Help is Only a Call Away: Celebrate 2-1-1 Day on Feb. 11
Information provided by United Way of the Brazos Valley
Annual 2-1-1 Day takes place on Feb. 11 to raise awareness about 2-1-1 Texas, the free, statewide 24-hour hotline that connects Texans to community resources in their area. By dialing 2-1-1, callers can receive information about community and social services, such as food pantries, housing assistance, health clinics and senior services.
2-1-1 Texas is a free and confidential resource for anyone who needs help and does not know where to turn. Callers across Texas can dial 2-1-1 to connect with a live 2-1-1 Call Specialist, who has access to the most comprehensive database of community organizations, government agencies and nonprofits that exists in Texas. 2-1-1 Texas also has the capability to answer calls in over 90 languages, including services for the hearing impaired.
In 2019, the Brazos Valley placed 19,2017 calls to 2-1-1 Texas. The top needs among Brazos Valley callers included housing assistance, utility assistance and support services, like transportation and case management. 2-1-1 Texas compiles needs and caller demographic data, which it then reports to local and state officials, community leaders, nonprofits and more to help them understand the needs and gaps in services in their community.
“2-1-1 Texas brings hope to the community because without 2-1-1 Texas, people wouldn’t know who to call for help for whatever situation they’re in,” says Hilda Salazar, 2-1-1 Program Manager at United Way of the Brazos Valley.
Salazar has been working in the Brazos Valley 2-1-1 Texas call center since August 2005, the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the coastline. During times of disaster, 2-1-1 Texas serves as an information hub for disaster response to tell residents impacted what resources are available to help them. This includes immediate needs like shelters and food supply areas as well as long term recovery needs like reconstruction and clean up programs. When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, 2-1-1 Texas Brazos Valley answered over 5,000 calls in one month!
You can celebrate this year’s 2-1-1 Day with 2-1-1 Texas by entering their annual 2-1-1 Day Contest drawing! Visit www.uwbv.org/211texas to enter to win one of six prizes, valued at over $450. Prizes include free bagels for a year from Panera Bread, a free public tour and tasting from Messina Hof, and hour and a half of bowling and up to five pairs of shoes from Grand Station Entertainment, one of two $15 gift cards to Jason’s Deli or one free month of fitness classes at Crossfit Obey. The deadline to enter the drawing is Feb. 10. On 2-1-1 Day, 2-1-1 Texas will draw six names live on the 2-1-1 Texas Brazos Valley Facebook and Instagram channels, @211TexasBV.
2-1-1 Texas will be out doing community outreach on Feb. 7 at First Friday, hosted by the Downtown Bryan Association. On 2-1-1 Day, they will be visiting local businesses to tell them about how 2-1-1 Texas can help them in their time of need. If you would like to schedule a presentation on how 2-1-1 Texas can help your clients, employees or organization, contact Mickal Lewis at 979-696-4483 x. 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2-1-1 Texas is a partnership between United Way of the Brazos Valley and the State of Texas Health & Human Service. United Way of the Brazos Valley fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the Brazos Valley.
For information and referrals to community resources, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.uwbv.org/211texas for additional information.