Connie Gruber has been a volunteer with CONTACT Helpline for 35 plus years. She tried to retire from the Helpline, but that didn’t last!

In 1985, she began as a volunteer Helpline specialist, answering calls from community members looking for help or someone to talk with.

To remain a CONTACT volunteer takes empathy, fortitude, and flexibility, which Gruber has in spades! Gruber has provided over 4,000 hours of volunteer service.

Throughout the years, Gruber has served in many different roles in the organization. She served as president of the board of directors, chaired the volunteer committee, joined the volunteer training program team to teach volunteers active listening, and assumed two of the most challenging volunteer roles: scheduling phone coverage and supporting other Helpline specialists.

As a scheduler, Gruber was responsible for keeping the phones answered 24/7. She monitored the monthly signup sheets. When there were holes in the schedule, as there often were, she called or emailed volunteers to kindly request they take an extra shift.

As the support worker for volunteers, responsibilities included calling other volunteers to remind them of their upcoming shifts and being available during their shifts if they needed someone to talk through a difficult call.

Her experience and compassion helped many other volunteers. Gruber received the Spirit of CONTACT Award from the National CONTACT USA for her work and dedication.

Gruber has always been an enthusiastic participant in CONTACT Helpline social and fundraising events. Over time, with changes in society and technology, Gruber has learned new skills along the way.

To this day, Gruber frequently answers the 24-hour listening, housing, health, and human service information hotlines and spreads her caring and positive outlook among staff and volunteers.

Gruber continues to show her dedication to the well-being of CONTACT’s family of volunteers.

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