United Way Celebrates 211 Day February 11th,
Honors 211 Call Center Efforts During Pandemic
In honor of National 211 Day on February 11, United Way of Henderson County (UWHC) encourages residents to spread the word about this vital service that helps millions of people across North America, and thousands of people in Henderson County each year. 211 is a free, confidential information and referral system that connects callers and online visitors at any time of day or night with the local health and human services they need.

NC 211, managed by United Way of North Carolina and supported by local United Ways, answered 182,848 calls in 2020 during a global pandemic that continues to cause economic hardship for thousands in our community. The top needs identified included housing, utilities, healthcare, food assistance and support/advocacy. There were 730,000 sessions on nc211.org in 2020, and 4.5 million informational text messages were sent to text subscribers.

“The team at NC 211 has been working tirelessly to respond to the huge increase in calls during the pandemic,” reported UWHC Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long. “We are thankful for their dedication to the residents of Henderson County, and the quality care they continue to provide during these difficult times,” she added.

Individuals in need of help can dial 2-1-1 to reach call centers 24 hours a day, with language translation available, so that anyone can speak with a real person at any time of day. Residents may also access more than 19,000 resources via nc211.org to get connected and get help.

To help us celebrate 211 day and bring awareness to the 211 service, we encourage everyone to tell at least two people you know about 211 this week.
MyFreeTaxes Launches FREE Tax Preparation Software for Federal and State Returns
For more than a decade, United Way has helped people easily and accurately file their federal and state taxes through MyFreeTaxes.

MyFreeTaxes is FREE for all simple returns and users can file both federal and state taxes. Most filers complete their taxes in under one hour and save an average of $200 in fees by using MyFreeTaxes instead of a paid tax preparer. Learn more here.
Single Mom Receives Much Needed Support, Thanks to 211

Jessica is a single mom to her 5-year-old son and infant daughter. Both Jessica and her daughter have tested positive for COVID-19. This means Jessica will be unable to work for at least two weeks which will result in lost wages. Without her full income for the month, Jessica will not be able to pay all of the family’s monthly bills. And, then last night Jessica discovered that someone has stolen her identity which means even if she needed to file for unemployment, she would not be able to do so. 

The 211 Call Specialist helped Jessica prioritize the issues she is juggling. The specialist first gave Jessica a referral to her county’s COVID helpline, just in case she has any questions about quarantine for her and her daughter. Next, the specialist provided Jessica with information on two local programs that may be able to help with paying her bills this month while she is out of work. And, finally, the call specialist made an internal referral to NC 211’s new Cybercrime Navigator who is a trained expert on cybercrimes. The navigator will contact Jessica and walk through the steps she can take to recover from the identity theft that has been committed against her. Jessica was so grateful to have someone help her walk through things and she felt much less overwhelmed when she hung up from her call to NC 211.
Women United Provides Self Care Packages to Girls EMpowered Participants
Even though our Girls EMpowered program has been on pause since last March, our Women United affinity group continues to provide meaningful touch points to last year's participants who are now in the 6th-9th grades at local middle and high schools. This week to celebrate Valentine's Day, each participant is receiving a box filled with books, art supplies, self care items, chocolates and a special GEM logo mask.

To learn more about Women United, click here or contact Sarah Swartz at sswartz@liveunitedhc.org.
Virtual United Way Campaign Celebration Set for April 21
We are excited to announce that our annual United Way Campaign Celebration will go live at 12 noon on Wednesday, April 21. Stay tuned for information on how you can participate with us and see the incredible impact of your support!