211: Your First Resource

“I’m really struggling and need to talk to someone,” “Where is the nearest food pantry?” “I need assistance buying my prescriptions”

These are some of the 46,561 calls, texts and emails answered through the Helpline Center in 2018.

Helpline Center, a United Way of the Black Hills funded agency, offers support and resources to the community through the following core service areas: the 2-1-1 Helpline, Volunteer Connections, and suicide and crisis support. The calls are free, and representatives are available 24/7.

2-1-1 HELPLINE

According to the Helpline Center’s 2018 Community Trends Black Hills Area Report, there were 15,556 needs identified through their calls. These needs range from inquiries regarding mental health support, transportation resources, legal assistance, health care, housing, and more.

What makes the 2-1-1 Helpline unique to our community is they are the lifeline to connecting people in need to services that many of our funded agencies provide. "We serve as a central point of information for people with all types of needs – single parents needing baby food or diapers, widowers seeking grief support groups, teens worried about a suicidal friend, new residents who need to get a local driver’s license,” says Audrey Nordine, Black Hills Program Coordinator.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTIONS

United Way of the Black Hills encourages folks interested in volunteering to DIAL 2-1-1 or subscribe to their volunteer newsletter. With 180 non-profits participating in the Volunteer Connections program, chances are, many of them are our 50 funded agencies.

Find your next volunteer opportunity through the Helpline Center’s Volunteer Connections.

(1)    Search for opportunities you are passionate about: 2-1-1 is a great way to hone in on the variety of volunteer opportunities, and narrowing in your search to meet your passion. Maybe you are interested in mentoring children, or want to help with stuffing food backpacks. If you can think it, chances are, there is an volunteer opportunity for it!

(2)    Search for opportunities by organization name: Maybe you want to volunteer for Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YFS, etc. Simply type in the name of the organization in the keyword search and be sure to include your location.

(3)    Search by date: Maybe you are looking for an opportunity to get involved over a three-day weekend? (Presidents Day is on February 17th, which for some employees means a day off!) Spend this day off by giving back to your community!

(4)    Search by distance: You have determined what you are passionate about, and can think of a day of the week you are available to volunteer. Next step is to determine how near or far you would like to travel to volunteer. Some volunteer opportunities may be less than 5 miles from your work or home location!

SUICIDE AND CRISIS SUPPORT

South Dakota ranks 6th in the country for rates of suicide. The staff at 2-1-1 Helpline Center are trained to answer the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273- 8255). Last year, 2-1-1 Helpline Center answered 2,334 suicide related calls - an increase of 27% from the year prior.

In addition to being trained to answer the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The Helpline Center introduced the Text4Hope program, which provides text support to high school students struggling with suicidal thoughts, depression, and family problems.

LEARN MORE

UWBH funding is crucial in maintaining the Helpline Center's database of over 4,400 resources serving South Dakota residents. When you donate to UWBH, you are helping residents continue to receive access to crucial and necessary resources described above. We encourage you to learn more about the Helpline Center by visiting their website. We also encourage you to write down their simple three digit phone number on a post-it, and stick it on your fridge. You never know when you, a friend, a family member or co-worker may need their assistance.