Seven years ago, I remember sitting at a United Way of Greater Portland rally, feeling good about myself for giving to United Way because I was helping other people. Never did I expect that I would use one, let alone three United Way agencies.
My children lost their father suddenly when they were 8 and 11. He was 47 years old. My son struggled emotionally and I worried my daughter wasn’t receiving the attention she needed while I helped her brother. Your world is just completely turned upside down and everything just changes over night. It’s nothing that you can prepare for.
I had a safety net that was woven up of multiple United Way agencies. I had The Center for Grieving Children, I was calling 211, and my daughter received a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. I credit those agencies and United Way with where my children are today.
211 is a free and confidential information and referral service that connects people of all ages across Maine to local services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 211 is a collaborative effort of United Ways of Maine, the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and The Opportunity Alliance as the Contact Center Partner.