February 11 (2/11) is 211 day and this is the first year it will be marked across the entire country. Funding from the federal government’s COVID-19 response allowed United Way Centraide Canada to increase capacity among existing 211s and expand the service to ensure every part of the country is covered. It’s now reached Westman.
What is 211? Most people know when to call 911 but many are still learning about the 211 helpline. If someone is struggling to pay rent, or needs help finding food, 211 can help. If someone is struggling with their mental health, dial 2-1-1!
What is 211 DAY? It’s a day to remind people of the helpline that connects people with information on government and community-based programs and services. United Way Brandon & District is asking for the community to show us your glow in order to spread the word, and make it red! Some ideas include lighting in offices and at home, wearing red to work and around the house and changing profile pictures to red. Take pictures, post them in social media, and show off your support.
In planning for the day, and with help from the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Dome building at the Keystone Centre Grounds was washed in red. It turned out great, and it was fun to work with a classic, heritage filled building in Brandon.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of the service as a large number of people try to sort through changing government programs and find access to supports such as food banks, utility relief, programs for seniors, and employment assistance.
211 is available in every community for every community. For more information, head to mb.211.ca.
For more information on National 211 Day, and other United Way Brandon & District news, please contact their office at 204-571-8929. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.