The idea here is to bring the giver and the needy together.
When you call 211, you get an operator who may ask you questions about income, if your are on other assistance like food stamps and even where you live. Camilla W. Prince is the executive director of the Volunteer and Information Center. She says, "Maybe the eligibility is restricted to certain zip codes."
Some organizations will only help individuals who meet their qualifications. Prince says, "Where our agencies are restricted by guidelines and qualifications that they can not go around, our churches open their arms."
It could be an executive who believe their child is getting into drugs, a mother who needs help feeding her children or buying them Christmas presents,... or someone who just wants to loose weight. But that doesn't always mean there's an answer or help.
Prince admits, "Sometimes there is just not a resource."
An enormous data base will prevent people from getting help on a power bill from 3 different sources, or playing the system. She says, "Maybe it's someone we can get into job training or maybe they need literacy classes. Maybe they need financial counseling."
211 - the Volunteer and Information Center is growing.... And catching the eye of FEMA, Disaster Response and other organizations.
For more information log onto: www.volunteer-info.org