Eli Schwamm

Eli Schwamm (Soundbite Version): High School Senior and Volunteer at Samaritans Boston (#28)

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Our Guest Today: Eli Schwamm

Eli Schwamm‘s full interview (Ep. 27) was the single, most downloaded episode of the feisworld podcast. I want to take this opportunity and create a soundbite version of the audio focusing on his volunteer work at Samaritans Boston. Eli is a high schooler, audio engineer, rap singer, song writer, and a volunteer at Samaritans of Boston (suicide prevention) for 2 years.

He started his journey at Samaritans when he was just 16 years old. I remember hearing about it for the first time and not knowing exactly how to react. Instead, I decided to respect Eli’s decision but paid close attention to his journey. I have known Eli since he was a little kid. He has always shown a tremendous amount of compassion for others and deep appreciation for the life we have.

In this 17-min soundbite episode, Eli answers questions such as:

  • How did the Samaritans volunteering opportunity come about?
  • A Day in the Life of a Samaritans Volunteers (find out how little you know).
  • What are the policies for working at Samaritans and what Eli is trained to help?
  • What is the most controversial policy at Samaritans?

Favorite “quotes” and snippets from Eli Schwamm: 

On volunteering at Samaritans (Learn more at: http://samaritanshope.org ):

“Volunteering at Samaritans generates such good feelings. As people, we really want to feel useful.  The best way to be useful is to be helpful. The work we do is rooted in pragmatism – we are people who listen, I’d love to say that I save lives but that’s not true.”

It’s a big commitment. Everyone will help someone when it’s convenient.. Everyone is stumbling through life together. Eli walks us through what it’s like to volunteer at Samaritan and why he thinks that making human connections is really important.

There is a very strict policy at Samaritans to not give advice. “We always believe what the caller tells us isn’t true. A lot of the times people just need to be listened to.”

“Only 40% of the calls are being answered. On a busy shift, we are have 6-7 people taking back to back calls.”

“When you are feeling on the top the world, it is easy to help others. But when you are at the other end, that other person lifting a finger for you will make a huge difference for you.”

To learn more about Samaritans (how to get help, volunteer and events), please visit: http://samaritanshope.org

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