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I love my new volunteer gig!

Visiting the UCI Trauma Center with the training class.

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this. I’ve been busier than usual lately! I am finishing up writing Talk to Me, I’m Grieving - Supportive Ways to Help Someone Through Grief and I became a TIP volunteer.

TIP stands for Trauma Intervention Program. I signed up for training years ago, but the timing wasn't right. It was when Keven’s substance use was escalating, and I couldn't make the commitment.

Fast forward to August 11, 2020 - the day Keven’s life ended. A TIP volunteer was sent to my home, and I experienced “emotional first aid” firsthand.

Tip was founded in1989 by Wayne Fortin as a non-profit to support people in crisis, like after traumatic events or unexpected deaths. First responders call us to scenes so people don't have to be alone after a death or tragedy.

When I tell people I’m doing this, I get some funny looks and comments, most commonly “why would you do that to yourself after what you’ve been through?”

In response, I say, “I’m not doing it for myself, I’m doing it for others.” People that know me well say, “You were made to do this.” Honestly, I am doing it for myself because it’s been very rewarding so far and I’ve only just begun.

Grief affects us all differently, and my primary way to deal with it has been helping as many people as possible. My new book will hopefully do that, and I know I've made a difference in my volunteer work with TIP. I've been on three calls so far. I was honored to be there for each of them.

TIPs services made a tremendous difference to me on the worst day of my life. She didn't "do much,", but her presence there comforted me and validated my horrific experience. I also learned what a “second injury is” in my training and realized that I received one that day! (do you want to know what a second injury is? Let me know).

The TIP training was… intense! But so good. I learned a lot and a lot of what I already knew was confirmed to be the best way to handle “giving emotional first aid”.

We’re always looking for volunteers and you have 6 months to think about it until our next training.

Unfortunately TIP is not in every city, but you can find out if it’s near you by checking their website which also has excellent resources. For my local friends, it’s in almost every city here.

My once weekly newsletter and blog post will now be more like once a month or so. If you’re not signed up, please do!

Drop me an email or message and let me know what’s going on in your life. I would LOVE to hear from you!

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