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Your contributions can make 211 a lifesaving phone number

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The United Way of Central Maryland serves as a clearinghouse for many types of referrals that help people who are homeless or in fear of becoming homeless in the near future. The free 211 call will connect these unfortunate people with referrals to the services that can turn their desperate, downward, life spirals into hopeful, upward, life spirals.

More specifically, the 211 call connects the caller to health and human service resources in the callers’ community. The callers can make this free 211 contact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over 180 languages are accommodated.

Referrals can address problems such as:

1. No shelter.

2. Not enough food.

3. Clothing not appropriate for job hunting.

4. Utilities turned off.

5. Evictions that are imminent.

6. Health issues untreated and worsening.

Those who are unemployed and who have any of these immediate problems will have a hard time concentrating on and being effective in their job search efforts. Once their basic needs are met, however, the unemployed are more able to focus upon specific job search activities. The United Way of Central Maryland referrals also can help directly with job search efforts. Examples of such job search help include:

1. Career counseling.

2. Vocational assessment.

3. Job readiness.

4. Computer training.

5. Work permits.

6. Job training.

7. GED instruction.

8. Job search and placement.

The inclusion of job search health referral services is important. As the Chinese proverb states, “Give a man fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.” When making quick decisions about whether or not to give money to panhandlers, the givers have no way of knowing how well their donations will be spent. Will their donations just prolong the destructive lifestyles of some panhandlers, or will their donations help to lift the panhandlers out of their desperate lifestyle?

Donations to The United Way of Central Maryland will guarantee that donors will donate safely, and their donations will be well spent. Such donors can urge the panhandlers to call 211 for this help. This is easy to do, even when motorists are driving by panhandlers and unable to stop.

Now is the time to capture the Christmas spirit of giving and to give to charities such as the United Way of Central Maryland.

What are your favorite charities, and why? Please comment below.

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