This month, Care and Share’s communication theme is “Heat or Eat.” Many of our Southern Colorado neighbors in need have to make tough choices every month, such as keeping their utilities on or paying for food. It takes many community members and organizations to form a safety net for these individuals to ensure that they don’t fall through the cracks. Our partnership with Pikes Peak United Way is critical to our hunger relief efforts. Please enjoy today’s guest blog post from Amy Dinofrio, the Chief Operating Officer at Pikes Peak United Way and an active member on various boards in the Colorado Springs Community.
211 gets calls everyday from people in need of different referrals. Every referral is important, but one of the items I think most of us take for granted is the food. I recently took some 211 calls to help with the usual increase of requests for Thanksgiving. I learned quickly what a food basket, or a commodities box means to someone. Most of us go to our kitchens and get whatever we want. However some go to their kitchens and have nothing. They call 211 to get a food referral, and we have heard many stories. But one particular story touched my heart recently.
Joan, a mother of three, had just started a new job. She learned her first paycheck would be needed to cover past due bills, and as a result she could not put a Thanksgiving dinner on the table for her family. When Joan called 211, she didn’t call because of her own needs – she called 211 asking for help for her neighbor, who was a senior that needed food. It was only after talking to her more that I learned of her situation. I was able to match her up with a holiday basket and she thanked me and hung up. Last week she called 211 and told one of the community specialists to tell me she got the food basket, turkey, and had a wonderful dinner. She then asked for some volunteer opportunities for her family. Her selflessness is an example of the people we serve. By simply giving a hand up they pay it forward to others!
Thank you for reading this post and have a wonderful holiday season!