Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017

United Way invests in our communities

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by SHARI NOCTOR in Opinion

Priscilla Rosado, manager for healthy aging and food access for United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, has been an integral part of our Whitehall Area Hunger Initiative for the last two years. She comes to our monthly public meetings, sits with me on Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council’s food access committee and has seven volunteers helping monthly at our free community meals, served the third Tuesday of every month.

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has a 2014-18 investment plan, which supports multiple community partners who are focused on a common goal — to improve the lives of people in the Lehigh Valley through education, food access, healthy aging and emergency services.

She mentioned 2-1-1 to me (which is not to be confused with the 211 Lanta bus route). I wanted to share the information with you since it can help many of our Whitehall and Coplay residents.

“Every day, people are being helped in the community because of the free services that 2-1-1 has to offer,” Rosado said. “Each year, more calls are being received for services such as heating or utility assistance, along with services for seniors and children.”

The following information is from unitedwayglv.org. United Way supports 2-1-1, a free and confidential helpline and website that connects people from all communities and of all ages to the essential health and human services they need — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You’ll find information about:

• Supplemental food and nutrition programs

• Shelter and housing options and utilities assistance

• Emergency information and disaster relief

• Employment and education opportunities

• Services for veterans

• Health care, vaccination and health epidemic information

• Addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs

• Re-entry help for ex-offenders

• Support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs

• A safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

Whether in times of natural disaster or personal crisis, 2-1-1 is committed to being the first, most essential resource for anyone who needs help. 2-1-1 can be accessed by computer, pa211east.org, or by phone toll free to 211 or 855-501-6785, where you can speak to a highly trained service professional in your area from any cellphone or land line. All calls are private and confidential. Cellphone users can also text 211. Also, anyone can text their ZIP code to 898211.

You will get access to a live person who will connect you to a community resource specialist in your area. That specialist can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services to improve and save lives.

This is a great resource I hope our residents will take advantage of and benefit from. United Way, Rosado and everyone connected with our Whitehall Area Hunger Initiative want to help you!