I know that if I asked almost any student "what does the 4-1-1 mean?", they would be able to answer by saying, "oh that is slang for information, like give me the 4-1-1 on what's going down next week". I also know that I could ask almost everyone "what number do I call in an emergency?" and they would answer 9-1-1. Well I have a new number for you that I also hope you remember. It is 2-1-1.
2-1-1- is a free, confidential and non-emergency number that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a fantastic resource that was started in our area by the United Way. The idea behind the 2-1-1 is to get you connected and to help you get answers with many of the problems our students and adults in this area face. Whether you need to find after school care, counseling, help caring for an aging parent, putting food on the table or simply making ends meet. United Way's 2-1-1 provides confidential, easy-to-use and free access to the information you need. If you know me, you know that I have a folder of resources in my office. I try to keep them updated and organized, but that is not always easy to do. With this tool, you will have immediate access to my "folder" with all that information and so much more. Not only is the service free but it is CONFIDENTIAL. Please, if you need assistance with anything and you are afraid to ask, call 2-1-1. Just a few of the many things they can help you with are:
Basic Needs Assistance
Children and Elderly Services
Physical and Mental Healthcare
As winter sets in, if you are in need of clothing, food or shelter, please call 2-1-1. If there is anyone you know who needs help during this cold weather, either call for them or tell them about 2-1-1. There is no way anyone should go hungry or without warm clothes. There are just to many agencies willing to help out in our area. They also can help you if you are looking to volunteer somewhere. This would be great for our Student Ambassadors, National Technical Honor Society or any student that is looking to help out in the community. Speaking of volunteering, I would hope all of you would volunteer to help somewhere or someone at one point in your life. There is no greater reward. This is all a part of making you the best person you can be, and you know that is what I want for you in life.
If I can quote author and teacher Ron Clark about being the best person you can be, he said "Throughout life, you are going to be lonely at times, you are going to have your heart broken on occasion, and you are going to feel as if something is missing from your life. No life is lived without some amount of pain and heartache. No matter how bad things get, however, make sure you are always developing into the kind of person you want to be, and the kid of person others will want to be around. It is important not to let external factors keep you from developing who you are and the person you are trying to become. Always make sure there are seven things in your life at all times: laughter, family, adventure, good food, challenge, change, and the quest for knowledge. With all of those things, you will grow, enjoy life, and become the type of person you can be proud of. You will also be in a better position to help others, give advice, and learn from your mistakes, because you will be a stronger, healthier, and happier person." Take care and thanks for reading!