One of the unsung heroes of Miami. As a volunteer of an undeserved community, Switchboard opened it's doors and its heart to a cause I felt deeply about ... Suicide in the gay community. It's staff and volunteers embraced the need and developed a 24/7 helpline reaching out to the individuals, families and friends. It's this spirit, devotion and love for the entire community that has motivated Switchboard of Miami to create over 10 specialty hotlines to help some of the neediest segments of our community, from a gang hotline, to a Seniors Never Alone program. They also answer the Miami-Dade 211 calls and a portion of the 1-800-Suicide National Hotline. Their out-reach into the community has touched thousands families in schools based and after school programs. As a direct result of their efforts, friends of mine are here with us today ... making and building our community! Fluent in English, Spanish and Creole staff and volunteers are ready 24/7 to help.
I was studying psychology in college when I became a volunteer for Switchboard of Miami. Six months later Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami and I realized how important the Helpline was to the city and the public. The line helped people find services and basic needs, was the only hope for so many individuals and became a major resource for the community. I grew so much during my time at Switchboard that I recommended it to my friends and coworkers. Thank you Switchboard of Miami!!!