As the Executive Director of the Schuylkill United Way, I urge your readers to support an effort to expand the state's 2-1-1 system to cover all Pennsylvanians. 2-1-1 has been designated by state and federal officials as a toll-free, very easy to remember, phone number and web site that Pennsylvanians in crisis can contact when they are in need of government or community services.
By simply dialing 2-1-1, any citizen can gain immediate access to trained professionals and volunteers who can connect you quickly with the health and human services agency or state agency that can address your needs.
Whether you need to find out where to get a flu shot or are seeking assistance to help an elderly loved one pay their utility bills, 2-1-1 can help. Over 25,000 agencies, programs and services are registered in their database throughout the state that may be able to meet your concern.
By dialing 2-1-1 for these needs instead of 9-1-1 it also allows our first responders to focus on immediate, life threatening emergencies. PA 2-1-1 can also be accessed on the internet just go to www.pa211.org  or www.schuylkillunitedway.org .
And remember February 11th is PA 2-1-1 day!
Kelly K. Malone
Schuylkill United Way