-date information on service agencies and/or provide paid telephone workers to fill in the gap caused by the competitive or aging volunteer pool.

Volunteer Needs: We need telephone workers. Desperately. Some of our best ones have resigned due to age (over 80) or illness, or two or three have moved including one who was both a board member AND a Helpline Volunteer. We need at least 20. We were down 10 at the first of the year and down another 10 since. We also need as much advertising as possible. People still don’t know that 2-1-1 exists… We serve all the population and had over 3,100 calls last year for the basic necessities: food, clothing, housing (many utility cut-offs) and transportation. We also need board members committed to the above mission.

Agency Wish List: Materially, we are in pretty good shape. We are in a new facility. We could use a new fax machine.

Contact Information: D. Lynn Sorrell, Executive DirectorContact-Concern of NE TN, Inc.P. O. Box 3336Kingsport, TN 37660Phone: 423-246-2273 or 423-247-7761 or 2-1-1

Email: contactconcern@chartertn.net

Website: www.contactconcern.org 

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