Crisis line volunteer, Mortaza, is no stranger to giving back to the community. Before joining Distress Centre in the summer of 2020, he already held a wide range of volunteer roles, including: youth soccer coach, patient ambassador and mealtime volunteer at the University of Alberta hospital, and classroom volunteer at an elementary school.
Mortaza was seeking a new volunteer opportunity after moving to Calgary in 2019, when a friend recommended Distress Centre because she had really enjoyed her own time as a crisis line volunteer.
Mortaza at Emerald Lake in the summer of 2020.
Crisis line volunteers provide confidential crisis support by phone, online chat and text, to anyone who contacts Distress Centre seeking help. Volunteers are truly the heart of our agency and we could not do the work we do without them.
“Volunteering with Distress Centre has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am so glad that I chose to pursue it,” Mortaza shared. But it’s Distress Centre that has truly benefited from having Mortaza volunteer on our crisis lines.
“Mortaza is the epitome of what volunteering should look like: he is driven, compassionate and so eager to help others in their time of need,” said Brenna, a mentor at DC.
Mortaza moved to Calgary to pursue a graduate degree in the field of immunology after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, majoring in psychology and minoring in biological sciences.
Mortaza says that volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic helped him manage the feelings of isolation most of us have struggled with.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly felt isolating, being a part of a larger volunteering family has gone a long way in lessening those feelings,” he said.
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He added that the Zoom meetings he attends with his volunteer mentors has been something to look forward to each month.
The feeling is mutual, Mortaza – our mentors look forward to seeing you too!
“Mortaza has been a blessing to have on our mentee team and as crisis line responder,” said Sarah, a mentor at DC. “He is so incredibly genuine and thoughtful about every interaction he has. He brings a warmth and light that invites others in and makes them feel seen and heard. Mortaza continues to expand the limits of what it means to be empathetic and humble.”
Mortaza said that the support Distress Centre provides to its volunteers creates an “awesome” work environment and has helped him develop the tools to confidently support callers on the lines.
Volunteers give so much to our agency and in return Distress Centre gives back a meaningful volunteer experience.
In his free time, Mortaza loves cycling, reading, playing video games and building computers.
Thank you Mortaza!
Interested in volunteering? See our volunteer opportunities.