T he United Way of Greater Toledo says their volunteers worked around the clock answering more than 3,600 calls for help during the weekend's water crisis.
Calls to 2-1-1, the United Way's assistance line, spiked dramatically on Saturday, August 2, the first day of the water ban placed on residents in the Toledo-area.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Toledo Water Crisis
United Way staff, along with 42 volunteers, worked in shifts throughout the 50+ hour crisis to help distributed water to homebound residents and any others in need.
Lists of elderly, homebound, and disabled veterans in need of water were managed by the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and the Area Office on Aging. Through their distribution efforts, more than 80,000 bottles of water were delivered to approximately 2,000 residents.
"It was inspiring to see United Way 2-1-1 staff and volunteers working tirelessly and positively during the last three days," said Eric Goff, director of Community Outreach Services for United Way of Greater Toledo. "After taking many calls from people without water, everyone cheered when a community member called to tell us she had received her drinking water from the American Red Cross. Being able to connect people to necessary resources is what United Way is all about, and all of us coming together to help the community is how 2-1-1 LIVES UNITED."
"I'm so proud and moved to tears by their diligent work to get people information and access to water," Karen Mathison, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Toledo, said of the 2-1-1 staff and volunteers. "Their hearts are bigger than anything in the water."
With the water ban now lifted, 2-1-1 staff is no longer taking names for distribution lists. Information on next steps and how to recycle your water bottles can be found at unitedwaytoledo.org/watersafety.
United Way 2-1-1 is available, 24 hours, 7 days a week, for non-emergency requests for assistance.