Would you like to help a newcomer to LifeRing find support and involvement?
LifeRing receives about 250 requests a year for an ePal -- a LifeRing member who can provide one-to-one support and information to a newcomer via email. This is NOT any sort of "sponsor." Instead, the ePal provides information about the nature of LifeRing and the possible ways to be involved. When someone requests an ePal, they fill out a brief form on the website and the request comes to me. Often the information they provide is extremely limited. I respond with some basic information about LifeRing's various support options and inform them that I'll find them an ePal. I then forward the request to the ePals email group so all our volunteers can receive it. The first one to offer to respond to the newcomer offering support and information about LifeRing resources they may benefit from gets the assignment.
With occasional exceptions these are very short term connections. In fact, a pretty high percentage of requesters don't even respond to the first email they're sent and if they do, many disappear soon thereafter. Often, they are very tentative in their approach to us, acting on a healthy, but short-lived, impulse. We try to move quickly to get them the support and information they need, but it's a frustrating task with a low success rate. This can take a toll on the volunteer's willingness to step-up and so we need to periodically increase our pool of volunteers.
I know long-term, stalwart members of LifeRing who point to their ePals as a decisive factor in their recovery. As is true for LifeRing itself, along with every other recovery organization, our success rate is dismal as a percentage of those who sample what we offer, but a LifeRing ePal can be the crucial first step for some people to turn their lives around..
The only requirement is about 6 months of abstinence. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help