After working at 2-1-1 for almost ten years, it’s safe to say I like what I do. Helping people get connected to resources that strive to meet their basic needs is a very rewarding job.
Each year thousands of Utahns call United Way 2-1-1 hoping to find a solution to a problem. They call looking for help finding everything from their next meal, to volunteer opportunities in the community. As an Information Specialist, I help these callers get connected to the right resources throughout the state of Utah.
My desire to see these people succeed is really what fuels my passion for what United Way 2-1-1 does. My hope is that I can be a small part of helping each caller find their solution. I want people to take the resources given to them and feel empowered that they can overcome their circumstances. I know what it’s like to be in their shoes – I’ve faced many challenges and needed help a time or two.
The call that has impacted me most was a man who called 2-1-1 to say thank you. He let me know that he had called before and really appreciated all the help we’d given him. At first it seemed to be a straightforward call, but soon his speech became slurred and information come forward that he had just taken a large quantity of pills. At that point it was clear I was dealing with a crisis situation. I quickly called 9-1-1 and stayed on the phone with the caller until the paramedics arrived and confirmed that the caller was safe. While I don’t know what ultimately happened to this gentleman, I’d like to think that 2-1-1 was there for him when he needed us the most.
I’ve also talked to a single mother in tears who called because her husband just walked out and she didn’t know where to start, and I’ve given a 5th grader the elevation of a local mountain range because she didn’t have access to the internet, but needed it for her assignment. The stories I’ve heard over the years vary as much as the people calling. For this reason more than anything, I’m so glad to be a part of United Way 2-1-1, waiting on the other end of the phone, to help however I can.
To find out more about the resources that United Way 2-1-1 provides, visit our website!