Resource and Referral Call Center and Online Database Tops Over 2 Million Inquiries Since 2010
February 11, 2020 (Central Islip, NY) – February 11, 2020 marks the 10 year anniversary of 211 Long Island. To celebrate this milestone occasion, United Way of Long Island joined a nationwide effort in recognition of 211 Day, held on February 11th.
United Way’s 211 Long Island is a free, confidential and multilingual service for Nassau and Suffolk County residents. This non-emergency resource and referral Call Center and online database provides crucial information to those in need of assistance 24 hours 7 days a week. 
With more than 2 million inquiries over the past decade, and to accentuate the importance of 211, United Way of Long Island held a cake-cutting and proclamation ceremony in Central Islip at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, a longtime community partner. 
“Our goal today is to ensure that both elected officials and the public understand the immense benefit that 211 Long Island provides, which is connecting residents to a wide array of critical services such as job training, food pantries, and mental health or substance abuse counseling, as well as lifestyle needs like recreation, volunteer opportunities, or government programs” said Elizabeth Eberhardt, United Way of Long Island’s 211 Long Island Director. 
“Middle Country Public Library’s Online Database has been operating for many years. In 2010, we partnered with United Way to form 211 Long Island to provide a comprehensive Call Center and data resource for all Long Islanders. It’s incredible to see the impact that this service continues to have on so many individuals from the general public to professionals to government employees,” stated Sophia Serlis-McPhillips, Director of Administration at Middle Country Public Library.
The Call Center for 211 Long Island is staffed by trained information specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week who connect callers to critical and available resources across Long Island. Services are offered in more than 200 languages and 211’s searchable online database, at 211LongIsland.org, includes detailed information on nearly 10,000 nonprofit and governmental programs.  
Meet two 211 Long Island clients who learned first-hand how working with a well-trained, 211 Specialist makes a meaningful impact:
A single mother with a disabled child had the utilities disconnected for nonpayment. With no utility assistance programs open at the time, 211 connected her to the Public Service Commission. A 211 Specialist contacted utility company and caller the next day. Mom is now on a budget payment plan she can afford and services were restored. Working with a well-trained, live 211 Specialist can make all the difference.
A Spanish-speaking caller was crying when he contacted 211. The 211 Specialist learned he had been referred by the National Suicide Hotline. Determining the caller was not in immediate danger, the Specialist worked to transfer the call to a local crisis center, spoke with the crisis line staff and waited until the interpreter service was activated and all parties were connected before disengaging the call. 211 is there in a crisis.
For assistance in finding available resources in your area, visit 211LongIsland.org or unitedwayli.org/findhelp
Photo Caption: United Way of Long Island celebrates 211 Long Island’s 10th anniversary during 211 Day at Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Central Islip. Pictured left to right: Robert Suarez, AVP Community Development, Bethpage Federal Credit Union; Lori Abbatepaolo, Adult Services Librarian, Middle Country Public Library; Spencer Andrews, Constituent Liaison, Office of Senator Monica Martinez; Elizabeth Eberhardt, 211 Long Island Director, United Way of Long Island; Sergio Bedoya, Branch Manager-Central Islip, Bethpage Federal Credit Union; Mayra Escobar, Community Relations Director, Office of Assemblyman Phil Ramos; YouthBuild Long Island students and Town of Islip residents Jailene and Stephanie; and Sonia Acosta, Assistant Branch Manager-Central Islip, Bethpage Federal Credit Union. 
About United Way of Long Island     
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about UnitedWayLI.org, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.