| Hurricane Katrina Relief
Effort Buoyed by 2-1-1
Call Center Connects People to Services
September 2, 2005 - Across the country, calls to 2-1-1 are bringing relief, financial
aid and support to victims of Hurricane Katrina, and local 2-1-1
officials say the increased activity demonstrates the critical need
for a national 2-1-1 service.
"It's not just for people who need help," said Gary Young,
Knoxville 2-1-1 board member. "2-1-1 also gives those of us
who want to help a place to turn."
Young said 2-1-1 is set up to provide information to callers who
want to contribute or volunteer to help a social service agency,
such as the American Red Cross or United Way. The 2-1-1 database
and resource information is updated continuously and in disasters,
such as Hurricane Katrina, provide callers with direct information
on how best to assist.
"The assistance 2-1-1 provides works two-ways," Young
said. "Right now we're receiving lots of calls from people
who want to help out and give food or money to the victims. We expect
more calls from individuals directly affected by the hurricane who
will need assistance finding shelter, medical care, transportation
and other services."
The local 2-1-1 call center, is a United Way agency and provides assistance
for Knox and surrounding counties. It provides the most current information
on a variety of local organizations, including food pantries, utility
assistance, support groups, crime prevention and day care. The services
of 2-1-1 are free to anyone and available Monday through Friday from
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To access this service simply dial 2-1-1 and you
will connected to a trained counselor.
"If someone is interested in assisting the disaster relief
effort through a donation of cash or supplies, they can contact
2-1-1 to be connected to the most appropriate organization"
"It's important to remember that even as we assist in the relief
efforts in the Gulf Coast, many local agencies provide not only
disaster relief but year-round care for those in need. On behalf
of the disaster relief, please give according to your means and
also continue to support the local United Way campaign in your community."