Three simple numbers, One helping voice

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

211 Story

Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities

I was in a meeting this week at Alta Resources where we were talking about United Way Fox Cities communications. Teri Koski, Strategy & Research Analyst at Alta, said to me, “You don’t talk enough about 2-1-1. It is such a great service, and you should be promoting it more.”

I agree with Teri. 2-1-1 is a wonderful resource for our community, and we should take every opportunity to make sure that everyone who needs it knows about it. 2-1-1 is a simple, free way to connect people in need with the vital human services for everyday life or in time of crisis. By dialing 2-1-1 people connect with a real person for information about local resources, from both government and nonprofit organizations. From the single parent seeking food for their children to the senior citizen looking for in-home care, 2-1-1 brings people and community resources together. And it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Elizabeth Van Abel works at REACH, one of our United Way Fox Cities partner agencies, and she shared this 2-1-1 story. “I was in a local coffee shop with a co-worker and we noticed a woman outside in the cold, crying uncontrollably and pushing a stroller. The woman told me she had just come from a bank and was denied a $100.00 loan. She needed the money to pay her rent that was due at the end of the day. She didn’t know what she was going to do or where she would live, if evicted. I told her that I knew where to get her some help and called United Way’s 2-1-1. The 2-1-1 call specialist gave me contact information for local rent assistance. With hope in her eyes, the woman said she would call the agencies once she got home.”

2-1-1 is a resource not only for people looking for help, but also for health care professionals, probation officers, social workers, family members, neighbors, and others that are trying to assist people in reaching the support and services they need.

Thank you Teri, for the reminder.