A United Way 211 Happy Hour Fundraiser will be held Feb. 11 — on 211 Day — at Arlyn’s Good Beer, 520 Hankey Ave., from 4-9 p.m.
Join this casual fundraising events to learn about 211 and network with donors and volunteers.
United Way of Greater Toledo will celebrate 211 Week beginning Monday with educational programming, public awareness campaigns and fundraising events culminating in 211 Day on Saturday.
This is the local and national day of recognition for 211, a free information and referral service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Throughout 211 Week, United Way encourages residents to learn more about the service and how it might help themselves, family, friends, neighbors, employees and coworkers. Visit 211nwo.org to search the database, review 211 Counts data, download free guides, or connect with a community resource adviser.
211 covers Wood, Lucas and Ottawa counties. 211 connects residents to support services, including disaster relief, as well as eviction prevention, legal services, tax filing, employment opportunities, and access to food, clothing, shelter, and much more. The 211 database offers translation services and includes access to more than 800 organizations and 2,300 programs.
“211 is here and it’s for everyone. It is an essential service in our community,” said Jill Bunge, vice president, impact and outreach. “No matter where we live or work, we all see neighbors, employees, and customers go through hard times. We can’t plan for flooding or house fires, or an unexpected ambulance ride or car breakdown that takes from the grocery budget. No matter the issue, 211 is always there to connect to help and find creative solutions and resources.”
211 saw a dramatic uptick in contacts since the pandemic. Prior to 2020, annual contacts ranged from 62,000-68,000 annually. In 2021, that number increased to more than 104,000 as residents sought access to COVID-19 vaccines and other pandemic relief. In 2022, the program fielded nearly 80,000 contacts; over half of that call volume were housing, food and utility assistance contacts as housing costs and inflation soared.
“What makes United Way’s management of 211 unique is the way we are able to put the data to work. We know the needs of the community in real time and can make adjustments to funding and services to meet those needs,” said Wendy Pestrue, CEO. “Just as we did during the pandemic, where we were able to assess the best locations to get residents access to meals and vaccines, we remain prepared to adapt and be responsive during disasters. With record inflation and housing costs this year, 211 was such an important resource for many people who haven’t needed this kind of assistance before and were not sure where to go for help. 211 was there for them, to help keep groceries in the kitchen, find help with utility bills and to keep them in their homes.”
Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Learn more about 211, available resources, and how to use the database. The link will open on Monday and can be found on the United Way of Greater Toledo Facebook page.
211-to-You at Toledo Library: Main Branch, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Anyone seeking referrals for services can visit for assistance.
Virtual Year-end Recap, Wednesday, noon-1 p.m., Facebook. The 211 team will provide an overview of 211 service and function — how to search the 211 database and review data on the 211 Counts dashboard — in addition to a look back at 2022 stats and accomplishments.
211 For All Philanthropic Summit and Reception, Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., One Seagate, Fifth-Third Headquarters Gallery and Auditorium, Toledo. This by-invitation event is designed for corporate donors and community leaders.