Dawson McAllister Hopeline Training

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If you ever listen go Dawson McAllister Live (KDWB, 101.3) on Sunday nights, you know the teenage generation in our country is hurting.

Each Sunday night from 9 p.m.-2 a.m., a handful of Twin Cities residents leave the comfort of their home, drive to an empty corporate office in Bloomington and sit answering phone calls from despondent teens. The counselors taking calls at the Twin Cities Hopeline are everyday people, and last fall I was honored to get to meet them, take a few calls and see the Hopeline in action.

In the next 24 hours:

-1,439 teens will attempt suicide
-2,795 teenage girls will become pregnant
-15,006 teenagers will use drugs for the first time
-2,506 teens will run away from home
-2,911 high school students will drop out of school

Since opening on July 1st last year, the call center in Bloomington has answered countless calls from teens in crisis across the country — covering all the above issues, hoping to offer teens a word of hope.

During my time with the center, I heard calls stemming from domestic violence, sexual and substance abuse, friendship, relationship and parental issues. Unfortunately, teens don’t always have a place to turn for an ear to listen.

That’s where the Twin Cities Hopeline (800-394-HOPE) comes in. Christian adults from all walks of life across the Twin Cities metro area give up their Sunday evenings to answer phones and become a beacon of light when there’s nowhere else for these kids to turn.

It’s not sappy; it’s real life and a way bigger deal than our entertainment-obsessed society believes.

This Saturday, Jan.5, there is a day-long training if you’re interested in becoming a Hopeline counselor. It’s at 9 a.m. at Cross Telecom in Bloomington. Then you’ll be invited to check out the call center this Sunday (there’s a background check and reference process that occurs before you actually take calls yourself).

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