Wendy Martin

April 2018 - Portland, OR

Mrs. Martin is a volunteer at Lines for Life, a crisis and suicide prevention call in center.  She spent years as a stay at home mom, but was called to serve following the death of her son and when her other children were grown.

Wendi Martin joined Lines For Life in August of 2015 after losing her 18 year old son, Cole, to suicide in December of 2014. Wendi interviewed to join our volunteer pool of crisis call-takers, but due to her recent loss, we asked that she spend some time working on our resources and database before going through the crisis line training. Wendi single-handedly completed verifying our entire database - a job that ordinarily has to be spread amongst staff and current volunteers every year.

Wendi completed our 60 hours of training to be ready to take calls on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The National Veterans Crisis Line, The Oregon Drug & Alcohol Helpline, The Youthline, and The Military Helpline. Wendi has currently served as a volunteer here for 608.8 hours in 146 shifts. This greatly exceeds the commitment we require of 200 hours. I have had the privilege of listening to the majority of Wendi's calls, as she spends time connecting with her callers, building a strong rapport, and working with folks to help them choose life. She works to connect her callers with community resources and creates strong safety plans for her high-risk callers. She is an amazing person and an incredible volunteer. She is a quiet and kind person who does not demand attention or praise for a job well-done.

Wendi has superseded all expectations of volunteer commitment, particularly considering the loss that she has experienced. She greets others with a smile and a kind word during all of her shifts here. She is reliably here, every Wednesday morning by 7:00 A.M. - one of our more difficult-to-fill shifts - and always provides her callers with empathy, acceptance, and hope. She is truly an amazing person.

During her time here, she finished her undergraduate degree in social work and is now awaiting entry into a graduate social work program.  Wendi was previously a volunteer in senior care at OHSU, although her volunteer work has not turned into a part-time paid position.  Wendy is married and has two additional daughter in college.  Previously, Wendi was a SAHM while her kids were growing up.

We have all been blessed by Wendi's presence here at Lines for Life and cannot begin to imagine how many lives she has touched while taking calls on these crisis lines. Thank you for considering her for the Silent Servant Award.

About Lines for Life:

Our 24-hour crisis lines offer help and hope to individuals and their loved ones when in crisis or when needing confidential help for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, thoughts of suicide, and other mental health issues. Our staff and volunteer crisis intervention specialists are highly-trained and help thousands of individuals each year. While available to anyone in need, our services include targeted support for those struggling with addiction and recovery, military service members, veterans, youth, and their families.

To learn more, visit:
https://www.linesforlife.org/