ROCKINGHAM — We have 9-1-1 for those in immediate danger or who are sick or injured, but who do you call if you’re in need of food, housing and other resources?
All 100 counties in North Carolina have access to 2-1-1, a free, confidential information and referral system that residents can access by dialing 2-1-1. Callers will be connected to a live, trained NC 2-1-1 specialist who can provide information on local resources that include food, housing, utility payment assistance, job training, information about health care providers and more.
With it being Feb. 11 (2/11) the United Way of Richmond County is celebrating the 2-1-1 system that in 2019 helped more than 150,000 callers find services in their local community for more than 173,000 needs statewide. Additionally, more than 400,000 searches for programs and resources were conducted through the web-based search tool.
The phone line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 364 days a year. In times of emergency, NC 2-1-1 also becomes the public information portal for disaster-related information.
“When you dial 2-1-1 you are connected to the best information on resources right here in Richmond County,” said, Michelle Parrish, executive director of the United Way of Richmond County. “Last year thousands of callers from our community turned to NC 2-1-1 for help finding assistance. We are proud to be a part of this statewide and national system that brings such a valuable service to our community.”
Calls to NC 2-1-1 are free and confidential and information can be provided in most languages. NC 2-1-1’s database of more than 19,000 resources is also accessible via nc211.org for anyone wishing to self-search for organizations and programs to meet their needs.
For more information, contact Parrish, executive director at 910.997.2173 or [email protected]
The United Way of Richmond County is still short of their 2020 fundraising goal of $250,000. Of the funds raised, 95% stays in Richmond County to support United Way’s more than 17 local service agencies which include Back Pack Pals, Boy and Girl Scouts, Our Daily Bread, and the Richmond County Rescue Squad.
The deadline for the 2020 fundraising period is the week of Feb. 15.
Those interested in donating can reach Parrish at the number and email listed above or go online at http://www.unitedwayrichmondnc.net/.
Giving options include payroll deductions, the nonprofit’s PayPal account, or traditional cash or check. Donors can choose which agency the funds go to, or donate to United Way itself, which will then determine the best way to allocate the funds.
Last year, United Way provided 148,841 “services” to 12,162 individuals locally. Parrish said the organization’s governing board makes sure they are accountable for where the funds go and that the funds go where they’re most needed.