Our Mission Statement
CONTACT We Care is devoted to providing people in emotional distress an opportunity to express themselves to a compassionate listener in a confidential environment. We also offer training to people and organizations in the listening skills needed to support those in crisis. We facilitate opportunities for people to help other people.
We envision a society where everyone has access to a caring and compassionate listener.
-- We believe in the power of active, empathetic, nonjudgmental listening.
-- We believe that interactive communication with another human being can alleviate emotional pain and suffering.
-- We believe that relief of emotional pain and suffering can prevent tragic human loss by suicide and other self-destructive behaviors.
-- We believe connection with another human being can be achieved most empathetically and cost effectively through the use of highly trained volunteers.
CONTACT We Care’s roots date back to the early 1960s in Sydney, Australia. A Methodist pastor named Alan Walker received a message from the local police. A destitute old man had been found dead in his apartment in one of the poorer sections of the city; he had left a note addressed to Rev. Walker. The man had been a devoted listener to Reverend Walker’s Sunday evening radio program. The radio had been his only possession of any value and he killed himself when it was repossessed. His note said, “Nobody cares.”
That phrase struck a sad chord with Rev. Walker. There should always be a place someone like this man could turn to for solace. And with that was born the idea of an anonymous, confidential telephone service, where anyone could call who needed someone to speak with about their problems, their fears, their hopes for a better life. The new service, named Lifeline, was promoted with great fanfare in Sydney: “Help is as close as the telephone.” It was a huge success.
Dr. Walker traveled the world to talk about the importance of extending help to those in need of a patient listener through the medium of the telephone. In the U.S., Lifeline was renamed CONTACT. CONTACT We Care was founded in Westfield, NJ in 1975. The name of our local chapter is an answer to the Australian suicide’s statement: We Care. At one time there were more than 150 chapters around the U.S. Today, only 52 remain.
Our mission is to offer nonjudgmental listening to all callers, regardless of age, race, religion or gender.
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