CONTACT We Care, Inc., a 24-hour caring and crisis hotline, will begin a comprehensive 12 week volunteer training class with an orientation session on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey office, 201 E. Grove Street in Westfield. The class will meet weekly until December 14th. Pre-registration is required.

Experts in active listening, grief recovery, mental health issues, spirituality, and suicide prevention will join with CONTACT’s professional staff to conduct the training.

“Our Governor’s Award recognizes CONTACT’s commitment to providing an enriched, rewarding volunteer opportunity,” said Melanie Lester, interim executive director. “We also offer volunteers the opportunity to work directly with individuals in need. To be able to have this one-on-one direct connection is a unique and rewarding volunteer opportunity."

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CONTACT’s training is designed to prepare prospective volunteers for the wide variety of needs and situations they will encounter on the phone line,” said Sue Fasano, CONTACT’s training director. “The highly interactive training includes numerous practice sessions to prepare the volunteers,” she said.

“We have been told time and again how valuable CONTACT’s volunteer training is,” said Lester. “The active listening skills people learn help them in all areas of their lives – not just on the hotline.”

There is a $50 fee to cover the cost of training materials.

For more information on becoming a CONTACT We Care volunteer and making a difference in people’s lives by listening actively, call 1-908-301-1899 or visit the organization’s website at