Acts of Kindness: Cameron Cheal - 8 News NOW

Acts of Kindness: Cameron Cheal

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LAS VEGAS - In times of crisis, Cameron Cheal knows how to listen.

"There are times when you really wish you had had somebody with you. That's when we're called. That's when we'll be there," Cheal said. "Right next to the person, on their level, make sure they know you are there for them and just them. You have no agenda."

Cheal is a volunteer with the Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada (TIP). The program provides volunteers who are available around the clock to provide emotional support to people affected by accidents, fires and other tragedies.

Learn More About the TIP Program

"It is okay to be an emotional person, okay to be empathetic, goofy, sense of humor," he said. "You can be on scene with anybody. If they're crying, you can cry with them. If they're laughing, you can laugh with them."

He's been volunteering all his life, but only through his work as an investment specialist with Bank of America did he learn about the opportunity to volunteer with TIP.

"It's giving back on a much more basic human level," he said. "In a way, it's much more rewarding than, maybe, volunteering at a day camp, that I used to do."

The TIP program may be more rewarding, but it is also very intense and demanding. Each situation can take its toll. Cheal recently received a phone call from a hospital.

"I responded to a death of a twin, and the other one had survived. That was very emotional," he said.

The TIP program includes approximately 60 volunteers. More are needed.

"Not everybody is good at handling stress or pressures as everybody else," Cheal said. "We always need more volunteers."

"I can't imagine how people feel when they have someone like Cameron to comfort them," said Bank of America Branch Manager Dominic Amato. "It's amazing what he does. I don't know how many people out there can do what he does."

8 News NOW is rewarding Cameron Cheal's efforts, awarding him $800 as part of its weekly series Acts of Kindness.

Once a month, TIP volunteers meet to share their calls and cope with difficult, emotional experiences.

Many hours of training go into becoming a TIP volunteer. The training includes a two-week course, followed by three months of field work. The next training session takes place in November.

If you wish to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website our e-mail us.

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