A Madison County United Way volunteer was driving through South Alabama’s Hurricane Michael disaster area and ran low on gasoline. Even though she knew she was low on gas, she kept driving in hopes of getting to a service station soon. With only 30 miles to go before she had an empty tank, she began to panic. All of a sudden, she remembered from a training class at her United Way that she could call 2-1-1, a statewide network of call centers providing information about a wide range of health and human services throughout Alabama.
When the woman called 2-1-1, a qualified call center specialist answered the phone. The driver explained that she was close to running out of gas and was in an area without power. The operator was able to use a gas station locator service to guide the caller to a nearby exit. She remained on the phone with the woman and directed her four miles down a back road to a gas station. The caller was shocked and impressed to find that the gas station was open with working electricity. This United Way volunteer was able to see firsthand the impact 2-1-1 can have on someone’s life. She told the specialist, “2-1-1 helped me from becoming a young, single, stranded female motorist and I’m truly thankful.”
This volunteer’s story is a reminder that 2-1-1 connects people with resources — whether in times of disaster or when facing everyday challenges in getting help with social services. In Alabama, help is just a phone call away…at United Way’s 2-1-1 call center.