TEMPLE, TX — The phones at the United Way of Central Texas’ 2-1-1 call center ring off of the hook.
One of the people answering them is Diamond Martinez, who spends most of her day on the phone helping those who call in.
“She literally is now getting home-delivered meals sent to her on a weekly basis,” Martinez explained, thinking back to one of her recent calls that ended as a success story. “She has a new appliance in her home to make sure she can take care of her food like everyone should be able to do.”
She works from 8 am to 5 pm every weekday, starting each call usually the same:
"Thank you for calling United Way 2-1-1."
However, the end of the call is almost always different.
“I don't get tired of not helping somebody,” she said smiling. “It's just something that I feel that I have to do to help somebody have a better life.”
Every time someone calls, they are calling with a different issue.
It’s because the United Way helps with just about anything.
From tax assistance, to referring clients to state resources, to its education and literacy program, to partnering clients with local organizations and nonprofits with those who need it.
“We really try to bring that network together, to serve the individual or the family in the most efficient way possible,” Stephanie O’Banion, the organization’s CEO and president, said. “That can't happen if we haven't built these relationships.”
This year presented unimaginable change and demand for most of us, that’s no different at the United Way, but like Texans, it stood strong.
In many instances, it provided more help than ever before.
Whether that means supplying bottles of water during the winter storm or fundraising to supply local nonprofits with extra funds, they helped.
“[The United Way] kept a lot of agencies’ doors open,” said Robin Battershell, a chairperson for the organization. “I think the agencies then kept a lot of people's homes doors open, and so it's a trickle effect.”
Now, they’re asking for your help, so they can continue helping others.
“With the need being greater than ever is that every dollar literally counts,” O’Banion explained.
Both money and volunteers make the world of a difference, so if you’d like to help out, head over to their website.