2-1-1 In the News
City Paper (Nashville)
2-1-1 calls on the rise
JUDITH R. TACKETT
2-1-1 Manager Doug Fluegel said since the hurricane about 43 percent of those calling are asking for volunteer opportunities.
“We’re seeing a huge increase in the number of calls that are from people who are wanting to give back,” Fluegel said. “It’s kind of turned around because almost every day most people are looking for help. But, of course, times like these are bringing out the best in people.”
Looking at the time span between Sept. 3-7, 2-1-1 has on average received 119.2 calls per day from individuals asking to make an in-kind donation, which is a 2,067 percent increase compared to an average day in July (5.5 donation calls).
Calls from people looking for volunteer opportunities have increased by 1,210 percent to an average of 52.4 calls per day since Katrina; 22.8 calls per day are from individuals needing food (a 140 percent increase from July); 9.6 calls per day are from people seeking temporary shelter (85 percent increase); 8.6 calls are people needing help with prescription medications (562 percent increase); and 7.6 calls are for clothing and toiletries (375 percent increase).
Fluegel urges local churches, small organizations and other groups who offer help to hurricane evacuees to let 2-1-1 know about their services so the 2-1-1 staff can help connect volunteers with those organizations.
Fluegel said with the current increase in volume the usual staff of three or four people has been increased to eight to 10.
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