The NCBAM HOPE LINE – “for such a time as this”
By Whitney Brooks
NC Baptist Aging Ministry
If you’ve spent time around the NCBAM team, you’ve surely heard us say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s practically our unofficial slogan, and for good reason. God has shown over and over that he’s always a step ahead: positioning the ministry to respond to the needs of aging adults.
Along those lines, “It’s a God thing” is the only way to describe the timing of the One Hope outreach that provides a spiritual response to social isolation and loneliness among older North Carolinians. The NCBAM HOPE LINE, a toll-free “warm” line for callers experiencing isolation and loneliness, opened in June of 2019. Staff and volunteers were fully trained and experienced when just over the course of a few days in mid-March, calls to the Hope Line exponentially increased. When we begin planning One Hope in 2018, none of us could have imagined the events of March 2020. But God knew.
Demand for the Hope Line has continued to be great. We’ve added two lines and temporarily expanded hours to include weekends. The Hope Line (866.578.HOPE) is now available daily, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.
Hope Line staff and volunteers help create a sense of strength and grounding in times that feel uncertain. We are trained to skillfully listen and respond to callers. There is power and confirmation in being heard. It’s not our job to diminish a caller’s fear or ignore it. Rather, we acknowledge how they are feeling, knowing it can be incredibly comforting for callers to simply say these things out loud to someone who isn’t judging or trying to convince them otherwise. Callers who express fear or anxiety have a safe outlet where they can be heard. They also have someone ready and willing to pray with and for them.
If the mission of One Hope speaks to you, we invite you to join our outreach efforts as a volunteer. Our callers would love to hear your voice as you lend a compassionate ear in a time of need. Get in touch today!
Whitney Brooks, NBC-HWC and Healthy Aging Expert, works with individuals and groups as an integrative health coach. She developed and teaches the specialized training provided to NCBAM staff and Hope Line volunteers. Connect with Whitney at www.mswhitneybrooks.com